Not Tonight, Dear

Dealing with libido differences

Dealing with libido differences


Open any woman’s or men’s magazine, and if there’s an article on sexual problems on it, you are likely to find a section on libido mismatch. Even many Agony Aunt columns are devoted to answering questions about how to get a man or woman interested in sex. Sex can be tough; it is tough enough finding someone you can emotionally connect with. Finding an emotionally compatible partner with the same sex drive as you can be really difficult – but it is a solvable problem.

Sex is not always about carnal lust. People want sex for many reasons: to feel valued, to express affection, to feel desirable, to distract themselves for a while, to release their stress or simply to achieve orgasm. No reason is right or wrong. But the reason varies as per your mood and your physical response at the time. Knowing why you and your partner want sex can help in gapping the libido mismatch to a large extent.

If your lover seeks sex as an outlet for stress, a massage might work better for both you and them. If sex is all about the orgasm, then there are ways to pleasure either partner without trying penetrative sex. If it’s only about expressing affection, you can spend an evening cuddling on the couch instead of getting under the sheets. If it’s about validation, try giving them compliments. 

Most people assume that their partners find them unattractive when their advances are being rebuffed, but most often, it’s about them and not you. They could be stressed or depressed, or they may be taking certain medication or simply be unfit – all of these can put them off sex for a long time. It might be possible that your partner does not find you attractive any more, but it is also possible that they’re grappling with issues of their own. It would help both of you if you were caring and understanding instead of insecure and needy.

The media portrays men as perennially sex-hungry – but men are just as likely to not be in the mood for sex, or be insecure or tired or simply bored. Instead of assuming reasons why your partner does not want sex, open discussion will make a big difference and make this sensitive issue really easy to deal with. Counselling can help if the issue is a deep-rooted one that cannot be solved by you.

Some people notice that their desire for sex wanes over time. Masturbation can help these people rev up their sex drive once again.

Many people tend to lose interest in sex as the relationship progresses, especially after the initial first few days of lustful desire passes. But there are many ways to keep the spark alive – it is better to tackle the problem sooner rather than later, so that your sex life can be back on track.

"Open communication and honest discussion will help make differences in libido easier to deal with."