Different sex drives - Page 5 - Talk About Marriage
Sex in Marriage Sexual problems are common in many relationships. This section is for discussions about sexuality. Please limit discussions to those asking for help with a problem and those offering advice. Any other threads may be deleted.

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post #61 of 121 (permalink) Old 01-13-2017, 10:12 AM
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You are talking about "cannot" whereas most of us are talking about will not.

That makes a HUGE difference.

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And if you don't have sex with him, do you really have a marriage to begin with?
It depends. How much sex do you have to have with your spouse in order to have a "marriage" for the duration of the marriage? If you can't have sex with your spouse for medical reasons, do you still have a marriage? How about if you're deployed overseas for a year?
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post #62 of 121 (permalink) Old 01-13-2017, 10:19 AM
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Re: Different sex drives

Agreed.

A partner who cannot have sex for medical reasons does not include the rejection that makes being turned down so painful.

I think we also need to separate sex from "sexual activity". I think what is expected is that people will try to find ways to please their partners - within reason considering their condition.

Of course there may still be medical issues that prevent any sort of sexual activity.





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You are talking about "cannot" whereas most of us are talking about will not.

That makes a HUGE difference.
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post #63 of 121 (permalink) Old 01-13-2017, 12:23 PM
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Re: Different sex drives

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Ellis wrote that he couldn't see intimate kissing/lying naked next to someone in bed and NOT be aroused enough to want to have sex with that person. *MY* thinking is, why NOT?! Why can't we simply take the orgasm out of the equation for a change?
FYI - I never said an O was a must. I understand that is the end goal in most cases, but if you look at sex as nothing more than the O, well, then I think that is the type of person who will probably be content with intimate kissing/lying naked next to someone and nothing more.
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post #64 of 121 (permalink) Old 01-13-2017, 12:26 PM
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Re: Different sex drives

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You are talking about "cannot" whereas most of us are talking about will not.

That makes a HUGE difference.
I think most of us are talking about two people who are physically capable of having sex. I made a vow to my W in sickness and in health, and I will stick with that. This doesn't apply to someone who consciously decides to deprioritize sex (or other aspects) of the marriage over time.
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post #65 of 121 (permalink) Old 01-13-2017, 12:43 PM
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Re: Different sex drives

My sex therapist said every couple should work towards having sex AT LEAST once a week in order to maintain a happy marriage.

If it's less than that, you're in trouble.

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post #66 of 121 (permalink) Old 01-16-2017, 04:43 PM
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Re: Different sex drives

When we were younger my wife constantly rejected me, I understand that sex for women is different then it is for men and that at the time my wife was dealing with things but to be honest I am tired of the games that I am expected to play to get sex and so I no longer approach my wife. I am 46 and have been married for 25 years and I would rather blue ball it then put up with all of the crap so now I am the one with LD. I still can't get past the 20 years of rejection. I was told I was a pig and a pervert for wanting to have sex twice a month and now that my wife has taken the I will put out if you initiate approach I don't want anything to do with her. My word of warning to anyone that is the LD partner, you are making some deep scars that might not ever heel if you continue to not care about your partners needs.
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post #67 of 121 (permalink) Old 01-16-2017, 05:14 PM
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Re: Different sex drives

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When we were younger my wife constantly rejected me, I understand that sex for women is different then it is for men and that at the time my wife was dealing with things but to be honest I am tired of the games that I am expected to play to get sex and so I no longer approach my wife. I am 46 and have been married for 25 years and I would rather blue ball it then put up with all of the crap so now I am the one with LD. I still can't get past the 20 years of rejection. I was told I was a pig and a pervert for wanting to have sex twice a month and now that my wife has taken the I will put out if you initiate approach I don't want anything to do with her. My word of warning to anyone that is the LD partner, you are making some deep scars that might not ever heel if you continue to not care about your partners needs.
Yeah, been there and heard the same crap, so I know what you mean. I finally got to the point of no return, and divorced the biotch at 45. It did take a very long time to heal from that - and I still have triggers occasionally - despite finding and marrying a truly wonderful woman who is as HD as me and does everything that makes me happy (as I do for her).

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post #68 of 121 (permalink) Old 01-16-2017, 08:38 PM
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Re: Different sex drives

To be honest, reading this thread makes me want to scream. It is stuffed full and overflowing with myth, bias, nonsense, and self-centered advice. It's like watching someone trying to remove toast with a fork while the toaster is still on.

