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Different sex drives and compatibility question

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Countrygirl10 posted 5/3/2019 03:42 AM

A general question I was pondering today
What are your thoughts on if one partner has a really high sex drive and one has more of a normal/below normal one?

Would the relationship work? Would that topic be a cause for lots of disagreements? Is it a set up for one to cheat? Is it a deal breaker? Etc

My thoughts.
The relationship could work but there would be constant tension on the relationship from sexual frustration and increased disagreements on compromise (for lack of a better word) in regards to how often, fulfillment of wants (ie: more forplay, location, etc). As for cheating I do thing there is a much higher risk, at minimum sexting.

Yes this is my 4am thoughts when I should be sleeping. And wondered what others opinion was on this

rugswept posted 5/3/2019 04:19 AM

the fact you're here at 4AM posting about this should tell you that this will at least be a conflicting relationship.

if you're the higher libido, ask yourself if you can tolerate him with lower. you can only know and speak for yourself.

from the tone of your post... he's much higher than you. you cannot speak for him.

Rideitout posted 5/3/2019 06:34 AM

My wife has a MUCH higher drive to go shopping than I do. In fact, I'm a bit of a "dead bedroom" shopper, I'd be OK if I never went shopping again. But it makes her happy when I take her, and I like to make her happy, so I take her frequently. And I support her to go shopping by herself too.

Sex is the similar to me. The person with the lower drive has defacto control over sex in the relationship. A "no" is always no. So, if that's you, you have to ask yourself, would you be OK with more sex, even if it's not something you desire personally. Do you get enjoyment out of bringing your partner enjoyment? And if not, why?

Personally, I think we've done a great disservice to marital happiness with the message "if you don't feel like it, you shouldn't do it". You know how many things I don't feel like that I do anyway for the good of the relationship (starting with shopping!)? If you start from the basis of "it's all about what I want" well, sex, shopping, mowing the lawn, the dishes.. None of it is going to go well. You should start from the perspective of "what does my spouse want" or "what would be best for him/her" and if he/she is doing the same for you, you'll have a happier (IMHO) relationship.

Can you make it work? Of course you can! Some huge percentage of marriages out there are between 2 people with mismatched sex drives. They make it work. So can you. Also, telling you a personal story, people can and do change. My W's sex drive today is 10X what it was in the past. Or, putting it into different terms, what I see from her is 10X the desire she used to have for me. Perhaps her drive hasn't changed at all, but she's just decided that giving more sexually is something that she's willing to do. Either way, result is the same, the sexual drought ended years ago for me; all with the same woman. Today I can barely keep up. No, I don't think a switch flipped in her brain and suddenly she's higher drive than me. I think that she decided "this is important to RIO and I'm going to make an effort in this area". Net result, is the same though; high drive or not, it feels to me like she can't get enough of me sexually and I can't ask for anything more (mostly because I can't get myself "ready" that many times in a day).

barcher144 posted 5/3/2019 06:43 AM

I think that it *can* work but it is not likely to work out well.

My experience has almost always been that I have a higher sex drive than my partner. With many of my partners, it became a source of frustration because she felt pressured, inadequate, whatever she felt.

In my current relationship, my girlfriend has a higher sex drive than me. It works out fine. If she is in the mood and I am not, she will masturbate (often in front of me) or I will take care of her needs even though I am not in the mood (it helps that I am a people-pleaser).

I am sure that it also helps that we are both very sex-positive... so it's not awkward for her to masturbate in front of me.

Adaira posted 5/3/2019 06:56 AM

I was the higher drive partner in my marriage. I stayed faithful. My ex, who had a low drive and constantly rejected me, cheated. I think a lot more goes into the cheating equation than just sex drive. And furthermore, the issue of sex drive is fairly complicated as well. My exWH claimed low sex drive, but he also used porn fairly frequently versus being intimate with me and also enjoyed punishing me passive aggressively by withholding physical and emotional intimacy.

JimmyB posted 5/3/2019 07:49 AM

I assume it could work if both partners are very aware of it, attuned to it and both are making the necessary individual effort to keep it in balance.

In my marriage it doesn't work. My WW had little to no libido or desire for years prior to her last A. She even told her AP she thought she'd never have that kind of desire again. During that A she had plenty of libido, plenty of desire, for him anyway. For the past 6 years post DDay, she has had no libido, no desire. If we have sex, it only happens if I pursue her, she even told me resists engaging with me so I will. At this point, I'm done with chasing her, it's not going to happen. How big of an obstacle is it? It's big enough that after giving her chance after chance, after accepting her multiple affairs, I'm pretty sure it will be the final nail in the coffin.

Countrygirl10 posted 5/3/2019 07:55 AM

Oh wow thanks for the responses

I find it interesting after I posed this I found a ton of questions kind of similar to mine it was interesting on people’s thoughts..

