How to Handle Mismatched Libido

In an ideal world we would all want to get down and dirty with out partners in the same ways, at the same times, with the same frequency and intensity, but sometimes that's just not the case. First of all I want to tell you that that is absolutely fine, not all of us have the same physical needs and it doesn't mean your relationship is doomed or even that this is going to be an issue forever. One important thing to remember is that libido changes, relationships change, and so whether it's a new relationship and an initial mismatch, you've seen a shift over time, or you're just going through an uncharacteristic dry spell, it's not necessarily the end of the road.

It can be equally stressful for both partners when there is a clear difference in sex drive, whether you worry your lower drive is getting in the way of you satisfying your partner or you feel under pressure to perform or you're on the other side and you worry you're pressuring your partner or not having your needs met. But what can you do? How can you make sure that this situation doesn't destroy the other areas of your relationship or cause you to drift from each other? I might have some solutions (or at least some steps to help).

Don't take it personally

The truth is that some people just don't have very high sex drives and some do, it really isn't much more complex than that. For the most part if your partner just doesn't want to have sex as frequently as you do but you still have intimacy and satisfaction in your relationship then it's not your fault and no, they probably don't hate you or find you unattractive or whatever your overthinking is telling you. Equally if your partner wants to have sex a lot it's not necessarily because it's all they want from you or because they don't value the time you spend together when you're not boning so don't assume that it says anything about how much they respect you. The first step with dealing with this is to try to look past your emotional response to rejection or pressure and try to approach the situation more logically as it will help with communication.

Talk about it

On that note, communication is key. If you feel like there is an issue with your sexual compatibility or needs being met then talk about it. In a relationship you should be able to talk openly about most anything that could be an issue so get into the habit of this ASAP. Talk about what you consider to be intimacy, talk about your sex drive be it high or low, talk about what gets you in the mood and what really doesn't, talk about other ways you could get the satisfaction, talk about your relationship with sex, talk about how you feel this could impact your relationship, talk about how you feel about each other. Just please, dear god, talk to your partner.

Mix it up If the issue is just that things have gotten a little boring or repetitive, which is common and can be normal in a long term relationship but should by no means be the end of your sex life, then talk with your partner and figure out a way to bring it back. Get into fantasies, get into new routines, get into trying to seduce each other again. Equally if you're in a new relationship and you're just finding general mismatch, find out what could ignite that fire. I'd recommend always trying to keep things fresh and pushing yourselves to explore more as a relationship progresses as a standard and, if things need shaking up then do it, but remember to be considerate of the other person and, if there is an issue of genuine sex drive rather than mood making, then don't be too pushy.

Seek other intimacy

Sometimes, for whatever reason beyond our control, you just won't be able to have sex as much as usual or as much as you'd like. Be it mental health, physical health, or just life in general getting in the way, it's important to remember that sex isn't the only intimacy you should have in a relationship and that you need to focus on other forms of intimacy for when sex isn't on the table so often. I'm talking touching, kissing, talking deep, cuddling, quality time together- all the good stuff that you should be getting the same feelings of satisfaction from. Not having sex doesn't end relationships because plenty of people are deeply in love without being at it like rabbits, a lack of intimacy on the other hand? Killer.


If your needs aren't being met then meet them yourself. Sometimes we rely too heavily on partners for satisfaction in all areas of our life and, when they aren't able to give us that, we assume the relationship is the issue or our partner is wrong rather than just taking responsibility. Now, if they're genuinely neglectful then sure, it's an issue, but if you want sex every day and they're just not on it for whatever reason then masturbate more. Your level of horniness isn't your partner's obligation and some alone time is definitely going to be better for both of you than you pressuring them to live up to your standards. Masturbation is still normal and healthy when you have a partner so don't assume that just because you're with someone that they have to take care of every urge you have.

Get help

If all else fails? Talk to a professional. Honestly if it's causing you huge issues and you just can't get past it yourself then I'd recommend sex therapy to get to the bottom of where the issues are and how you can work together to get past them. It's not like they're going to give you the secret to unlock your partners libido but they'll help you with the communicating and the intimacy and the process of bringing back sparks. What's important is that you remember that sex isn't the be all and end all of relationships and, if your partner means anything to you, it's worth fighting to get past these hiccups even if you do need a little help.

Things that don't help

Don't cheat, don't fight about it, don't push each others boundaries and try to force it, don't close yourself off emotionally to your partner because you feel hurt. If you cheat because you're not having sex as much then you're trash. If you fight about it you're just increasing the negativity, communicate like adults. If you push boundaries or try to force your partner into something they're not comfortable with you absolutely suck. If you close yourself off because you're hurt you're just delaying conversations that can actually help and damaging other areas of your relationship where you could be experiencing intimacy.

Overall, it's an issue that is pretty complex and each situation will be different, but it is possible to get past it and, as long as you really want to, I believe you can reach a point where it isn't an issue and you can both feel happy, fulfilled, and loved within your relationship. And if your lack of sex is due to larger issues that you're not addressing in your relationship? It's better to get to the bottom of it sooner rather than later anyway.

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