Lockdown during the pandemic turned me into a born-again virgin… almost. I found myself lonely and without a man for entertainment. It was stressful (to say the least). When you have a high sex drive or a higher sex drive than your partner, you can easily feel frustrated, lonely and insecure about your desirability.
A work colleague once confided how irritated she felt at having gone two weeks with no action. It was an awkward situation. My colleague didn’t want to tell her partner she wasn’t satisfied as she felt she could affect his ‘masculinity’. Society tells us men are sexual creatures who want sex 24/7 whereas women prefer shopping or manicures.
The reality is, any person can have a lower or higher sex drive. CNN reported on a study which suggests around ‘15% of men and 34%’ of women aren’t very ‘interested in sex’. Many factors influence our sexual arousal: Hormones, mental health, relationship satisfaction, etc. Luckily, if you have a higher sex drive than your partner, there are things you can do.
If your sex drive has always been higher
Some individuals begin a relationship with someone who initially ticks all their boxes. Emotional compatibility, physical chemistry, shared interests… Quickly it becomes clear however when they’re differences in libido. A lot of people feel uncomfortable with the idea of breaking up due to sexual dissatisfaction, even if they consider sex a high priority.
If you want to stay with your partner and make it work, firstly take time alone to reflect on how you discuss sex. If you’re feeling sexually unfulfilled, the topic of sex may stir heated conversations. Perhaps you lash out in frustration or your partner shuts down and avoids communicating. Realise that couples generally want to please each other and not being able to meet your needs will be just as irritating as your needs not being met. Also understand that there is no such thing as a ‘normal sex drive’. Neither you or your partner is wrong. Try to see from their perspective and show empathy towards their feelings. This will help break down communication barriers.
Can you collaborate?
Publication Sexual Being spoke to sex therapist, Jamila Dawson, who recommends collaborating and working to reach a middle ground. For instance, if your partner feels tired and not interested in penetrative sex, could they use toys to help you receive pleasure still? It’s important to note that no one should feel pressured to do anything sexually. Ideally, your partner should be eager to ensure you’re satisfied and open to trying new ideas.
Change your language
Rather than saying, ‘Why don’t you want to have sex with me?’ or ‘We don’t have enough sex’, ask your partner about their feelings towards sexual intimacy. If they have a very low interest, perhaps they struggle to find what arouses them. Maybe they grew up in a culture where sex was perceived negatively. They may even have low sexual interest due to past experiences.
If your partner shuts down when discussing sex, as Very Well Mind advises, consider taking the lead and suggest couples counselling. Talk to your partner and see if they can pinpoint what’s causing their low libido. It could be a medical issue.
Look at lifestyle
Medical News Today lists sleep and exercise as two ways to create a higher sex drive, while chronic conditions, medication and mental health can lower it. Is your partner experiencing a stressful time at work or have they recently started taking antidepressants? Their lack of sexual interest may have nothing to do with sex itself.
If your sex drive has recently become higher
A change in sex patterns could demonstrate a need for more intimacy (kissing, cuddling) or enjoyable time spent together. When was the last time you went out and had a great date? Work and life can often get in the way.