Do you know that look, that indicates that your partner wants sex… again?
Or do you know that fear of rejection, because whenever you ask for sex, you are turned down… with all different kinds of excuses?
Varying desire for sex is one of the most common problems in long-term relationships.
In today’s episode, I am going to share 5 tips on what to do, if one person in the relationship has a lot of sexual desire, and the other one rather sees it another annoying to do on the already way too long list…
The problem here is that the issue is usually not just limited to the question of how often the couple sleeps together, but has much wider implications.
Tip #1: Create understanding for each other
The partner who has more desire has to deal with being rejected again and again… and all that with an already sensitive topic.
Of course, self-esteem often suffers as a result.
I am too much
My desire is wrong.
I am not good enough.
He/she does not desire me.
Many begin to doubt themselves – whether there is something wrong with them – and begin to suppress their authentic need. This leads to frustration and resignation in the long term, because – together with the sexual desire – they often suppress their own vitality and joy of life.
Others get angry when the partner does not fulfill their sexual desire while expecting fidelity in a monogamous relationship.
Of course, this leads to a lot of arguments and distance in the relationship…
And then it is also not surprising if the partner – after suppressing his/her own needs for years or being shamed for it, eventually cheats when the opportunity presents itself… given there is a person who desires him/her as he/she is…
But even for the partner who is less interested, the situation is usually super challenging.
They often feels pressured by their partner, that they “have to want” sex.
And all this, while most people already put a lot of pressure on themselves in bed because they think they have to perform, have an orgasm or have to hold out for a long time.
So your own sexuality, which should actually be an expression of joy and love, suddenly becomes an issue that generates an incredible amount of stress and frustration.
Some give in to their partner’s urging and have sex only to please the other.
Others shut themselves off completely and withdraw more and more because the increasing pressure naturally kills the last remaining desire in them.
And here, too, the lack of desire often leads to strong self-doubts.
I am not good enough.
I’m not a good lover.
I have failed.
I can’t satisfy my partner.
Of course, all these thoughts eat away at your self-esteem.
In this case as well, there are people who bottle all of this up and shame themselves.
And others who blame their partner for it.
So if the issue is a constant source of arguing, it is important to understand that there are two deeply hurt and triggered people trying to defend themselves or find an outlet for their own frustration and despair.
Blaming the partner is an expression of one’s own despair
I have to admit that we also played this “game” for a long time.
I was triggered by Damian’s desire and criticized him for it.
But in reality, I was desperate because of my own lack of desire and inability to really enjoy sex.
At first, I really tried to do everything I could to satisfy his desire, but I felt like no matter what I did, it was never good enough and I could only fail at it.
So my self-protection strategy, in order to not have to feel my own self-doubt, was to blame Damian and his “insatiable” hunger for sex.
I think we need to get out of this toxic game of trying to find someone to blame – no matter in which direction.
There is nothing wrong with you if you have a lot of sexual desire.
But there’s also nothing wrong with you if you have little sexual desire.
It’s neither yours nor your partner’s “fault” if your sexuality isn’t the way you want it to be at the moment.
I think it’s super important to change your inner attitude before starting an open and clarifying conversation.
Really acknowledge your own self-worth. “Your needs are fine”.
And develop real curiosity and interest in the partner’s perspective, because his/her needs are also okay and want to be heard.
As Marshall Rosenberg puts it so beautifully: “Every criticism and judgment is a tragic expression of an unmet need“
If your partner criticizes your desire or non-desire, it doesn’t mean that you are wrong, but that one of his needs is not being met and he can’t express it any better.
Tip #2: Have an open conversation about your feelings and needs
In order to break the vicious cycle of criticism, justification or resignation, it is important to create real understanding for each other.
Expressing your own feelings and needs in conversation as well as really listening to your partner in order to create compassion for his/her perspective.
This requires a lot of trust and safety.
Your own inner attitude often decides how safe your partner feels.
Are you really open to hearing your partner out without criticizing or defending yourself?
If you criticize someone, they will block or justify themselves.
It’s an absolutely human reaction.
But if you show yourself vulnerably with your wishes and needs and really want to hear what is preventing the other person from responding to those needs, then there is a greater likelihood that your partner will also open up.
It definitely has made a huge difference for us.
There are topics that I have repeatedly “mentioned”, criticized or addressed in charged situations – without any change.
When I then decided to create a safe space – one in which we were both connected and in love – to express my needs, Damian was suddenly able to really hear me and respond to my needs.
Sometimes we do it on our own. Sometimes we realize that we can’t get any further on our own and get help in form of couple coaching or mediation.
This mutual understanding will not solve the desire issue directly, but it will ensure that you get emotionally closer again.
That you can give each other empathy and love and that the feeling of not being good enough or not loved get soothed..
This creates hope and motivation to be able to tackle the topic of sexuality.
Tip #3: Satisfy your own needs - even independently of your partner
If you have more desire than your partner, it is super helpful if you learn to recognize your needs and to satisfy them for yourself first – and thus become free and independent.
But how exactly that works, I’d rather let Damian explain himself:
“In my experience, there are many aspects that can play a role in why someone feels a lot of sexual desire.
Sex often serves as a substitute for other needs and can therefore also lead to dependency.
My biggest motivation for getting involved with the topic was to regain my freedom and not to be dependent on Meli or anyone else.
In the past I was very dependent on external stimuli. Whether porn or fantasies – there are many ways to seek excitement outside.
My path was to free myself from these external stimuli.
Through Tantra I have learned to better control and channel my arousal.
As with all aspects of Tantra, it is about awareness of oneself – one’s body, energy system, emotions and also one’s thoughts.
