Does sex drive vary from partner to partner? - 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 100 (permalink) Old 03-10-2017, 07:34 PM
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Re: Does sex drive vary from partner to partner?

Hey, I wrote the article and I would disagree with some of your terms. They don't match the accepted definitions.

Spontaneous desire would be suddenly wanting sex without any seemingly outside stimulus.
Responsive desire is desiring sex after a sexual context has been introduced, it could be anything from a look to being half way through actual sex.
No desire would be asexual. They don't want sex, even when they're having sex. They don't get aroused at all and are only doing it for you. They get absolutely nothing out of it.

"However, most women also have spontaneous desire, and most men also have responsive desire. It's just that each gender tends to skew one way."
I'm not sure that's the case. 30% of women will never experience spontaneous desire, however that doesn't mean they all exhibit spontaneous desire now. As women age, they're more and more likely to become solely responsive desire only. "most" seems a little strong. And "skew" doesn't quite describe just how polarized the genders are on the types.

The other issue is that the term "sex drive" really hides a far more complicated system. There are many different parts of the brain involved, and so a particular woman's "sex drive" can change dramatically from context to context. Stress, sleep, history, theology, hydration, diet, temperature, location, and a create many other things, all get rolled into desire. And then there's physical and mental arousal, which are completely different things that are linked through another mechanism. For women, their arousal concordance (the link between mental and physical) is around 10% on average.

Anyways, to answer the original question, yes, sex drive can vary from partner to partner, because the context changes. It can also change during a single relationship if you can improve the context. I know, because my marriage was technically sexless for the first 7 years. You can contact me through my blog (UncoveringIntimacy.com) if you have further questions. I may not see a response here.
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post #62 of 100 (permalink) Old 03-10-2017, 08:23 PM
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Re: Does sex drive vary from partner to partner?

Yes, your wife might be much more sexually passionate with someone else.

But, be honest, you might be much more sexually passionate with another woman.


If you're going to stay with her; focus on her flaws to lessen your attraction to her. Her cellulite, the way she looks before she does her hair and make-up, the things she says to you when she's in a crappy mood. Focus on what is unattractive and unlikable about her. Everyone has plenty of physical and personality defects.

That should help to take the edge off of your desire.
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post #63 of 100 (permalink) Old 03-11-2017, 04:43 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Does sex drive vary from partner to partner?

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Yes, your wife might be much more sexually passionate with someone else.



But, be honest, you might be much more sexually passionate with another woman.





If you're going to stay with her; focus on her flaws to lessen your attraction to her. Her cellulite, the way she looks before she does her hair and make-up, the things she says to you when she's in a crappy mood. Focus on what is unattractive and unlikable about her. Everyone has plenty of physical and personality defects.



That should help to take the edge off of your desire.


No actually I have never been as attracted to anyone else. It could be those bonding hormones fooling me but if you put her next to a famous actress or porn star I'm still more likely to want her. Hence my insecurities that it is not the same for her. ( in terms of intensity not in terms of wanting someone else. She doesn't look around, especially).

Also, she doesn't have any physical flaws...
Yes she does say things when she's in crappy mood but they don't seem to lessen my attraction to her, generally.

Also trying to think about too many negatives about your partner can't be a good recipe for successful marriage...

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post #64 of 100 (permalink) Old 03-11-2017, 04:55 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Does sex drive vary from partner to partner?

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Anyways, to answer the original question, yes, sex drive can vary from partner to partner, because the context changes. It can also change during a single relationship if you can improve the context. I know, because my marriage was technically sexless for the first 7 years. You can contact me through my blog (UncoveringIntimacy.com) if you have further questions. I may not see a response here.
Good articles @UncoveringIntimacy.

Makes a lot of sense and is well written too.

That's what I thought about ND. Are there really women like that? One missing part of the puzzle might be partner compatibility and how it relates to the desire/drive/willingness. I'm sure partner must play a bigger role than your article might imply (how this interacts with the definitions etc. this is not a criticism). It's extremely difficult to test it for obvious reasons plus it is not a very satisfying realisation..if that is really the case.

Which context changed in your marriage, may I ask?

"Spontaneous desire would be suddenly wanting sex without any seemingly outside stimulus."

This doesn't seem quite right: there are always outside stimuli. It's about how we choose to react to them (or whether we choose). For me it is usually simple interaction with my wife or a thought about her. (I see you wrote "seemingly" but still). For her: she can make herself want sex it seems. She said if she thinks about it beforehand or during the day then at night she'll be good to go...Which is also difficult for me to understand because I don't really see where I play a part in that...

I think it's also more behavioural: a more outgoing/extravert person will show & react to the stimuli more. Or some may not react to the outside stimuli at all or little or in their own way. It's a big maze...

Last edited by inmyprime; 03-11-2017 at 06:27 AM.
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post #65 of 100 (permalink) Old 03-11-2017, 07:50 AM
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Re: Does sex drive vary from partner to partner?

Glad you enjoyed the articles!

