different sex drive, sex drive, sex, marriage, libido, low libidoPhoto: 123rf.com

While a good sexual relationship is gratifying to both partners, many couples experience different levels of sex drive at some point; it’s the most common issue sexual therapists deal with.

If either of you are concerned about this, don’t ignore it as it’s likely to get worse over time. Even though it might be uncomfortable, have an honest talk with your partner; without clear communication, things can’t change.

Choose a time when you are both calm and rational, and be specific about your needs, desires, and concerns. Work on identifying your needs – sexually, physically, emotionally – and then communicating this. For example, if you can’t get turned on unless you feel close to your partner, tell him what you need; that you want to do more things as a couple, or have him help out more at home, or that you value the small things like a cup of coffee in bed or a love note.

If you’re slow to warm up, having your partner give you a body massage, foot rub, or a few minutes of no-pressure cuddling can help. Reassure your partner that saying “no, not tonight,” is not a personal rejection, but also consider his needs as legitimate and see how you can meet those needs.

Here are some strategies that can help with libido imbalance:

1. Touch affectionately (without it leading to sex)

Women have a strong need for affection without sexual overtones, so it can be a turn off when their partners only touch them when they want sex. Bringing back non-sexual cuddles and kisses can help spark intimacy again.

2. Compromise

Find a happy medium that works for both of you. This means finding ways to get in the mood or have sex even when you don’t feel like it, just as he will have to accept not having sex on nights when he wants to.

3. Schedule Sex

It isn’t just for overly busy couples – scheduling sex can cut the uncomfortable dynamics of one person always asking for sex and the other person saying no. You might be surprised that your sex drive increases when the frequency of sex increases.

4. Redefine Sex

Think of sex in other ways, where you can bring your partner to orgasm without involving full-blown sex. Consider mutual masturbation, sex toys, phone sex, sharing fantasies or reading each other erotic stories.

5. Rethink When You Have Sex

Do you usually have sex at the end of the day, when you are tired and stressed? Or after drinking alcohol when you’re groggy and sleepy? If so, try and tailor your sex life around the times you actually feel frisky, instead of just convenient times.

6. See A Counsellor

For some couples, mismatched libidos are a symptom of a bigger problem. Mistrust, bad communication, low self-esteem, sexual guilt, unaddressed resentment and hostility can all lead to sexual disconnection. A trained specialist can help wade through all the emotions and take the pressure off.