If you’ve been married or in a committed partnership for several years, you may have been struggling with desire discrepancy without knowing what to call it. Desire discrepancy is when two people in a relationship have different levels of sexual desire, resulting in one person wanting to have sex more often than the other. Desire discrepancies are not always apparent when partners first meet, as the high emotions of being in a new relationship often fuel people’s sex drives to be higher than their typical levels.
There are two main types of desire discrepancy:
- Absolute desire discrepancy: This is when one partner has a much higher or lower sex drive than the other. For example, one partner might want sex every day, while the other partner might only want it once a month.
- Relative desire discrepancy: This is when one partner's sex drive changes over time, while the other partner's sex drive remains the same. For example, one partner might have a high sex drive when they first start dating, but their sex drive might decrease over time.
Additional factors that can contribute to desire discrepancy include:
- Hormonal changes: Changes in hormones, like those that happen during menopause or pregnancy, can affect sex drive.
- Medical conditions: Some medical conditions, like depression or anxiety, can also affect sex drive.
- Medications: Antidepressants, birth control pills, and other common medications are known to have sexual side effects..
- Lifestyle factors: Low sex drive can be caused by factors such as fatigue or lack of sleep.
If you're experiencing a desire discrepancy in your relationship, there are a few things you can do to address it:
- Communicate with your partner: The first step is to talk to your partner about your needs and desires. Be honest and open about how often you would like to have sex.
- Find common ground: It might be helpful to try to find activities that you both enjoy that can lead to sexual intimacy. This could include things like taking a bath together, giving each other massages, or watching a romantic movie.
- Seek professional help: If you're unable to resolve the issue on your own, you might want to consider seeking professional help from a sex therapist or marriage counselor.
Desire discrepancy can be a tough issue to deal with, but it is possible to overcome. By following the tips above, you can improve your communication, connect with your partner in other ways, and find a solution that works for both of you.
In addition to the factors mentioned above, desire discrepancy can also be caused by relationship problems, such as lack of trust or communication. If you're experiencing desire discrepancy, it's important to look at the bigger picture and see if there are any other issues in your relationship that might be contributing to the problem.
Don’t hesitate to seek professional help - a therapist can help you and your partner communicate more effectively and develop strategies for navigating sexual intimacy in a more satisfying way. Our therapists at Salt River Therapy are here to support you - click on the below to set up a free phone consultation.