How familiar does this sound? You and your partner are both in bed after a long day at work. You’re reading or doing something on your phone, and then your partner reaches over and starts getting frisky with you. He’s trying to initiate some love-making like a horny college student trying to score big “fuck points” with a sorority girl.
Unfortunately, you’re just not in the mood. Sex is the last thing on your mind after dealing with a demanding boss, an unyielding workload, and a soul-crushing commute because another idiot on the shortlist for the Darwin Awards got into an accident.
Your partner’s sex initiation and your tendency to reject him (or maybe it’s the other way around) may be repetitive behavior and a result of mismatched libidos, or mismatched sex drives. It’s a common problem in relationships, perhaps up there with miscommunication and scorekeeping.
Or is it? Sometimes couples think their sex drives are more off than they really are. I’ll spare the details, but my partner Phillip and I thought we had mismatched libidos for a while until we rated our own sex drives on a scale of 1 to 10. When we realized our libidos weren’t actually that far apart, we had a new perspective on our intimate life.
If you and your partner did the same exercise, how far apart would you be? Worlds apart, like Earth and Neptune, close together, like connected genitals, or somewhere in between?
Wherever you are, it’s normal for the person with the higher libido to feel ashamed about their sexual needs after much rejection, while it’s normal for the one with the lower libido to feel pressured, inadequate, or good for only one thing (sex).
With that said, if you and your partner feel worlds apart in your sex life, here are a few nuggets to consider in making this part of your relationship less daunting like a cliff jump and more comfortable like a memory foam mattress. (Or if you don’t care for what’s written below, check out another perspective from one of my favorite dating coaches here.)
Empathy and Communication
These are such fundamental practices in any relationship, although sometimes it can be difficult to empathize with the other when we’re consumed in our anxiety like being trapped in a jar.
Slow down, breathe, and talk it out like mature adults in a judgment-free zone (or with as little judgment as possible). Take turns sharing how you feel, and acknowledge and validate each other’s feelings, whether or not you agree with them.
If he feels like he can’t live without nipple squeezes, as weird as it might sound to you, acknowledge and validate him anyway. If you feel like you can’t live without clitoral stimulation (and indeed, many women need it to orgasm), he should acknowledge and validate you, even if it sounds weird to him. This is not a parliamentary debate or a drama-driven reality TV show; it’s a real-world relationship with stakes.
Respect Each Other’s Boundaries and Non-Sexual Qualities
Another huge ingredient in a rock-solid relationship is healthy boundaries, which can always be touted more in the media and otherwise. It’s respectable to have reasonable limits, whether that means not filming yourselves having sex or boning two or three times a week.
Also, if you’re both decent human beings, you’d respect each other’s non-sexual qualities. This is especially important for those with lower libidos, who might feel like all they’re good for is a good old-fashioned whoopee.
As it turns out, people are multidimensional creatures and not sex dolls for sad, lonely men. Please acknowledge your partner’s other amazing qualities (the reasons you two fell in love in the first place).
Discover What Turns You On (Find Your Pleasure Center)
For whatever reason, whether it’s because you were raised in a sex-negative environment or because your selfish exes always received more pleasure than you did, some of us are disconnected from our bodies and don’t know what lights our fire.
A loving, patient partner will help you discover what gets your sex juices flowin’ like a river (or give you space to figure it out yourself). Masturbation, a practice that’s so natural that it’s been depicted in prehistoric rock paintings, can be a good place to start in rediscovering your body.
Find a Happy Medium
Finding a happy medium in your relationship can be likened to eating your favorite junk food in moderation. It’s the “Goldilocks Zone” (not too much, not too little, but just right) of life. Find what works for you both, whether that’s finding a more comfortable way to give a blowjob or acting out a sexual fantasy based on terms you’ve negotiated (e.g., he wants you to dress up like a pirate, but you get to pick the outfit).
Sex therapy is another option, but I would consider it a last resort. Work together on this problem like you have on others in your relationship, and I have faith you’ll return victorious like a couple of Vikings after battle!
If the time is right and you need help trading in your relationship anxiety and insecurity for peace of mind, then hit me up here and I’ll be in touch ASAP.
Interested but not ready to commit to a coaching relationship? Take this “Relationship Insecurity Quiz” to see where you stand romantically, get tailored results, and get a special surprise afterward!