But people here are not unusual; I've encountered this same bias from many, many people. It's the general attitude that what I want sexually is important but what you want isn't. You typically find that LD people think of a higher sex drive as abnormal and they might even think that they are doing the HD person a favor by pointing this out. Frequent accusations are that the HD person "only cares about sex" or even more priceless "is addicted to sex". The opposite accusation is that the LD person "is distant". We used to say that they were a prude or were frigid. The frigidity accusation created a pushback that was almost as absurd as the accusation.

None of this helps; none of this will ever help. And, to be honest, I would be stunned if even 5% of the hundreds of thousands of self-help books got this topic right.

To address this further. I've seen some truly horrible step by step or pushbutton solutions. People aren't vending machines; these never work.

Does anyone really want to discuss this or are you just looking for sympathy or a place to vent your frustrations?
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post #69 of 121 (permalink) Old 01-17-2017, 12:38 AM
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Re: Different sex drives

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OP, it's sad to say but drive mismatches are very hard to overcome, at least in the HD's favor. Anecdotally speaking, the odds are even worse when the man is the LD. I don't think I've seen an instance where an LD man has turned HD (with the same woman).
Your post prompted my train of thought. What I discovered was my husband and I were actually wanting similar frequency and, for the most part, styles of intimacy and sex. I was wrapped up thinking he was LD and closing off from me. Here's where the healthy slap of reality (and therapy) helped... I was closing off from him... just in different ways other than sexually.

What I'm thankful for is that he was the one willing to take initial responsibility and look at why we were at that place in our dynamic. He couldn't understand it himself. He started with T-scores (which were on the low-side) then delved into other considerations. There were some typical factors mixed in with FOO issues. Meanwhile I had to stop pointing the finger of blame to wise up and learn that I played a part in this too. And delved into the factors concerning me.

At that time I would have thought I was HD and he was LD. Now I know that's incorrect and the label wasn't applicable or helpful.

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post #70 of 121 (permalink) Old 01-17-2017, 01:22 AM
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Re: Different sex drives

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What I discovered was my husband and I were actually wanting similar frequency and, for the most part, styles of intimacy and sex. I was wrapped up thinking he was LD and closing off from me. Here's where the healthy slap of reality (and therapy) helped... I was closing off from him... just in different ways other than sexually.

At that time I would have thought I was HD and he was LD. Now I know that's incorrect and the label wasn't applicable or helpful.
Finally, something positive.
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post #71 of 121 (permalink) Old 01-17-2017, 01:32 AM
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Re: Different sex drives

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How do couples with different sex drives make it work? I'm jealous of the women whose husband's don't leave them alone.
Here is a link to a thread that might be helpful for you.

The Sex Starved Wife

Last edited by EleGirl; 02-28-2017 at 11:23 AM. Reason: changed name on quote as account name changed
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post #72 of 121 (permalink) Old 01-17-2017, 02:00 AM
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Re: Different sex drives

I'm really tired of the garbage self-help advice. When someone begins with a mention of communication, chances are they are parroting something from a self-help book. I'll give you an example. One of the books I've seen quoted frequently is the 5 Love Languages. This book is mostly empty of value and includes such non-wisdom as:

Once the experience of falling in love has run its natural course (remember, the average in-love experience lasts two years), we will return to the world of reality and begin to assert ourselves.

So, we can't tell reality from fantasy for two years when we fall in love? Seriously? There must be more of this wisdom around here somewhere. Oh, yes:

My sex therapist said every couple should work towards having sex AT LEAST once a week in order to maintain a happy marriage.

This is nonsense. Another comment was:

While I don't want to have hard limits on "normal", I see roughly a weekly to a several times a week as pretty typical, and its often not reasonable to push for substantially more or less than that. (everything else being OK).

This is closer in terms of averages. About 2/3rds of couples fit into the range from sex once every two weeks to twice a week. Guess what? There is a similar ranges for almost everything including height, weight, shoe size, etc. But, these are meaningless to any given couple just like average shoe size for men means nothing to me when I have to buy a pair. There is no average, no rule of thumb, and no push button answer.

