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When You Have a Low Sex Drive

Dealing With Differences In Sex Drive

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A couple shares a bed, but not the same sex drive.
© Ryan McVay/Getty
You and him may add up to a relationship; but that doesn't mean everything is equal, especially when you share a bed and not the same sex drive. Guys are often played as sex maniacs, but it's not unusual for things to heat up when the crazy calms.

Q: Mona, me and my man have been together for two and half years. We don't have much sex anymore because I feel like that's all he wants from me. I feel we can't go anywhere or do anything without him making some sort of innuendo or mention of us having sex. We can never just lay in bed and cuddle (which I like) without him making a reach for my parts of making me reach for his. It's gotten to the point where sex has just become such a chore for me, the only reason I'll ever have it with him is to shut him up. And when I don't, I'm made to feel that my lack of interest in sex is a lack of interest in him. My sex drive is at absolute zero and his is completely off the charts. What should I do?

A: My dear Everlast, I know what you mean. How dare your boyfriend want to have sex with you? Who does he think he is, your man?

Look, you've built up a lot of anger and anxiety and are now on a mission to punish your man for having a sex drive. I'll keep it real, E: There are a lot of guys that write Mona upset because they can't get a guy to give them more than a side-eye glance, and here you are with a full rig of sexiness waiting to unload on you.

The real issue
I'm not here to make you feel guilty; I just need to shake you up a bit so you realize that resenting him will only increase the anxiety that's built between you. But, Mona knows you're not really mad at him or his wandering hands. If you were you'd be packing instead of writing me. What's really bogging you down is your low sex drive. Yes, I speak of it so lightly because it's more common than you think.

The untold story
Many guys experience periods with low libidos, some longer than others. Common causes are depression, depression meds, antihypertensive drugs prescribed for high blood pressure, stress, and fatigue. And some people simply aren't into sex. Can I get an A for asexual?

No mercy sex
The thing to do here is not give your man mercy sex or dirty mouth him behind his back, but talk to him about your differences in sex drive. You guys are in two different zip codes when it comes to intimacy and you need to reach a common ground or at least walk the same street.

You can also try couples' therapy. Corny, I know, but there are underlying issues that need to be resolved. For the last two and half sovereign you guys have been building a toxic energy that need compromise.

Read up
For couples with mixed sex drives, I'll join sexuality writer Cory Silverberg in recommending Mating in Captivity by Esther Perel. It's not a how-to, but a guide to unlocking what's behind your disparity, including ways to release built up tension.

Sex when you're angry
It's hard to have sex with someone you're angry with. So, before I go, I'd also suggest you follow the advice of Mark Epstein, MD, the author of Open to Desire: Embracing a Lust for Life who recognized that one way to deal with the "aggressive element of sex" is to "create a stage or field on which angry as well as desirous feelings can be played out as well as played with." Deep, I know. Read more at WebMD.

Yours in bed,
Mona
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