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What should I do if my partner wants sex more often than I do?

Ian Kerner, PhD
Sexual Health
When one person in a relationship wants sex more than the other, both may struggle with feelings of inadequacy and frustration. It is a common couples issue, but over time, frustration can build and one or both may resent or blame the other.

Usually, the partner who wants fewer sex feels at fault for the sexual problems, yet, at the same time, resents the sexual advances of his or her partner. It may get to a point where any gesture of affection is rejected for fear it will lead to sex. Then the partner who wants more sex can become increasingly frustrated, more starved for intimacy, and feel rejected.
Sari Cooper
Sexual Health

Deviating desire is a common complaint among couples in long-term relationships. Learn what you can do if your partner wants sex more than you do (or vice-versa), by watching this video featuring sex therapist Sari Cooper.


Emily Nagoski
Emily Nagoski on behalf of Good In Bed
Psychology
If your partner consistently feels more sexual than you do, there are plenty of things you can do to change that.

Firstly, know that your sexuality is in there. It’s part of you, as much as your skin and your heartbeat and your vocabulary. It’s there. It’s waiting. You’re okay. Just because you’ve had no call to use the word “calefacient” or “perfervid” lately doesn’t mean it’s not longer available to you. Should the opportunity arise, there it will be, ready, waiting. Like the fire brigade. Like a best friend.

Try thinking about your sexual interest in terms of the sexual inhibition system and sexual excitation system. Identify the things that rev your engine and the things that keep your brakes on. Talk to your partner about minimizing those brakes triggers and making good use of the engine revvers.

Lots of folks find that self-consciousness about their body prevents them from being emotionally present for sex. If that’s you, try a few things to improve your body image.

Part of your experience of low desire might because you’re just not a “spontaneous desire” kind of person; you might be a responsive desire kind of person. With responsive desire, you begin to want sex only after you’ve already started to be stimulated. It’s quite a different experience from spontaneous desire, but it’s just as legitimate. Embrace it and make good use of it.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.