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What People Tell Their Sex Therapist

It's a lot of mismatched sexual desires.

By Chai SteevesPublished 2 years ago 2 min read
What People Tell Their Sex Therapist
Photo by Alexander Krivitskiy on Unsplash

I’ve always felt that being a sex therapist is my missed calling. Friends tell me I give good relationship advice (they may simply hum me, but I choose to believe it), and I’m fascinated by sex. Not (only) in a nervy way, but by how it's such an ultra-important, front of mind thing for most of us, yet so taboo to discuss openly.

So, it was with interest that I read a story discussing the issues that come up most often in sexual therapy sessions—the #1 issue — mismatched sexual desire. In fact, in a study of 1,500 individuals, researchers found that only 22% of people reported wanting sex at the same level as their partner wanted it. But, interestingly, 53% said they wanted more sex than their partner; and 25% said their partner wanted more sex than them.

The result of this mismatched sex drive: tension, frustration, resentment.

After reading this, I asked a close friend — who I know to have a stronger sex drive than her husband — how she handled this. “Poorly,” was her response. She said she’d raised it with her husband quite a few times. She said it leads to a little more sex for a little while. But honestly, she said, it is half-hearted same-old missionary, in the bedroom, sex. She said she appreciates the spark of the extra effort he gives it, but it really doesn’t help much.

Her observation on things. It's not so much the mismatched sex drive as the routinization of sex. She said; frankly, it's just a little boring. It's always the same. She wants more. But she also wants different.

I suspect this is true of many couples when one wants ‘more’ sex, which comes with some important qualifiers — more, better, different, spontaneous… maybe even kinky.

So, what do you do? Her advice/desire was:

Talk about it in an open and non-defensive way. Be clear about what you really want. Is it more? Is it variety? Is its spontaneity? And don’t feel bad about what you want, and don’t judge your partner for what they want.

Accommodate. We all have elements of compersion in our personality — we like to see our partner experience happiness and pleasure. So when you hear what your partner wants, remember why you love them and think how good it will feel if they can get what they want.

Energize. If you see that some changes in behavior are needed on your end… to them with zeal. It's in your interest, as well as your partner’s, to make your relationship better.

Seek compromise. You have feelings and wants too. Make sure this is a two-way conversation, so make sure you get some of the things you want as well, even if it's simply more alone time on the sofa.

Even the most sexual couples I know go through periods where one wants it a little more than the other. This needn't harm a relationship. Instead, use these periods to seek to understand one another better and to grow.

sexual wellness

About the Creator

Chai Steeves

I'm an eclectic guy - I like writing about sex, relationships, parenting, politics, celebrity trivia - the works. I'm happily married and a father of 2.

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