Sex & Relationships  
comments_image Comments

6 Things to Try If You Want Sex More Than Your Partner Does

What can you do when your partner doesn't like sex nearly as often as you do—or a lot more?

If your partner doesn't like sex nearly as often as you do -- or if they like sex a lot more often than you do -- what can you do about it?

And when pondering this question, would your first and only answer be, break up?

There's this thing that happens to me freakishly often. I write a piece inspired by a Dan Savage "Savage Love" sex advice column. I spend a little time surfing around, looking at other stuff he's been writing. And I find something that makes the top of my head come off in rage. Or at least, in profound irritation. I like the guy's thinking most of the time... but when he gets it wrong, he gets it really, really wrong.

In this particular instance of wrongness, Savage was writing about a pattern he sees a lot in his letters: the problem of couples with mis-matched libidos. In many couples, one partner is more interested in sex than the other, and likes to have sex more often. A whole lot more often, in many cases. It's a very common problem in relationships, and sex educators/ couples' counselors/ sex advice columnists encounter it again and again and again. (And no -- it isn't always the man in opposite-sex couples who wants sex more. Very often, it's not.)

Savage's advice? To all these people?

Give up. It's never going to work. He's just not that into you. Or she. Save yourself a lot of misery in the years down the road... and just call it quits now.

A piece of advice that left my jaw hanging open in shock.

Really, Dan?

That's your first and only answer?


I mean, just off the top of my head, I can think of half a dozen options that couples with mis-matched libidos might want to try. Without even thinking about it all that hard. Before we go advising couples around the world to call it quits, why don't we take a look at some of these options? (And if you can think of ones I don't mention here, btw, please speak up in the comments. This isn't meant to be an exhaustive list of ideas -- just a handful of the more obvious ones.)

1. Scheduling sex. I've written about this before. Many, many, many times, in fact. But I'm not sure I've ever written about it as a solution to this particular problem. So here goes: Scheduling sex isn't just a solution for tired or stressed or over-scheduled couples. It can also be a solution for couples with mis-matched libidos. Oftentimes, in mis-matched- libido couples, the partner who wants sex more frequently will feel rejected and unwanted: if you're the one who always makes the first move, and if you're getting shot down more often than not, it can be very demoralizing. And the partner who wants sex less frequently can often feel pressured and inadequate. (All of which can lead to some nasty vicious circles/ self-fulfilling prophecies: nothing kills a libido faster than feeling like sex is an obligation.) But if you schedule at least some of your sex life ahead of time, instead of relying on spur- of- the- moment impulses and advances, it can cut through a lot of these unfortunate dynamics. Sex becomes something you're planning together, something you're partnering in... rather than something one person is always asking for and the other is either accepting or shooting down. (It also makes some of the other solutions I'm proposing -- like compromising, and re-thinking the circumstances under which you have sex -- a whole lot more feasible.)

See more stories tagged with: