You and your partner have mismatched sex drives. Either your partner wants sex too much or they don’t want it enough. And no matter how many times you quibble or outright argue about it, you cannot seem to find a solution.
Here are a few scenarios:
- Giving in to your partner and feeling “dirty” or “used” as a result.
- Rejecting your partner but feeling pressured and guilty that they are not getting what they want.
- Initiating sex with your partner but they rarely seem to want it.
- Turning outside of the relationship to have your desires met (i.e. porn, affairs, etc.).
Some therapists say, “Just say yes and you’ll enjoy it when you start the act of sex.” Others say, “Stop pursuing your partner and they will begin pursuing you.” Lastly, you’ve probably heard, “The pursuing partner should just masturbate if their partner does not want sex.” If you’ve heard all of these pieces of advice, adopted them, and they work for you – fantastic! Keep going!
Foreplay All Day!
But.. If you’ve tried all of the above and nothing seems to work, try having foreplay all day! What do I mean by having foreplay all day? I mean, forget complaining about your partners sex drive and begin asking yourself what you can do to create “the mood” throughout the day. Begin doing things that you know your partner likes without expecting anything in return. Do things like: hold hands, compliment, smile, look in their eyes, surprise them, light candles, kiss them (sometimes passionately!), massage them, and hold them. For the High Desire Partner (HDP) Do all of these things without the expectation that you NEED to have sex. And for the Low Desire Partner (LDP), do all of these things without the expectation that your partner will not initiate because you showed intimacy in other ways.
Do these things because you are a loving partner. Nobody likes begging; nobody likes rejection; and nobody likes to prostitute themselves in exchange for favors/gifts. Instead, give without expectation – it is the SEXIEST thing you can do!
Let Go of Resentment and Excuses
With all of that said, you may have some residual resentment left over from all of the times you were rejected or all of the times that they initiated when you were not in the mood. The key is to let that resentment go. For the LDP, also try letting go of excuses (as much as reasonably possible). There will always be something holding you back (i.e. periods, headaches, stomach aches, tired, sad, hurried.. the list goes on). I am not saying that any of those reasons are not valid, but I am saying that there will ALWAYS be a reason not to have sex. Instead, try searching for a reason to have sex. If there is no reason – then make one (Foreplay All Day)! And if you need even more reasons – here are 15!
And Keep Initiating!
Also, for the HDP, even after all of that past rejection – keep initiating. But do it in a way that it is well-received. Remember the times that you successfully initiated sex and be thoughtful about what your partner wants/needs from you before sex. Give some room for your partner to initiate too! They may be sending you signals and you don’t even know it. Sex and intimacy are essential for every relationship and if there is no initiation, then there is no sex.
In all of those other pieces of advice, there is a clear winner or loser. There is one partner clearly making the sacrifice. In this situation, there are only winners. Have foreplay all day by giving without expectation. It is the sexiest thing you can do! Let go of your resentment and get rid of excuses. Remember to keep initiating because without initiation, there will be no sex. With no sex or intimacy, you are not intimate partners but instead, friends or roommates.
About The Author
Chris Cummins is a couples specialist with The Marriage and Family Clinic. He focuses on working with substance abuse and couples in high conflict. Chris enjoys hiking, traveling, and spending time with his family.