The Causes of Mismatched Sex Drive by Dr. Ava Cadell

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What is “Normal” Sex?

How much sex in a relationship is considered “normal?”  There are many couples that have sex one or two times a month, and are completely satisfied.  The only time there could be cause for concern, is when a couples sex drive is unparalleled. According to one 2015 study, 80 percent of couples experienced a desire discrepancy in their love lives.

Reasons for Mismatched Sex Drive in Couples

There are several reasons why a couple may not be in the mood at the same time.

Physical: It could be physical: too tired, a medical condition, or certain medications certainly affect arousal.

Emotional: It could be emotional: too stressed, feeling emotionally deprived by a partner, unresolved issues.

Boredom: It could also be just plain boredom.  Look, its no secret that a relationship can get stale after a while.  Just like anything else, if we don’t put effort into creating a great sex life, it could all be over once the “honeymoon phase” ends.  You know, the first 2-3 months (if you’re lucky) in the beginning when attraction seems effortless.

Most Couples Have Sex More Than Once a Week

According to a 2002 study by the highly respected National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago, married couples say they have sex 68.5 times a year, or slightly more than once a week.  That may not sound like a lot, but contrary to popular belief, married people have 6.9 more sexual encounters a year than people who have never been married.  After all, you can’t underestimate the value of having an (occasionally) willing partner conveniently located in bed next to you.

Problems that Arise from Mismatched Libidos

Couples who have a mismatched libido can often have problems in their relationship.

If one member of the couple is attempting initiation, and the other constantly refuses, the person with the lower sex drive can tend to feel barraged and possibly even harassed.

The one who is feeling the desire more often can feel neglected, unattractive, and unloved.  Arguments occur, and the sex slowly slips away.

When the sex slips away, so does the casual affection like kissing, caressing, hand holding, laughing at each others jokes, and the playfulness that comes with intimacy.

It all comes down to negotiation, communication, and making the decision to be receptive to your partner’s advances.  Easier said than done, but there is hope!

12 Ways to Deal with Mismatched Libidos

  1. Be empathetic to your partner ad try to think about how they may feel.
  2. Don’t remain silent, communication is important in a healthy  sexual relationship.
  3. Try to remember what it was like when they were having great sex and reproduce that.
  4. Masturbate, self-pleasure and practice self-love so you are not relying on your partner for all your sexual needs.
  5. Expand your meaning of sex and try other types of sexual intimacy that doesn’t always include penetration. Kissing, making out, cuddling, oral sex, fingering, sensual massage, Tantra, and more. Also try adding something to spice up your regular routine, such as shades of kink.
  6. Focus on quality versus quantity!
  7. Schedule sexy time and date nights with each other.
  8. Try doing other adventurous activities together that boost adrenaline, dopamine and testosterone like bungee jumping, or rock climbing. Even just having sex in a different place can raise adventures, desire and libido.
  9. When you do make time for sex, make sure to set the mood so there are no interruptions, have lots of foreplay, and take time to enjoy each other.
  10. Consider going to a sex therapist to talk about the issue if you can’t resolve it on your own.
  11. Perhaps try a consensual non-monogamous relationship. While this doesn’t work for everyone, it is becoming increasingly popular as a way to improve sexual satisfaction in a relationship.
  12. If it is a real deal breaker, consider breaking up.


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