I’m still in that limbo stage and I was speaking in regards to my wh and myself. Yes I am the one with the much lower sex drive and I have 100% put in all the non desirable sex acts to makes it more ‘enjoyable’ (for lack of a better word again ) (I agreed to a open marriage against by better judgement) yet here I am
Pondering if I’m making a big mistake deep down I think I am because he has already started with the ‘I need this’ statements and the ‘I need it more often’. My sex drive isn’t that low like 3-4 times a week but since all this went down it is really really hard to even want to but that’s another topic lol.


hikingout posted 5/3/2019 08:02 AM

I think it's impossible that in a relationship both of you are going to have an equal sex drive. And, to further that, when you are married for a very long time - that can go up and down in BOTH people.

I agree with Adaira, cheating can be caused by a lot of things. I think it's two pronged. There is motivation, and there is character.

Motivations for affairs could include: Sex, Validation, Addiction issues, Escapism, revenge, and more.

No matter the motivation, the person cheating must figure out the why's (or another poster once said the "hows") Where in their character were they able to break their vows?

So, let's say for example it's sex so that we stay with the them of what you are saying. Well the questions they need to ask themselves is "Why was I able to break my vows and cheat, what made me feel entitled to do that?" Because I can guarantee you there are lots of people who have a higher sex drive than their partner and they do not cheat.


I will put what rideitout said in different terms. When we marry someone we must learn to negotiate with a mindset of "win-win". Whether that is finances, hobbies, sex, chores, whatever it is. Noone is owed sex in a relationship, and I do think if I don't want to do it, it's fine if I don't. But, I just don't think it flies if I never or rarely want to do it. I do think whoever it is that has the lower sex drive may need to put some energy into their own sexuality in trying to stoke their own fires. And that both people must be honest about what they enjoy, what feels good to them, etc. And, both parties must be interested in the others pleasure. If all those things are true, I think you will find that you will have a mutually satisfying sex life. If you are having great sessions, the higher drive person will be more patient, and it will stoke your desire to do it again sooner.

hikingout posted 5/3/2019 08:42 AM

I am sorry Countrygirl. We cross posted, so if I had known the details I would have probably responded differently.

3 or 4 times a week really should be sufficient for a high drive person. And, the fact that now he has cheated and you don't want to, that is normal and he should be patient or don't let the door hit his ass on the way out.

Open marriage takes a lot of trust. I would say that should not even be a consideration at this point. He's already sent the message you are not enough, do not give him permission to keep enforcing that.

Fenderguy posted 5/3/2019 10:41 AM

I would happily have sex every day. Full on sex, with all forms of foreplay included, as often as possible. My wife, on the other hand, could take it or leave it. She neither hates it nor loves it, it’s just something fun to do for her. We meet in the middle and have pretty bland, vanilla sex 2-3 times a week. Occasionally for big occasions like my birthday, Christmas, anniversary etc, she’ll go the extra mile and add a few “services” to the usual proceedings. For the most part it works, but sometimes I just miss passionate lovemaking with someone who really wants to be intimate with me. Sometimes I’m ok with the way things are, and sometimes it seems so hopeless.

This all started after our 2nd child was born in 2014. At first it was fine, but by about 2015 I began to notice a definite change in her sexual nature. Before kids, she was a sex crazed maniac. I couldn’t keep up with her, honestly. She conveniently forgets this, but I remember.

The fact that she had sex with another man in the fall of 2016 7 times doesn’t exactly make this situation any easier for me.

DIFM posted 5/3/2019 11:34 AM

The choice to cheat is not connected to sex drive or not getting enough. The decision to cheat is a broken compass. It is the manifestation of an unsafe, broken lack of boundaries.

Sex or money or self indulgence or wants or marital frustrations are all just excuses to cross boundaries. It is the boundary crossing that is the reason for cheating, not the excuse (e.g., not getting enough).

cocoplus5nuts posted 5/3/2019 11:39 AM

From your 2nd post, it sounds like you are doing the pick me dance, thinking that at least part of the fault of the A is because you didn't give your CH enough sex or the right kind. The pick me dance never works for R. You have no fault or responsibility for his cheating no matter what other issues there may have been in the M.

Why are you, as the BP, putting in so much effort? What is your CH doing for you?

WRT the original question, I think it can work if both partners understand the other and are willing to talk and work together toward a compromise.

I am the HD and my H is the LD in our M, at least if you look at who initiates more often. My fch says he wants more sex, but doesn't do anything about it. My H is the one who cheated.

Sometimes, I get frustrated, but I don't think, "Well, guess I'll go find someone else to satisfy me." I talk to my H about it.

A little funny, after reading about prenups and other BPs expectations for sex, I told my fch that we needed to get a prenup that required sex at least 3 times a week. He didn't seem to mind that one bit. Of course, it only lasted 2 weeks. 😕

[This message edited by cocoplus5nuts at 11:40 AM, May 3rd (Friday)]

ChamomileTea posted 5/3/2019 11:45 AM

I don't know if it's "drive" which makes the difference or if it's the ability to prioritize. Libido is going to fluctuate for most people over the course of a lifetime, particularly for women. A woman's hormone level is constantly in motion during her fertile years... and then there's menopause.
Healthy males have twenty times the testosterone. And even then, there are some cases where it's the male in the relationship with the lower drive. There are even some cases where the post-menopausal female in the relationship has the higher drive. So, I don't think it's all about biology, even though biology puts the whole thing in a constant state of motion. I think quite a bit of it is about attitude.

