by Amia Phillips, MA, P-LPC, P-CST
Ah, the wonderful world of sex. It's a topic that can quickly become complicated and frustrating when you and your partner have different libidos. The reality is that many couples face this issue, and it's nothing to be ashamed of. Low sex drive doesn't make you a bad partner, and neither does a high one. However, if this discrepancy leaves you feeling like there's something wrong with you, then it's time to consider taking action. In this post, we're going to discuss what you can do when you're in a relationship with a person who has a higher sex drive than you and how therapy can help.
Communicate: If you find yourself in this predicament, the best place to start is by talking to your partner. It might be uncomfortable, but having an honest conversation about how you feel can be liberating. Knowing how your partner's certain desire can be helpful with that. There are two desires that an individual can have: Spontaneous desire or Responsive desire. SD is where you feel an instant urge (or get turned on easily) to have sex. RD is where you are sparked to have sex by sexual stimuli such as touch, kissing, "dirty talk," etc. You might find your partner's high sex drive to be too much, or perhaps you feel like it's a lack of interest in you that's the root cause. Whatever the reason, laying your feelings on the table might just result in a solution that works for both of you. Come up with creative ideas where both parties can rely on their wants and needs (This can be the exciting part where colorful ideas can come into play and spark a new interest/ritual in your sexual lives). You also have the option of seeing a sex therapist together, who can help facilitate that conversation.
Don't take it personally: Remember, it's not about you. It's natural to feel like a lack of sexual desire means there's something wrong with you. However, sometimes it's just your body's natural rhythm, a mental health issue, or hormone levels, etc. It's essential to understand that a high sex drive doesn't mean your partner is unhappy with you or unsatisfied in the relationship. Don't take it personally and understand that you're not to blame.
Invest in self-care: Another important thing to do is to invest in self-care. You might be experiencing low libido because of specific lifestyle choices or underlying health issues. Taking better care of your mental and physical health can boost your libido and help you feel better. Take time to find your preferred way of self-care, whether it's exercise, healthy eating, or meditation. Incorporating healthy habits into your life can change how you feel about sex and improve your overall sense of wellbeing.
Couples Therapy: If you're finding it difficult to communicate with your partner or you're feeling like there's no solution, then couples therapy is an option. A sex therapist can help you understand the underlying issues and provide a safe space to talk, listen, and find solutions. You'll learn about your partner's sexual needs, preferences, and desires, and your therapist will help you identify the root cause of your low libido. Together, you'll work to rebuild a stronger connection and work towards a satisfying sex life that works for both of you.
Dual Therapy: Finally, dual therapy is another option worth considering. This approach combines individual and couples therapy, helping you tackle the issues of low libido from both fronts. You'll work on understanding your own feelings and emotions around sex, while also focusing on the communication and intimacy aspects with your partner.
Dealing with low libido can become an overwhelming challenge, but it's not something that needs to consume your relationship. You and your partner can learn and grow together by thinking outside the box and exploring therapy options. With some effort and willingness to work on the underlying issues, you can take the first steps towards finding the right balance of intimacy and connection in your relationship. Remember, You're not alone, and it's a very common problem. Seeking out the help of a therapist does not mean there's anything wrong with you or your relationship. It's a step forward towards a healthier and happier connection.