Do you have question about Sexual Incompatibility? You’re not alone.
It may not be surprising to know that differences in libido, the desire for sex, is a big deal in a relationship. According to recent research published in the journal, Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, data from six different studies was analyzed to find the top relationship “deal-breakers.” Sexuality incompatibility is ranked as one of the main reasons that relationships fail. The research reports that 39 percent of men and 27 percent of women say that they would not stay in a relationship if their libido didn’t match that of their partner.
What To Do About Sexual Incompatibility
However, it may be surprising to know that therapists report that in almost half of the couples they work with, the man’s low libido is the concern. In other words, it’s not just a female issue. Men often experience a low sex drive due to the same reasons that women have experienced a diminished libido. These psychological and physiological factors may be different, however, in their source. This calls for more empathy and understanding from both partners in the relationship. It is possible to achieve a balance in this area if both are willing to be flexible and understanding. Love Recon can help you make this happen. Here are some ideas to help you and your partner deal will differing sex drives:
- Understand that it’s about more than you. If your mate has a low libido, it’s not all about you. It’s about more than you. If it’s you with the low sex drive, it is also about more than you. It’s about what you both were taught about sexuality, about the imprinting of early sexual experiences, and about both of your histories. There may even be painful experiences between the two of you that require forgiveness and healing before your sex life can be restored. It could also be about hormonal imbalances for one or both of you. Be willing to see the bigger picture and don’t just focus on the “sex” part of it. It’s not “your issue” or “may issue.” It is “our issue.”
- Communicate with your mate. One of the best ways to begin to come together (No pun intended!) is to have an honest and loving conversation about this issue. Listening to each other without judgment is the first step. Hear what your mate is saying about how they feel about this imbalance. Repeat back what they said so that they will know that you heard them. “What I heard you say…..”. Validate them. To validate is to let them know that you value them, not that you necessarily agree with them or have the same perspective.
- Empathize and have patience with each other. With understanding comes patience. Do your best to know and understand all about your mate as well as yourself. The person with the high libido may, at times, feel guilt and shame-that there is something wrong with them because they want sex “too much.” If they convince their partner to have sex, and they perceive that their partner doesn’t enjoy it, they may feel guilty and “selfish” for pursuing sex. The person with a low sex drive may experience guilt because they are “denying” or “rejecting” their partner, yet they can’t fully participate in lovemaking, so they feel they are a failure.
- Be aware of your mate’s barriers to sex. These could include:
- Past trauma
- Lack of emotional intimacy
- Poor body image
- Collaborate with your mate. Once you have heard your mate and their perspective and helped them feel loved, valued, and safe, and once you are aware of their potential barriers, seek ways to improve your relationship in this area. Following are some ideas to discuss and agree upon to try out.
- Remember what worked. Think about what has worked for you in the past. Were there times that lovemaking was especially good for both of you? It could have been early in the relationship. What did you do that created those experiences? While some of it could have been the newness of your relationship, part of it could be because of the feelings that you may have had – feelings of love, acceptance, being a priority, being respected or understood, etc.
- Respect each other’s bodies and boundaries. No one should ever be forced to have sex. That is never okay. As part of your communication about sex, each of you may draw personal boundaries by explaining to your mate the following:
- What is always okay with me
- What is never okay with me
- What is okay, but only if I initiate it.
- Set the mood. As part of the discussion about your sex life, share:
- What creates the mood for me.
- What kills the mood for me.
- What I can do for myself to get in the mood. (a haircut, workout, massage, etc.)
- Plan sex for when you have energy. Be aware of your individual biorhythms and plan your sexual intimacy for when you have the most energy. Being exhausted is a definite downer to your libido.
- Expand your definition of sex. Sex can be more than just penetration. There are ways to mutually satisfy each other with “skin to skin” contact. Explore and communicate with your mate and find what is pleasurable and fulfilling for you both.
- Develop intimacy in other areas. Sometimes the problem of a low libido is because other areas of connection and intimacy are being ignored or not developed. Cultivating intimacy in the following ways can help you not focus on low libido and build your connection in other ways. Ironically, this approach can lead to an increased libido as well! Consider developing your intimacy in the following areas:
- Physical Intimacy. This is touching, hugging, kissing, snuggling, holding hands, and other physical affection that doesn’t include genital sex.
- Emotional Intimacy. This is sharing feelings and deeper thoughts, hopes, and dreams.
- Intellectual Intimacy. This is sharing new ideas, discussing current events or books, attending seminars or conferences together, and more.
- Experiential Intimacy. This is spending time together through sharing experiences and events. This could be dining at a new restaurant, attending a concert or the theatre, watching a movie, competing together in a marathon, etc.
- Spiritual Intimacy. This is sharing spiritual beliefs with your mate and growing closer through common spiritual disciplines and practices.
Trying to balance incompatible sex drives can seem like walking through a minefield. Sexual incompatibility can be scary and confusing. Contact Love Recon today for a free consultation with a Recon Coach!