HOW TO DEAL WITH MISMATCHED SEX DRIVES
When two unique individuals who function at different sexual rhythms get together, the challenge lies in finding a rhythm that’s going to work for both. Having mismatched sex drives is one of the most common relationship problems. It stems largely from the expectations we take into our relationships: for example, if society teaches us that men should have raging libidos, this doesn’t allow for them to be tired or stressed.
We also presume that when two people really love each other, they’ll always feel like having sex. Certainly, during the initial ‘rabbit stage’, which can last between six weeks and six months, both partners’ sex drives tend to be evenly matched – they usually both want as much sex as possible. But after that, the true reality of desire takes over and disappointment can set in.
Sex isn’t about one partner taking something from the other, but about two people caring for each other and therefore recognising each other’s needs. In your relationship, this might mean recognising your partner’s need to have sex twice a week, while he acknowledges your need for plenty of cuddling and foreplay.
WHEN YOUR PARTNER’S HOT AND YOU’RE NOT
Don’t blame yourself if you’re not in the mood whenever he or she is. Pinpoint the reasons why you don’t feel like having sex, and tackle them. Are you physically drained at the end of your working day? Consciously divert some of your energy back into your relationship and schedule time for sex when you know you’ll feel up to it – perhaps on weekends.
Are you bored with the predictability of your sex life? Discuss options with your partner and try experimenting with a few new moves.
If you’re feeling unhappy about your body, join a gym and start a healthy-eating programme.
Sometimes the problem may require more than a subtle lifestyle change. If you’re generally dissatisfied with your partner, you’ll need to reassess your whole relationship; and if sex has always made you feel frightened or uncomfortable, you should see a therapist.
Next, start reawakening your sexuality. Forget orgasms – instead, begin by stimulating your sensual side with erotic books and DVDs, masturbation, or writing down sexual fantasies. Once you know what turns you on, communicate it to your partner and learn to receive pleasure from him or her. You can start by replacing sex for a week or two with massages.
Finally, ask your partner to be supportive of you by not pressuring you to have sex, but rather helping you to relax and feel more sexy.
WHEN YOU’RE HOT AND YOUR PARTNER’S NOT
There’s a place for masturbation in ever relationship – particularly here! Don’t force your partner to have sex, or use emotional games to make him or her feel guilty, and when you do have sex, focus on giving your partner pleasure and finding out what turns him or her on. As people with lower libidos take longer to warm up, ask your partner to tell you what arouses him or her, and expand your definition of sexuality by focusing on pleasure rather than performance. This will enable you both to draw on a wide range of pleasurable options that don’t necessarily involve intercourse. For example, a sensual bath, massage or erotic talk, instead of sex, could make you both feel just as loved, stimulated and appreciated.