A lot of couples experience difficulties in the bedroom. And one of the most common problems couples have is mistmatched sexual desire. In other words, when one partner wants sex more and one partner wants sex less. When this happens it can be really frustrating. If you’re the higher desire partner (the partner who wants sex more often), you feel like you are being kept from having the sexual experiences you’d like to have. You might feel rejected by your partner when it just seems like they are never in the mood. That sense of rejection can send you into a shame spiral that has you questioning whether your partner really cares about you.
And if you’re the partner on the other side, the one who wants sex less, you probably have your own shame spiral. Maybe you start questioning if there is something wrong with you for not wanting sex. You might start asking why it doesn’t come as naturally to you as it does to your partner. You feel all kinds of pressure around sex and the pressure certainly isn’t helping your mood or your self-esteem.
Low Sexual Desire Can Be Complicated
Whichever position you find yourself in, you need to know that there is nothing wrong with you. It is important to remember that there are different kinds of desire. There is responsive desire and spontaneous desire. Our culture emphasizes the spontaneous kind. That is the kind that people tend to feel during the first part of a relationship. This is that passionate desire that seems like it just takes over you both. Spontaneous desire is great, but a lot of couples find that this starts this decreases over time.
This is when responsive desire takes over. Responsive desire has more to do with sense of closeness that develops over time. This is the kind that takes over when you start to build a sense of emotional connection. It feels a bit more like a decision than an animal instinct.
You might be having a hard time because you are trying to force the spontaneous. That can be a really frustrating spot to be in, because it just doesn’t seem to work. Instead shift your focus to the responsive type of desire. If you shift focus to building connection in other ways in order for responsive desire to take over. Instead running into the same wall that you keep running into, maybe try taking the back door (pun definitely intended).
What Should You Do About Your Low Sex Drive?
First, it is important to know the things that make your sex drive dip. Odds are, you will not be in the mood if work has been wild. It is important to communicate with your partner about the reason that you might not be in the mood. It is important that your partner knows that you are trying to reject them, but let them know what is going on with you.
Second, you can take steps to help increase your desire by practicing good self-care. Develop a routine that helps you leave the stress of work at work. Physically take care of yourself. This could look different for everyone, but spend time on whatever helps you feel confident and sexy. This could be a beauty or grooming practice. It could also be a fitness routine, or dressing in clothes that help you feel confident.
If you are looking for help in your relationship or your sex life, give us at The Marriage & Family Clinic a call.
About the Author
Ryan Hicks is a licensed therapist and marriage counselor at The Marriage and Family Clinic in Denver, Colorado. He specializes in working with couples in high conflict and working with couples in the LGBTQ community. When he’s not working with couples, you’ll find him rock climbing or taking in the great outdoors of Colorado.