Ask the Doctors: Different Sex Drives

I am not a sexy momma but I am married to one.  I want to know how a male can eliminate or lower his sex drive and needs.  I can find all kinds of info for the opposite problem, but that doesn’t seem to be a solution for us.  My wife is perfectly happy with once a year sex and I am not happy with once a day sex. yes a bit of an exaggeration but still presents a problem and attempting it from the opposite side just doesn’t work.  Thanks.

Whenever people in a relationship have differences in their desire for sex, it can create all kinds of frictions. And unfortunately, those conflicts can make the situation worse. But there isn’t any safe way to lower your sex drive, at least, not without some serious medical intervention with plenty of side effects. Without knowing more, it’s hard for me to offer specific suggestions, so let me offer a few general directions that the two of you might want to go.

First, how much is this situation causing conflict or difficulties for the two of you? It’s quite common for these sorts of things to lead to either or both people feeling resentment because you’re not getting what you want and need. It’s important to deal with those feelings and not sweep them under the rug because they don’t actually go away and they’ll continue to make things difficult.

Second, has your wife always had this pattern? Is this something that changed? Did it shift quickly, or was it a gradual thing? Can she or you identify what started it? Changes in sex drive can signal a medical issue or change in one’s physical state, so it can be worth talking with a doctor about it. It can also be caused by, for example, something like a change in hormones causing vaginal dryness, which leads to discomfort or pain during sex.

On the other hand, changes in sex drive can certainly be the result of relationship or emotional concerns. Unresolved feelings from previous situations can build up and create disconnection between partners. For some people, sex is a way to build connection and for others, the connection needs to be there in order to want to have sex. Sometimes, sex can be difficult if one person wants to create connection through sex and their partner is the reverse.

It’s quite common for couples to seek support when sexual difficulties happen and then discover that there were other roots to the problem. When they get taken care of, sex often becomes easier. So you might want to work with a therapist. Check out the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists if you want help finding one.

Third, some folks in these sorts of situations find that it can be helpful to redefine what they think of as “sex.” If intercourse isn’t on the menu, how about sexual massage? Or having her kiss and caress you while you masturbate? I’ve spoken with a lot of couples who get into disagreements over sex, simply because they wanted different things and weren’t talking about it. In fact, sometimes, both partners are doing what the other wants and in fact, neither of them is having their desires met. So sitting down and talking about each of your “ideal” solutions, either on your own or with a therapist, can be a big help.

I hope this is useful- there are so many possible causes for your situation that it’s difficult to be more concrete. Whatever is going on for each and both of you, I hope you both get all the pleasure you deserve!

 


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Dr. Charlie Glickman

Charlie Glickman is the Education Program Manager at Good Vibrations. He also writes, blogs, teaches workshops and university courses, presents at conferences, and trains sexuality educators. He’s certified by the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists, and loves geeking out about sex, relationships, sex-positivity, love and shame, communities of erotic affiliation, and sexual practices and techniques of all varieties. Follow him online, on Twitter at @charlieglickman, or on Facebook.

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