Sex in a long-term relationship is no easy feat and there are so few role models for us to feel inspired by and we know there are no perfect sexual relationships. We make jokes about how he wants it in the morning and she wants it at night or how she wants it when she feels close but he wants it to feel close (and visa versa).
Desire discrepancy happens when couples want different amounts of sex, different types of sex and want sex at different times. With repeated experiences of one person wanting it and the other not, couples can start to pay more attention to the problems they have in their sex life rather than the redeeming qualities. If the relationship deteriorates, resentment for sexual problems can grow and leave us more disconnected from our sexual selves. These are the times in life when we often only want to see things in black and white because the grey is too confusing.
Desire discrepancy may make some people go on to think and believe:
I am not a sexual person
My partner has a high libido and I have no libido.
If you only retain one piece of insight into your sexuality, I would encourage it to be this: thinking of your sexuality as all-or-nothing will probably cause problems.
Why? Because sex needs flexibility in thoughts, behaviours AND emotions. Once we shut ourselves off to being sexual, we stop feeling sexual. Having a sexual concern and being concerned about it says that you are a sexual person and that your sexuality needs a bit more tender attention.
For many of us, sex can be the most challenging part of our relationship and the most sensitive. Life is stressful and keeping the connection and sexual desire in the relationship is difficult but it doesn’t have to be. For personalised guidance about desire discrepancy, libido, sexual conflicts and sex in long-term relationships and marriage, go to my sessions page.