Desire discrepancy in couples is one of the most common sources of distress within sexual relationships. Couples may find themselves in situations where one parter is the high desire partner (HDP) and the other is the low desire partner (LDP). These labels can lead one or both partners to feel broken and blamed for problems in the relationship. Other couples may find resentment builds when their partner either “doesn’t want them sexually” or “only wants them for sexual release”.
If you and your partner are stuck in this sort of dynamic, first, know that neither one of you is broken. All levels of desire are normal, and very few relationships involve couples with consistently balanced interest in sex.
Second, if you can step away from looking at your partner’s level of sexual desire as the problem, it will be much easier to work together to bridge the gap.
Bridging The Gap:
If you find yourself wanting sex more often than your partner, ask yourself, “what am I horny for”. Dr. Neil Cannon lists the following as motives for seeking sex:
When you identify what your motive for sex is, you can examine whether some of those desires could be met in other ways. This begins to reduce pressure on your partner, narrowing the gap between your experienced desire.
Another tool you can use to help bridge gaps in desire is to identify, as Emily Nagoski calls them, your sexual brakes and accelerators. What turns you on? What turns you off? How can you as an individual and as a couple work to minimize brakes and maximize accelerators?
One huge brake many individuals experience is not enjoying the sex they are having. This is usually a result of poor communication or shame surrounding sexuality. Using the brakes and accelerators framework can be a great way to improve communication about sexual preferences. Make sure you speak up so your partner knows what you enjoy and what you don’t enjoy. Make sure to listen so you really hear what your partner is sharing with you. Think of this as an opportunity to learn about your partner, increasing mutual pleasure and satisfaction in your relationship.
Lastly, try scheduling sex in your calendar. On the appointed day, work on managing your own brakes/accelerators to help you get in the mood. Recognize when there are things you can do to help your partner look forward to the experience with positive anticipation. Text and flirt throughout the day. Make sure that when it comes down to it, saying “not tonight”, is still an option, this reduces pressure. If you are the partner who wants to say no, consider saying yes to something else instead. For example, “I’m really not feeling up to penetrative sex tonight, but I’d love to cuddle, skin to skin”, or, “I’m not feeling up for penis-in-vagina sex at the moment, but I’d really love to just make out with you”. Then leave the door open for whatever may (or may not) follow, pressure free. Regardless of the outcome, you will feel more connected and you will have improved your ability to communicate about your wants and desires.
If you’d like to learn more about bridging a desire gap in your relationship, call 801-944-4555 to schedule a session with Alice today.
In my opinion, there are several of our societal norms that are alarming. Many of the values that our nation used to rate high on the list are slipping. Worst of all, this value shift has led to increasing health, social, and economic crises. It is my belief that if a person is not deliberate about how they want to become and how, they will get swept up in the societal messages and goals that lead to so much unrest and discontentment. Here are 3 books to date, which have shaped my person and helped me to be deliberate about what I am becoming:
Daring Greatly by Brene Brown
This book teaches lessons that are applicable to almost all areas in life. This work is based in research. Most meaningfully however, I believe is the instruction on how to allow vulnerability in our lives to foster connection, creativity, and self-worth. If applied, the principles in this book can change the way you see yourself, and therefore the way you interact with and experience the world around you. Living this stuff makes you actually feel like you are living. Society doesn’t condone this kind of living, but people are responding to this research, which means we are hungry for something different than society is feeding us.
Eat to Live by Dr. Joel Fuhrman
This book completely changed the way I treated my body and the way I saw my body. It, like Daring Greatly, is all research based. I had no idea the degree to which I had been mistreating my body with food. Since reading, and applying these principles, I feel happier, well rested, energetic, strong, and clean. It takes a lot of effort to do this, because society (even some in the medical field) goes completely against these nutrition ideals, but it is worth it!
The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey
Another area of peoples’ lives that usually needs a tune-up is personal finance. We live in a society that idealizes money to the point that many people go deep into debt in order to achieve an empty ideal. This book will make you rethink the way you earn and spend money. Most people aren’t thoughtful enough about how they earn or spend. This book teaches you how to make your money do what you want it to, no matter what your person goals may be. Security is the name of this game.
I hope these books are as useful to you as they have been to me. Happy reading!
With the 2016 right around the corner there is so much to pause and reflect on from 2015. The highest of highs and the lowest of lows are all taken into account when assessing the 15th rotation since the dawn of the new millennium. Perhaps you finally completed that project you’ve been meaning to get around to, or you landed that promotion you were really hoping for, or signed on the house of your dreams, or…not. The beauty of it all is you set goals for the year and whether you achieved them or not give yourself credit for setting them in the first place. As we all get to the usual ritual of setting resolutions for 2016 remember these two things:
Be the good you want to see – If you feel like things aren’t unicorns and skittles as often as you’d like then that is a good sign that it is time to do some self-evaluating and figure out what you are doing to contribute to that unhappiness. Give yourself permission to answer the tough questions like, “What part did I play in how things turned out?”, “How could I have handled that situation differently?”, or “What can I do better?” Rarely is the case where someone else’s actions directly impact our levels of satisfaction – it is more often the case of how we react to their actions that has that impact. Be the good you want to see and then take notice just how much your perspective will change as you’re able to balance out the bad with the good. Let your inner Yoda serve as motivation to remind you to do or do not because there is no try.
Give yourself the credit you deserve – We often suffer from the “I’m not good enough” disease which eats away at our self-esteem and leave us defenseless against the tyranny of being our own worst critic. So what if you finished last in your first marathon, YOU FINISHED A MARATHON! I certainly can’t say that and I’m pretty awesome! So go head…it’s ya birthday…we gonna party like it’s ya birthday because you deserve the credit! It’s so easy to get caught up in the grass is greener mentality but I assure you it is all about proper lawn care and maintenance that gives it that crisp sheen. That maintenance involves celebrating the small victories in life like finishing your first marathon because it is the small things that we remember the most which ultimately becomes the cherished memories that we can look back upon fondly. Now go forward with that luxurious lawn that everyone else will be envious of and be the awesome person that you are in 2016!