I get it all the time — an inquiry from a unfortunate soul who wants more sex from his sweetie. OK … maybe he even wants it all of the time.
But in other cases, the poor guy just wants it more than once a week.
Mismatched libidos and desires are a big problem for a number of couples. And, to be fair, it’s not always him … sometimes she's the one who would like to notch things up a bit.
Sex … or lack of … can easily become an issue even when the relationship is brilliant in every other sense. It’s among the most challenging of sexual situations.
Is there a solution?
Sooner or later, every relationship gets to a point when lovers feel sexually mismatched. In some cases, the mismatch has always existed and simply been ignored. In other cases, lovers are no longer their old sex-crazed selves.
Rather than take a sexual leave of absence, it’s wise to nip this sexual compatibility dilemma in the bud ASAP – before this becomes the norm.
First, figure out what the heck brought this mismatch on. There’s a whole shopping list of factors or events that can impact your game, so be sure to read up on causes for low and no desire. Is there a house full of kids … or at least one … when at one time there was none? Are you taking new medication? Is career or family (unrelated to your spouse) stressing you out? Maybe there’s something physically going on … have you had your annual check-ups?
Identifying the reason allows you to figure out whether this is a short-term or long-term problem and just how much professional help may be required.
Second, mull over your relationship dynamics. Are your interactions, especially those involving sexual expectations, healthy? If you’re being demanding or putting pressure on your lover to put out, she’s not exactly going to get into that type of “foreplay.”
Third, think about what sex was like before. Just what was it that had you two kids rolling around in the sack pawing at each others’ bodies quicker than you can say … umm, sack?
Remember, men often need sex to feel loved, but women often need to feel loved before they engage in sex. Does a heavy make out session or bouquet of flowers always lead to sex? How have your strategies changed?
Fourth, consider your definition of sexual satisfaction. Some (not all) lovers can be perfectly gratified without having intercourse. Try making pleasuring and not necessarily sex the ultimate goal.
Unfortunately, there’s no quick and easy solution, especially if the lack of undercover action stems from more than one thing.
But you may have a chance to woo her (or him) back into the boudoir by taking one or more of the following steps:
Get to know the female body and understand her sexual response. Her body is covered with hot spots. Your mission is to learn how to stimulate them effectively. Have you ever asked her what she likes and what erogenous zones really get her heart thumping? If she’s too shy to tell you, try reading up. Watch educational videos.
Equally important, you must learn to entice her mind. This can be done by showing interest in what she’s saying, using words effectively, and filling her mind with fantasy scenarios where she’s the star of the show.
Map out her menstrual cycle. Sound gross, right? BUT … knowing her fertility cycle patterns can help you determine when she may be likeliest to be in the mood. The frequency of sex has been shown to increase mid-cycle – when she’s most fertile and possibly feeling a biological need to procreate (of course this doesn’t mean you actually have to procreate). Sexual fantasy and desire have been shown to peak at mid-cycle as well. She’s also more interested in erotic materials and more easily aroused prior to ovulating.
Show your vulnerable side. Stop being controlled by your inner caveman. Men are largely raised to compete and achieve, not nurture their relationships. With women being more relationship-focused, in general, it works to your benefit to be more open, thoughtful, communicative, and tender. Females find a man who lets his guard down very attractive.
Explore sex as intimacy with her. Piggybacking on the last point, examine your motives for sex and the deeper feelings you have in being sexually intimate. Let her know that you see sex as a way to express love, to strengthen an emotional bond, as a way to enhance the relationship, as a way to get approval ... whatever it is for you.
If you’re not communicating these thoughts with her, she may feel used — like the only reason you want sex is for the physical aspect. Reassure her — in all honesty, mind you — that you’re not using her. Then back that by making lovemaking all about pleasuring her on a regular basis.
Take on roadblocks to sex. Excuses plague our sex lives these days — I’m tired, I don’t have the time, let’s do it later. List reasons that get in the way of a roll in the hay, and strategize how to overcome them together.
Ask her about her sexual needs. She may not be interested in sex if her sexual desires and wants are being ignored or left in the dark. Find out what makes for a fulfilling sex life in her book.
More than anything, talk openly and honestly to each other about the situation, with the help of a counselor or coach if necessary. Sexual compatibility is ignored all too often, especially when people are committing for the long-term. Many lovers think that it won’t be a big deal in the end or make the mistake of thinking that marriage nuptials cure all.
If you’re already heavily invested in the relationship, you may need to negotiate or barter if necessary, as this is quite common in most unions. She may not realize that there’s a problem, or may simply want something more in return. There’s a good chance you’ll find a middle ground of having sex in the name of “coupledom” that works for you both.
Do you have a question about sex? If so, foxnewshealth.com wants to hear from you. E-mail your questions to email@example.com.
Dr. Yvonne K. Fulbright is a sex educator, relationship expert, columnist and founder of Sexuality Source Inc. She is the author of several books including, "Touch Me There! A Hands-On Guide to Your Orgasmic Hot Spots."