Your comment that 2-3 times / week is "low key" shows just how wide a range there is. I think my wife and I have engaged in sexual activity 3 times one week, less than 4 weeks out of 30 years (and I'm including our honeymoon and anniversary trips). When we have these HD/LD discussions, people need to mention actual frequencies more.

These are all normal amounts of sex. But, since we are being honest, the most I've ever had sex in one day is seven times. I could have had more if my late wife had been willing. Oh, I guess someone is going to ask, yes, I reached orgasm all seven times. That amount is normal too. No, I could not have that much sex everyday.

Ultimately it takes patience, communication, and self development for BOTH people in the relationship. The best place to start is to help teach your partner positive ways to turn down opportunities for intimacy when there is too much anxiety.

The key is for both people to communicate and hopefully find some middle ground (easier said than done, something I can vouch for).


There's the communication word arriving on schedule. Unless one of you speaks Chinese and the other speaks English you don't have a communication problem.

"But, we don't talk..."

Actually, you probably do talk, probably everyday, many times. I think what you mean is that you aren't being honest about your problems.
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post #73 of 121 (permalink) Old 01-17-2017, 02:18 AM
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Re: Different sex drives

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Here is a link to a thread that might be helpful for you.

The Sex Starved Wife

And the answer is: More Self-Help Books!

It's like if you were malnourished and I said that the answer was to eat two bags of marshmallows a day. Has anyone stopped to consider that if a self-help book actually worked there probably wouldn't have been a reason to write the other 300,000. The typical self-help book consists of:

1. Confidence. Don't worry, I'll fix your problem.
2. A rephrasing of something everyone already knows. Many people have problems in their marriage.
3. Advice so lame it is embarrassing to repeat. Nothing gets better unless you work on it.
4. A list of other books by the same author or publisher.

I should write a book:

You Can End Your Self-Help Addiction In 5 Easy Steps.
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post #74 of 121 (permalink) Old 01-17-2017, 02:40 AM
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Re: Different sex drives

Let's talk about the real stuff, okay?

Remember that you can leave, cheat, or live like a nun.

If your refrigerator breaks you can demolish your house, borrow your neighbors refrigerator, or you can do without one. Compromise as some have suggested would be like buying a Styrofoam cooler and filling it with ice everyday. It might work temporarily but it's unlikely to work over time. Do you know what else won't work? Bargaining, negotiating, ultimatums, guilt, etc.

The best place to start is to help teach your partner positive ways to turn down opportunities for intimacy when there is too much anxiety.


I think what you are trying to say is that your partner shouldn't have to have sex if they don't want to. This seemed obvious to me, but then:

They have to be able to engage in sex as a "gift" for their partner, not as a resented "chore".

Well, there we go. Your partner should just gift you some sex. But, wait a minute. Couldn't you look at it the other way around and say that the HD partner should gift some abstinence? I'm picturing O. Henry's "Gift of the Magi" and we know how that turned out.

OTOH if the LD partner rejects the idea that the HDs desire for sex is valid, then nothing will fix it. That leaves the couple miserable, the LD person feeling constantly pressured and feeling unvalued, and the HD person feeling frustrated and resentful.

So, this is about feeling rejected, pressured, and undervalued, not actually about differing sex drives?

I've noticed that this thread has been really good on detailing problems but not so good on finding any solutions (except more Self-Help Books!).

Let's start with this:

1. Negotiate minimum frequency to satisfy both partners. We came up with twice a week. Tuesdays and Friday. A minimum sex frequency was mandatory or I was gone.

2. HD must stop talking about sex, stop asking for sex even on the scheduled sex days. Do not let the LD know that you need sex as much as you need food or water. Even if you told them it would make no sense to them, so stop. It's useless.

3. HD should stop all groping and minimize physical contact outside of scheduled sex days.

4. HD must find something else in his or her life to replace their constant desire for sex and never let the LD know they are unhappy with their sex life.


Let's see, threats, compromise, don't talk about it, and don't admit to a problem. Gosh, why wouldn't that work?
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post #75 of 121 (permalink) Old 01-17-2017, 06:09 AM
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Re: Different sex drives

@scientia, you complain a lot about "myth, bias, nonsense," but have yet to offer anything useful. Or, are you as ignorant as you think the rest of us are?

Love is an ideal thing; marriage is a real thing; a confusion of the real with the ideal never goes unpunished. - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

CELIBACY IS NOT HEREDITARY.
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