What to Do If Your Boyfriend Wants Sex Less Than You Doby Steph Auteri on March 29, 2013
One upon a time, I wrote a sex advice column for another site. And through of mix of personal experience, plus my connections with a variety of sexual health experts, I attempted to solve the world’s (sex) problems.
After several months of this, it became clear that the most common problem of all was The Mismatched Libido.
“My boyfriend wants to have sex more often than I do!” wrote in some of the ladies. And this was something I understood. Whether because of stress and exhaustion, depression, sexual boredom, or the side effects of a variety of medications, I often found myself feeling guilty for not wanting it more. And this guilt made me feel pressured. And this pressure made me feel even less horny.
It was a terrible, maddening cycle.
But what surprised me was the opposite problem, which popped up in my inbox far more frequently. “I’m married and my sex life sucks,” wrote one poor lady. She painted a picture of a marriage in which she never felt sexually satisfied. Her husband wanted sex less frequently than she did and, when they did get it on, he didn’t really know how to make her feel good.
“Can I get us on track or am I doomed to a lifetime of frustration?” she wrote. “Or, heck, should I just leave?”
Another woman, who referred to herself as “female with blue balls,” lamented that her boyfriend’s libido was not nearly as high as hers.
Week after week, day after day, I received some permutation of this email. Ladies were finally speaking up about their unsatisfactory sex lives. It made me wonder if these men on the other side of the equation were feeling the same sense of pressure and guilt I was.
Even with all the work I’d done with counselors and sex educators and researchers, it was easy to fall back on stereotypes. It was easy to forget that the same things that caused low libido in women — medications, stress, exhaustion, depression — could have the same effect on men.
For all the ladies with low libido, and for the men who wish their partner would just want it more, I like to suggest Logan Levkoff’s How to Get Your Wife to Have Sex with You. But a recent post on New York’s blog The Cut reminded me that, sometimes, things go both ways.
So what can you do if you want it more no matter which sex you are? Five quickie tips:
1. Talk it out.
If you’re feeling guilty about your mismatched libidos, or frustrated by your blue balls (metaphorical or otherwise), bring it up with your partner. He or she can’t read your mind, and probably doesn’t even realize the internal turmoil you’ve been experiencing. And knowing is half the battle. During the course of your little chat, you may learn that your partner has been preoccupied by a stressful work situation, or that he or she doesn’t actually get a thrill when you do whatamacallit to his or her hoo-ha. Learning can lead to empathy, and empathy can lead to positive change.
2. Practice non-demand touching.
Also known as sensate focus exercises, non-demand touching takes the focus away from penis-and-vagina interaction, thus taking some of the pressure off of the person with the lower libido. Happy side effect? You can often use these exercises to learn more about what turns your partner on.
3. Consider engaging in other forms of intimacy.
Expanding upon tip #2, intimacy doesn’t have to mean all sex, all the time. It can also mean trying something new, like mutual masturbation, an erotic massage, or even something as innocent as hand-holding or a nice cuddle. Even these less explicit acts will fuel those feel-good chemicals in your bodies, perhaps even leading to an increased libido.
4. Be a charmer, even when you’re not trying to get into your partner’s pants.
One of the main premises of Levkoff’s above-mentioned book is that your wife will be more amenable to your come-ons if you’ve taken the time to woo her throughout the day. After all, the more your partner likes you by the end of the day, the more likely they are to want to do you. So just… keep that in mind.
Above all, be willing to compromise. Finding that happy balance in the bedroom shouldn’t be solely about catering to the partner with the higher libido. The needs of that lower-libido partner are equally valid. So where’s the mix that will leave you both satisfied?