3 Steps to Take if Your Libido Is More Active Than Your Partner's
Jan 06, 2009 19:26
Low sex drive is only a problem if someone is unhappy about it, and
that's usually the other partner in a relationship. "When you get two
people with low libidos, they just go to sleep at night. That's not an
issue," says Irwin Goldstein, MD, director of San Diego Sexual Medicine
and the editor in chief of The Journal of Sexual Medicine. "Libido is really only associated with distress when there's a disparity with the partner."
If the unevenness of your desires has become a problem in your relationship, here are a few ways to approach it.
1. Talk to each other Sometimes
the problem is clear and just needs discussing, says Joy Davidson, PhD,
a New York City–based psychologist who's on the board of directors of
the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and
Therapists. An example of this, she says, would be "the woman gets off
on oral sex and the man doesn't like to do it. Not being able to talk
about sex is like not being able to discuss what you're having for
dinner. And just like any other aspect of a relationship, that's a
potential deal-breaker. If there's a sexual problem, you have to deal
Not being able to talk about sex when you're in a relationship is like not being able to discuss what you're having for dinner.
—Joy Davidson, PhD, Sex Therapist
If you're the one who wants more sex, don't blame your partner or apply pressure tactics, advises Davidson: "That only pushes the other person away." If your partner is stressed about life outside your relationship, a first step might be to look for ways to lighten his or her load, so sex can become recreation, not another chore. (Check out our list of tips for more about what you can do on your own to address sex drive problems in your relationship.)
2. The partner with a low libido should get a medical checkup Low
sex drive, especially in conjunction with erectile dysfunction (ED),
could indicate a serious health problem such as heart disease or
3. See a therapist Even if there is a
medical issue afoot, disparate sex drives can create an emotional
problem in a relationship. That's why many sexual health doctors take a
"bio-psycho-social" approach, says Michael Krychman, MD, executive
director of the Southern California Center for Sexual Health and
Survivorship Medicine in Newport Beach, Calif. They either make some
psychological assessments themselves or work hand-in-hand with
certified sex therapists.
If you're the partner who wants more sex and you choose couples therapy
or sex therapy, don't make it about your partner, says Davidson—make it
about the relationship: "[As in] 'we seem to have different needs sexually, and we'd both like to find ways to bridge the gap.'"
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