How to Cope with Mismatched Libidos

Posted by  Soribel Martínez, LCSW

Sex is a normal part of any healthy relationship. But that doesn’t mean it’s always easy to talk about. If you’re having some struggles in your sex life, your first instinct might be to “ignore” them. If you and your partner have mismatched libidos, those issues aren’t going to go away on their own. 

Take a deep breath. Having mismatched libidos doesn’t mean you both can’t enjoy your sex life and the intimacy surrounding it. 

The first thing to make sure of is that there aren’t any underlying relationship issues to discuss. Many times, sex can be affected by problems in other areas. That’s why sex is so much more than just something physical. In order for it to mean something, it requires intimacy. 

But, if your relationship is strong in other areas and you feel like your sex drives just aren’t “meshing”, there are things you can do to cope. 

Learn More About Your Partner’s Drive

If you’re dealing with different sex drives, one of the first things you should do is to determine just how different they are. The easiest way to do this is to give yourself a number and ask your partner to do the same. The higher your number, the higher your libido. 

However, if you say you’re a two and your partner is an eight, you might immediately think you’ll never have a fulfilling physical life. That isn’t true. 

Bringing those numbers to the light can help you both to empathize with each other and learn more about your needs and wants. You’ll get a better idea of how your partner thinks about sex, what they want, and how they might feel when you say “no” (or vice versa). It’s the ultimate exercise in putting yourself in someone else’s shoes. 

They also need to be able to empathize with you and understand why you might not be as interested in a frequently sexual relationship. Is it an easy conversation? Not always. But, it can really help to clear the air without making things tense or awkward in the bedroom. You also can end up feeling more intimate and closer to your partner as you both share your vulnerabilities. 

Talk About a Fulfilling Sex Life

We live in a society that has stereotyped a successful sex life as something that requires intercourse. Again, that isn’t true. Having fulfilling, meaningful sex is something relative. It could be different for everyone. 

You or your partner might find fulfillment in other forms of physical intimacy. Sometimes, they may lead to intercourse. Other times, they could spark other forms of physical fulfillment. Everything from cuddling to showering together can lead to physical intimacy. So, talk about what’s important and satisfying to you, and don’t let yourself fall into the “traps” that society has set. 

Decide What Makes Sex Worth Having

As with most things in life, quality is more important than quantity. Again, society leads us to believe that we should have sex frequently, and if we don’t, there’s something wrong with us. 

But, that idea can put a lot of pressure on individuals and couples. If you don’t want to have sex multiple times a week, talk about it. Discuss with your partner what meaningful sex looks like to you, and the importance of quality over quantity. Having sex just “because” can lead to one disinterest if you have a lower libido. It can also cause resentment of the act and your partner, even if they’re not doing anything wrong. 

You can probably see a pattern here in dealing with mismatched libidos. Talk to your partner. Get things out in the open. If you’re uncomfortable with those discussions or don’t know where to start, contact me for more information or to set up an appointment. Your sex life doesn’t have to be “ruined” because of mismatched libidos.

With open discussion and a willingness to foster intimacy, you can have a stronger sex life with your partner than ever before.

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