Are there women who are asexual? Yes, not many, but it does happen. I think there are more who claim to be asexual, but often they're blocking themselves from being open to having sexual feelings. That's not quite the same thing, though it presents in the same way and they likely believe themselves to be asexual.

I personally don't believe in "compatibility". The only real compatibility issues are pride and selfishness. If you can drop those, anyone is compatible. We have generations of arranged marriages to prove that.

"Which context changed in your marriage, may I ask?"

Well, I quit watching porn. My wife realized how important sex was. That all came after we focused on communication so we could actually talk about the issues. In short, the context that changed was our relationship. We focused on making it better, deeper, more intimate, and the sex came with it.

"'Spontaneous desire would be suddenly wanting sex without any seemingly outside stimulus.'

This doesn't seem quite right: there are always outside stimuli. It's about how we choose to react to them (or whether we choose). For me it is usually simple interaction with my wife or a thought about her. (I see you wrote "seemingly" but still). For her: she can make herself want sex it seems. She said if she thinks about it beforehand or during the day then at night she'll be good to go...Which is also difficult for me to understand because I don't really see where I play a part in that..."

Right, it's seeming, because there's always some stimulus. So, here's sort of how it works. Your physical arousal level is dictated by your subconscious mind and it's constantly looking for sexually relevant contexts. If it sees one, then it tells the body "hey, this is sexually relevant, we should prepare for potential sex". For men, this means we often get an erection, and sometimes we don't even know why. Our subconscious saw something we consciously notice. But, since we're men, we get an erection, and THAT we notice. And so suddenly we start thinking about sex, or about our wife, or whatever. It seems spontaneous, but it's not. Because of this, I think, men have a much higher concordance between their physical and mental arousal. It's not perfect, only about 50%. But, that's pretty high compared to the 10% for women.

For women, their mind will notice something sexually relevant, and they'll start getting physically aroused. However, it's not as obvious in a female body. So, it's far less likely she'll notice and start getting aroused. As well, our society has trained men to see almost everything as sexually relevant and women to think that almost nothing is. Actually, we tend to train women to believe that sexually relevant contexts are a threat. And so that re-wires that mechanism to not see as many sexually relevant contexts as men.

All this together means that women have far fewer -seemingly- spontaneous arousal points in their life.

Add to that that women are often cronically stressed, with hits the breaks on their subconsious arousal patterns as well, because for most women, stress does not equal a good time for sex, whereas for many men, sex is a stress relief.

This is, unfortunately, just the tip of the iceberg, but I'm trying to relay a ton of information in a few paragraphs. I've spent the last 5 years reading, blogging and talking to couples and spouses about this sort of thing, and I'm still learning.
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post #66 of 100 (permalink) Old 03-11-2017, 08:33 AM
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Re: Does sex drive vary from partner to partner?

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I stopped finding mine attractive after I'd had my fill of not getting my emotional needs met. The drive difference was a problem, but it was only after I really understood that my wife had zero interest in even working on it that my attraction to her completely tanked. I had a need for her to be a partner with me, but she elected not to participate.
How did you find out?
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post #67 of 100 (permalink) Old 03-11-2017, 08:37 AM
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Re: Does sex drive vary from partner to partner?

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Seriously though where can I read up on this or what is reasonable to expect? (before it's in the 'needy' territory). I can't really verbalise what it is that is not being met as I don't quite understand it myself...
Something isn't being met otherwise I doubt I'd feel the emptiness or pain so often.
Don't try to figure it out yourself. Go to a trained professional. That is what they are there to do.
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post #68 of 100 (permalink) Old 03-11-2017, 09:23 AM
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Re: Does sex drive vary from partner to partner?

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How did you find out?
She'd been telling me for years but I was too thick-headed to listen. She'd refuse to read any books I'd ask her to, she'd shut down conversations, etc. Excuses for everything, and when the excuses would run out, she'd turn to flat out "I don't want to listen to this".

It was my own fault for spending as long as I did.

Darling it's better down where it's wetter, take it from me! --- Sebastian
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post #69 of 100 (permalink) Old 03-11-2017, 09:26 AM
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Re: Does sex drive vary from partner to partner?

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She'd been telling me for years but I was too thick-headed to listen. She'd refuse to read any books I'd ask her to, she'd shut down conversations, etc. Excuses for everything, and when the excuses would run out, she'd turn to flat out "I don't want to listen to this".

It was my own fault for spending as long as I did.
You are now divorced I assume. Are either of you in new relationships? Are they any happier?
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post #70 of 100 (permalink) Old 03-11-2017, 10:42 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Does sex drive vary from partner to partner?

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Glad you enjoyed the articles!

Are there women who are asexual? Yes, not many, but it does happen. I think there are more who claim to be asexual, but often they're blocking themselves from being open to having sexual feelings. That's not quite the same thing, though it presents in the same way and they likely believe themselves to be asexual.

