Do You Desire More or Less Sex Than Your Partner?
How do you feel in bed with your partner? Great and completely at ease and natural?
Or rejected, confused, unwanted, undesirable, pressured, guilty, anxious or misunderstood?
On opposite sides of the mattress, emotions can run high. Especially when partners realize that, regarding sexual desire, one of you is not like the other.
Sex is a big deal in a long-term relationship… and ignoring or mishandling a serious discrepancy in desire can do real relationship damage.
To restore the quality of your sex life and the intimacy between you, it’s crucial to take a good look at what’s going on with you and your partner and consider taking a proactive step like sex therapy to address your differing levels of desire and interest.
How honest are you and your partner about your sexual situation?
Are you clear on how your partner feels about the amount and type of sex she wants? Have you asked? Do you sense that your wants and needs are significantly different from hers? If so how is that affecting your relationship?
Take some time to really examine any frustration or resentment that might have been building.
A willingness to be open and vulnerable in this area is much more productive than avoiding the topic, shutting down, or missing valuable opportunities to realign with your partner sexually. To make changes, you’ll need to employ patience, respect, and compassion to find a workable compromise or set of solutions.
The goal is to head off any hurt, anger or disconnect.
Sometimes, wanting more or less sex is difficult to even bring up for conversation on your own.
What do you do if you are too embarrassed, angry or ashamed to talk about it?
Unfortunately, because having a sexual conversation can be a delicate matter, many couples don’t talk about sexual discrepancies at all. This lack of communication leaves room for misunderstanding, resentment and upset to build.
Often one partner just hopes that the other reads their mind, sees it their way, or capitulates. When that doesn’t happen, frustration widens the gulf between them. With communication failing them they may drift along for far too long feeling unseen and unheard, emotionally unfulfilled and/or physically unsatisfied.
Does this describe your relationship?
It’s challenging, but you can still turn things around. To start, reach out to an experienced professional.
By acknowledging your sexual differences, you’ll soon gain some insight regarding your own feelings and those of your partner. Sex therapy can show you safe and effective ways to honor both of your sexual needs.
A sex therapist’s objective encouragement and guidance can go a long way toward soothing hurt feelings, paving the way for productive dialogue on such a delicate topic and helping you figure out how to be a better sexual partner.
What’s behind the sexual discrepancy in your relationship?
Get interested and get curious about the divergence in your desire. With your communication reopened and support in place, you can get to work understanding the differences between you and your partner. From there, you can build a plan to resolve or work with those differences.
Consider things from a variety of perspectives. See your physician for medical screenings. Consider individual therapy to work through possible personal problems, past issues, or issues with emotional stress. Couples counseling with an emphasis on sex therapy can make a big difference in your level of satisfaction together.
It’s important that you both realize that differences in desire do not doom your relationship.
How can you protect your connection while working through sexual desire differences?
Determining the cause or causes of your issues can help you start to resolve them and rebuild the sense that you’re not at odds. You are trying to come together emotionally and sexually. As answers start to solidify, you’ll see that restoring sexual intimacy is a cooperative effort, not something you ask your partner on their own to fix for the sake of pleasing you.
As you consider your life and lifestyle together, talk about how you can both make changes. If your activity level, careers, and life transitions are affecting the appeal of sex , discuss how you will both adjust.
Consider amending your schedules to prioritize more quality time for connecting, communicating and finding a sexual compromise that is mutually satisfying.
Compromise and a willingness to check in and meet each other’s needs as necessary can make all the difference. The fact is, you won’t always be on the same page sexually…and that’s okay
Most of all, don’t be afraid to talk to each other about your sexuality.
Try not to blame or shame each other. Keep in mind that sexual desire can be affected by self-care and unaddressed relationship challenges.
You may be tempted to put off or ignore differences affecting your sex life, but the resulting disconnect in intimacy is not worth it. Talk about relationship counseling and sex therapy. Come up with a game plan to manage these tough sexual seasons so that your bond is preserved and your love remains honored as you reach more satisfying solutions.
About the Author
Dr. Stan Hyman is a licensed psychotherapist, clinical sexologist and life coach in private practice in Miami, Florida. He works with couples struggling with powerful issues such as sexuality, infidelity, careers, and intimacy. He also specializes in treating addictions, anger, anxiety, stress, depression and work-life balance.
Call or email for a cost-free telephone consultation. Services are rendered either at the office located at 2999 NE 191 St. Suite 703, Miami, Florida 33180 or through video conference via Skype or FaceTime. Serving all of the greater Miami, Florida area or, through video conference, anywhere that there is a broadband internet connection.