All of these levels play a role in our sexual desire.
In my experience, my sexual desire had been a very physical phenomenon. I could literally feel the pressure in my pelvis. Additionally, I was often emotionally irritated when there was a lack of self-pleasure and I was mentally very busy with the topic.
The first thing for me was to understand what sex means to me and what needs I satisfy through sex.
For me, sexual satisfaction was closely linked to self-esteem, self-confidence, relaxation, reward, closeness, connection, contentment, feeling myself,…
The second step was to distinguish which of these needs I can fulfill myself and which I need Meli’s support for.
I was able to solve many of the issues myself.
I was also able to fulfill my desire for relaxation, for example, by going to the sauna more often.
And as far as self-esteem and self-confidence are concerned, I quickly realized that I had to do my own inner work and that it wasn’t a good idea to look for it on the outside.
Through regular Tantric “self-love practice” (aka masturbation, which isn’t just about having a quick orgasm), I’ve also learned to move my sexual energy and distribute it throughout the body.
This has allowed me to release pelvic pressure, feel more of myself, experience internal orgasms, reward myself, gain more satisfaction, and also gain confidence by making more and more progress.
Of course I still needed Meli for closeness and connection, but I no longer projected this need onto her in the form of sexuality.
Instead, we shared a lot, cuddled and explored new forms of physical closeness through Tantra.
So I was able to resolve all the needs that I had projected onto sexuality in some way or another, mostly even within myself.
We already carry everything within us. It is our choice to take responsibility for our lives and our needs. Today I am very happy to have walked this path.
Of course it’s even nicer together, but only if both come together out of freedom and give from the heart.”
When Damian started to connect with his sexual energy, to move it and to have wonderful experiences on his own, it was not only great and liberating for him, but also for me.
Before, I often saw him as needy and pushy and this automatically caused resistance in me.
When he told me about the ecstatic states he experienced in this self-pleasure practice, it ignited my interest and curiosity. I even felt left out.
Why are you doing all this without me? I want to join 😉
Suddenly he was much more attractive to me again. Not so needy, but a man in connection with his sexual power and therefore super sexy 😉
I used to feel like Damian demanded or expected me to have sex with him. It put me under pressure and when we had sex it was a bit like I was just doing my duty.
Nowadays, he can take care of himself sexually and wants sex with me, because of course it is much nicer together.
If I say no, that’s perfectly fine with him.
And when we have sex, he is super grateful and fulfilled… and so am I 😉
Tip #4: Healing your own issues related to sexuality
If, on the other hand, you feel little or no desire, you can perhaps first clarify whether this has hormonal reasons. Not only the menopause and hormonal contraceptives, but also our lifestyle, diet, sleep, certain medications such as anti-depressants and too much alcohol can upset our hormonal balance and lead to loss of sexual appetite.
In most cases, however, the reasons are more to be found on a psychological level.
Very few of us grew up with a healthy relationship to sex.
Since the topic is still considered a taboo in most families and in our society, we usually have many limiting beliefs around sexuality.
These need to be questioned.
Do I believe that my sexuality is something to be ashamed of – or a sacred act of love?
Do I believe that my sexual desire is a lower urge that I have to suppress – or an authentic expression of my vitality and joie de vivre?
Do I think I need to be super sexy and a top performer in bed to be loved – or can I relax and just enjoy the closeness and connection?
Our thoughts have a tremendous impact on our desire and sexuality.
For me, it was an important part of my healing journey to first become aware of my thoughts and then to question them.
The second step for me was to get from my head into the body. To relax, to feel myself more again and to also develop more sensitivity in my Yoni – which previously reacted to touch with either numbness or pain.
The biggest pleasure killer of our time today is stress and our own thought spirals.
In order to learn to feel ourselves again, it is essential to get out of our head, into our bodies and to relax.
For many, sports or mindfulness training such as Yoga, body scan and the likes are helpful.
In Tantra, the path is mainly through breathing and mindful touch.
In this respect, an active “self-love” practice can also be very helpful.
Take time to love your own body.
Touch yourself the way you want the best lover to touch you.
Really consciously explore your own genitals.
Many people don’t even know what they actually like, but expect their partner to catapult them into seventh heaven… Of course, this makes disappointment inevitable.
In order to experience a fulfilling sexuality, it is important to first find out what you actually want.
Slowing down also plays a major role.
Since most people get their sex education from porn, the lived sexuality is often far too fast to even feel anything and really connect with the partner.
Many people are also numbed and overstimulated by vibrators, vigorous penetration, and frequent consum of porn.
But the good news is that all of this can be undone.
At first, many of our participants cannot even imagine how it should be possible to get aroused without porn or fantasies and at some point they are completely stoked at how much undiscovered potential for pleasure is still in them once they consciously take the time to explore their own bodies.
Tip #5: Find a form of sexuality that both can enjoy
Parallel to what each of you can do and heal for yourself, it is also important to find a form of sexuality that both of you can really enjoy.
Taking away any goal orientation and coming together without an agenda is a real miracle cure when it comes to creating connection in the bedroom.
For most couples, it means not to focus on reaching an orgasm anymore, for others, it can also help to leave penetration aside for a while.
Sometimes it can help to experiment more with oral sex or intimate massages.
Sometimes it helps to take out the activity and focus more on the connection.
And sometimes it is also a great relief when it is clear that one day it’s all about her and the next day it’s all about him. That there are clear roles of who gives and who receives so that the recipient can really relax.
There are so many forms of lovemaking to explore.
It is important that you both openly communicate what you want for your love life and look for something that both of you enjoy.
Because in the end, the connection and the joy of shared physicality is what should be in the foreground.