I personally don't believe in "compatibility". The only real compatibility issues are pride and selfishness. If you can drop those, anyone is compatible. We have generations of arranged marriages to prove that.
Interesting point of view. Are you sure the arranged marriages prove this and not the fact that society pushed women to be more obedient and just learn to live with the sorry situation that they have been forced into? They did not have an alternative to begin with really.

This is the thing and I don't want to open pandora's boxes but it seems to me somewhat irrational to leave yourself/myself (or anyone) and my wife's attraction levels/intensity towards me out of the equation completely. From your writing, it makes a lot of sense to explain basically almost any type of behaviour and navigate through it with success (as far as it is possible, given the pre-requisites of each other's attractions). But I am not sure it would be good enough, in the big picture, if one of the main underlying causes for ND/LD/SD (slow drive)/NR etc was the fact that she just wasn't as into me as she could be, if she found a more compatible partner. This seems like a vital piece to me that might be missing from your reasoning and I assume many people's reasoning, because it is just a very painful truth that one can not really do that much about. (If it is even true.)
Have you examined how sexual attraction works on a biological level? (Hormones, pheromones etc). It would seem to me that instinctive/animalistic/subconscious elements play a MUCH more important role in partner selection or how one feels about their partner throughout the relationship, rather than their willingness to drop the pride & selfishness etc. Of course changing certain behavioural patterns consciously (being more considerate, intimate, willing etc) can go some way, but not all the way...And it would be biologically unnatural to force it.

Ok this is a longwinded way to say this: say there was another male, like myself, but my wife had a significantly stronger attraction for him (without jumping through all the hoops to get herself there). If I was considerate and really loved her altruistically, I should break up with her & let her be with that partner, because in the long run, there is a MUCH higher probability that she will be more fulfilled. Of course I am not really able to do this, due to selfishness (and due to the fact that I may still be missing something). But it seems (in the words of Spock) the only logical course of action. Or at least something worth considering.

But the other voice in me tells me that the bit that I might be missing, I think, is that sexual attraction (no matter how complex) may be just one of the many components that contribute towards a soup of various ingredients, to give the relationship a higher or lower chance of success (there are so many others, including superficial things like bank account balance/ability to provide). However the woman's sexual attraction part towards her counterpart, I think, is one of the more important ones (I would guess it would make up at least 70%), hence why I focus so much on it. I think without it (or if the attraction is weak), there's really not such a high chance to succeed. I sometimes wonder whether all these terms (ND/LD/RD etc) are in fact there making us avoid the real issue. Because on the other end of the spectrum, the answer to my question seems to be "of course her sex drive will manifest itself differently with somebody else". Would we not be fighting a loosing battle, if that was the case?

Quote:
Originally Posted by UncoveringIntimacy View Post

"Which context changed in your marriage, may I ask?"

Well, I quit watching porn. My wife realized how important sex was. That all came after we focused on communication so we could actually talk about the issues. In short, the context that changed was our relationship. We focused on making it better, deeper, more intimate, and the sex came with it.
.

Anything in particular that you did? Any books you'd recommend how to make it "deeper & intimate"? I know what you mean; it is really impossible to write these things down in a few paragraphs. That's why I enjoyed your articles: the flow is great & very comprehensible.

Last edited by inmyprime; 03-11-2017 at 10:47 AM.
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post #71 of 100 (permalink) Old 03-11-2017, 08:46 PM
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I think it does. My wife has no sex drive at all. She hasn't for almost 4yrs. Hand and a few websites and fantacy thinking. I love my wife even though this no sex thing really pisses me off.
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post #72 of 100 (permalink) Old 03-11-2017, 09:53 PM
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Re: Does sex drive vary from partner to partner?

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You are now divorced I assume. Are either of you in new relationships? Are they any happier?
Not divorced. I've simply lost attraction to her, as she has to me. I still love her, I'm just not attracted to her anymore.

Darling it's better down where it's wetter, take it from me! --- Sebastian
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post #73 of 100 (permalink) Old 03-11-2017, 11:06 PM
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Re: Does sex drive vary from partner to partner?

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Not divorced. I've simply lost attraction to her, as she has to me. I still love her, I'm just not attracted to her anymore.
Have you ever turned your wife down, Fozzy?

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post #74 of 100 (permalink) Old 03-12-2017, 04:00 AM
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Re: Does sex drive vary from partner to partner?

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I have for the first time found what I can truly love – I have found you. You are my sympathy – my better self – my good angel; I am bound to you with a strong attachment. I think you good, gifted, lovely: a fervent, a solemn passion is conceived in my heart; it leans to you, draws you to my center and spring of life, wraps my existence about you – and, kindling in pure, powerful flame, fuses you and me in one. - Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre
Sounds like a masturbation piece.
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post #75 of 100 (permalink) Old 03-12-2017, 08:36 AM
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Re: Does sex drive vary from partner to partner?

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Not divorced. I've simply lost attraction to her, as she has to me. I still love her, I'm just not attracted to her anymore.
So what is your "payoff" by remaining in a marriage that causes you to feel the way you express you feelings here?
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