Wednesday, February 19, 2014

When your sexual desires do not align

A question was raised within the Sexuary group about differences in sex drive.  What do you do when one of you wants sex every day and the other doesn't?  When one of you wants more kissing and touching and the other doesn't?  I have read many responses to this same question for years.  There is no right answer for everyone.  However, I wanted to share the following response from a group member that I felt would bring a lot of value to many of you.

"I would need to make a huge investment in lube if a man wanted to have sex with me every day. Every person is different and every body is different, but the amount of lube I'd need to keep from chafing during daily sex with a sizeable, circumcised partner would mean he wouldn't have enough friction to be satisfied. Men who want sex every day don't always seem to understand the physical (let alone emotional) consequences that demand can have for their female partners.

There were two big 'red flags' for me in [the above post]. First that you 'feel guilty for not giving it up enough,' and second that you 'feel pissed off that he can't value my body aside from sex.' In my personal experience, these feelings indicate there's a rift in your sense of trust and intimacy that can wreck havoc on your sex life.

First, consent should be ongoing and enthusiastic. 'Giving in' feels begrudged, breeds resentment, and doesn't leave either of you feeling fulfilled or eager for the next sexual encounter. Someone who keeps pushing for sex in that climate is hungry for intimacy, not simply sex, though they may not know another way to experience it. If sexual release is all he wants, masturbation should do the trick. If he specifically wants more sexual activity with you, he's craving intimacy with you, though he (or both of you) doesn't seem to understand that a good sex life is the result of emotional intimacy, not the cause of it. Working outside the bedroom to make sure you both feel heard, valued, respected, desired, and secure will do so much to improve sexual satisfaction for you both.

Second, feeling as though you are unwanted aside from the sexual and domestic services you can provide is a horrible feeling. I wouldn't want to have sex if I felt my partner viewed me that way either. The last time I felt that way, it helped to communicate that feeling to my partner, to tell him what I needed (more cuddles, more caresses everywhere aside from my breasts and bits, how the contact he was providing could be improved for my pleasure, etc). Women tend to approach sexuality from a place of awareness of and focus on our partner's pleasure. In my experience, men seem prone to falling into 'auto-pilot' mode, focused more on their own experience than on what their partner actually finds pleasurable. By affirming that he does want me to be enjoying myself and by gently but firmly correcting his behavior, we moved into a place where I felt valued. One impromptu back massage without any sexual agenda on his part did more to improve our intimacy and my sexual desire than I can explain. Being touched in a non-sexual way just because I would enjoy it made me feel valued. Feeling valued increased my desire for my husband.

The last piece of advice I have is to make sure you both feel like your husband is valuing your time. His stated desire of sex every day and oral in between is realistically a lot of hours out of your week. If your schedule is full, the thought of fitting in one more thing, one more act of service while your own needs go unmet, can be completely exhausting. If you both have a healthy respect for each other's time and need for self-care, this can drastically improve your mental availability for sexual desire. If I'm worried about getting a dozen things done, I can't relax enough to enjoy sex, especially with a partner who's being petulant about it. If he respects the other demands on your time, and especially if he steps in the help out (showing that he values you, your home together, and your partnership in life), it could make a big difference in your ability to relax, build intimacy, and enjoy sex. I hope some of this helps." - Eleigh

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