“It’s so long since I’ve had sex I’ve forgotten who ties up who.” – Joan Rivers
It is a truth universally acknowledged that men are sex-crazed animals. So when you’re libido is more lukewarm than red-hot, she wonders what’s wrong with you. And what’s wrong with her. ‘What normal guy doesn’t want to have sex?’, Teresa used to ask her boyfriend angrily when weeks would go by without his making a move or responding to her advances. According to a totally enlightening book, Why Men Fake It: The Totally Unexpected Truth About Men and Sex, by Abraham Morgentaler, the answer is, a lot more normal guys than you’d think.
I frequently hear from men who complain about low sex drives. Many people still operate under the assumption that guys are obsessed with sex and that all a ‘real’ man needs to get an erection is for the wind to blow. It’s simply not the case for all men, even young men, and it doesn’t necessarily make a guy abnormal. If you’re experiencing low desire, you should know that this situation can be disheartening for your partner. ‘My boyfriend and I have been together for almost five years, and my only complain about our relationship is that I want more sex than he does. When he turns me down, it makes me feel insecure. I absolutely hate it’, says Michelle. If you’re in the same boat with your partner, read on, because there’s a way to find a happy compromise.
An issue all along
Low desire in men is nothing new, but women who feel empowered enough to speak up about their sexual appetite are an emerging breed. Women are much more emboldened about their sexuality than they were even 15 years ago. They feel comfortable asking for what they want… and they’re discovering that what they want may not be what their partner wants. On the flip side, men are also being encouraged to be more in touch with their feelings, and maybe some of those include ‘Hey, I just don’t feel like having sex!’
Big libido killers
Stress brought on by this tough economy could be one culprit that’s inhibiting male desires. So can the ubiquity of porn, experts say. Excessive masturbation will tax a man’s libido and make it so he doesn’t have a lot of mojo left for his partner. Unless you’re blowing off work to get your fix, it’s not something that requires therapy, but it does warrant a discussion. Women feel the power of your erection when you haven’t ejaculated a day or two, so you can’t really hide it from your partner.
But even more likely is that when you have a lower libido than your partner, there’s not necessarily anything wrong with you… or a cause – it might just be how you’re programmed. Sex is always going to be more frequent in the beginning of a relationship. It may not be until you’ve been with someone for a year or two that you realize you aren’t on the same page about sexual upkeep. Testosterone, one of the hormones that regulates sexual desire, is always higher in the beginning of a relationship for both men and women. But as the novelty wears off, less testosterone is produced, and sex with that person seems a little less interesting. Sounds depressing, but it’s normal. For some couples, sex drops off a little. For others, it drops off a lot. If you’ve talked and established that there aren’t other issues going on in the relationship, you’re probably just dealing with an everyday gap in sexual desire.
Free therapy here!
Mismatched sex drives don’t have to be a deal breaker. You just need to find some middle ground.
- ID your turn-ons
Buying new lingerie in an effort to spice things up can actually put more pressure on you, not to mention raise the stakes for her. It’s one thing to get show down under normal circumstances. It’s another to get shot down while wearing a see-through nightie. Instead, search for your other turn-ons – the things that bring you bliss but have very little to do with sex. If you savor time with your buddies but haven’t had a lot of it lately, do a fun weekend away with your friends. It could make you see your partner in a whole new light. Some space, autonomy, or appreciation can be more potent that a pair of furry handcuffs.
- Het PG together
Little things like holding hands or cuddling on the couch signal your brain to produce the bonding chemical oxytocin, which can make you both feel closer and more connected (important if you’ve been arguing). Seems innocent, but desire often takes over when you give it the physical chance to grow. Think about it: you’re snuggled up together, warm under a blanket, your hand grazes her butt, and bam! – it’s on.
Have a sensual week,
P.S. If all else fails, take sex off the table. Sounds counterintuitive, but pressure will make you dig in your heels.