So, I think you can deal with lop-sided libidos if there's respect. And there's nothing quite so disrespectful as a cheating partner. When a person prioritizes their own orgasms as more important than your feelings, or your health, or your family's financial stability... that's a problem. That's a person with an unhealthy relationship with sex. That's a person with the inability to respect his/her mate.

Three or four times a week is not a sluggish libido. And I gotta say, a constantly horny man has all the charm of an ankle-humping chihuahua. How can YOU have respect for a guy who's whole life revolves around entertaining his penis?... particularly, once that priority has resulted in adultery?

I dunno. I think I would shift the focus to "what are this guy's real priorities?" and see if it's something I even wanted to deal with.

[This message edited by ChamomileTea at 11:47 AM, May 3rd (Friday)]

crazyblindsided posted 5/3/2019 11:51 AM

And I gotta say, a constantly horny man has all the charm of an ankle-humping chihuahua.

you are not alone in feeling this way! Ha

[This message edited by crazyblindsided at 11:51 AM, May 3rd (Friday)]

DevastatedDee posted 5/3/2019 11:58 AM

Countrygirl, my WH could not have ever had the complaint of not enough sex from me. Ever. He was the lower-drive partner (I thought...maybe his drive was just more directed into his hand than anything else). I settled for 3 to 4 times per week of pretty vanilla standard sex and I was okay with that because I believed there was so much more than just sex between us and I valued that.

Yet he was the one who cheated on me with numerous partners for who knows how long.

Sex drives and compatibility are something to consider when infidelity isn't involved. Infidelity wrecks so much in the bedroom that I don't know if you even get to any place to worry about that until at least a couple of years go by.

sisoon posted 5/3/2019 13:29 PM

A few years ago I came across a book by a low-interest woman on how she and her H made their M work. For the life of me, I can't find it again.

If you can find a sex researcher or sex therapist, you can probably get a reference to that book or a similar one.

I lived with less sex than I wanted for some years as a road warrior. Also, in general, pre-A we both lived with less sex than we wanted partly because we thought the other was happy with what we did and partly because of CSA and its many ramifications.

Love can enable compromise.

Girl123 posted 5/3/2019 15:05 PM

I have a higher sex drive than my husband, I could count in one hand how many times he said no to me. If he's not in the mood he still helps me get there. Overall he gets in the mood in the middle of watching or helping me.

Rideitout posted 5/4/2019 05:56 AM

And I gotta say, a constantly horny man has all the charm of an ankle-humping chihuahua.

This is something interesting about physical touch/sex as a love language. Why is it a "turn off" like this when your H/W wants to express love to you this way? Words of affirmation are probably my last love language, they really don't do anything for me (and certainly don't feel good like sex/orgasm does). But if it made my wife feel good to follow me around all day today and tell me, every few minutes, "RIO, your an amazing specimen of maleness", well.. It's not going to make me compare her to an ankle biter, that's for sure. It just isn't going to make me feel loved the same way that a great 30 minutes in between (or on top of) the sheets would make me feel. But it seems that sex as a love language have this polarizing effect on people, if it's not your love language, speaking it or having it spoken to you is actually unpleasant?

I think that the thing that's very difficult about sex drive is that it's a very narrow golilocks range for a lot of people. Too little interest, "He doesn't love me, he doesn't care, why isn't he pursing me", too much "He's a little humping dog". Just the right amount, great. But determining that amount, and more difficult, figuring out if "right now" is the time someone wants to be pursued vs humping dog comparison.. That's near impossible, IMHO.

It always seemed so much easier for the low drive person to just set the "sex schedule". If you want to, I'm a "yes", every time. Why have me ask 10 times to say yes once? "I like to be pursued". Well, I like to catch the things I'm pursuing! And endless "No's" are very destructive to the psyche and eventually the relationship.

Note to readers, I tried the above. Seemed pretty reasonable as a way to make us both happy. I'll stop pursuing so you don't have to say "No" so often and so I don't feel like a rejected humping dog all the time. Disaster. Then she felt unwanted and unloved; convinced herself I'd lost my desire for her (and eventually had an A). That could not have been further from the truth, I had plenty of desire for her, I just didn't have desire to be shot down again and again. But that's how it felt to her because I stopped asking and let her control the if/when sex would happen.

NeverHealed posted 5/4/2019 06:20 AM

Summarizing what I have read so far:

1. If a woman wants to be told she is loved every day, that is her love language and the man should do that, especially if he wants sex.

2. A man who wants sex every day is less attractive than an ankle-humping chihuahua.

If you ladies wonder why sometimes men just shake their heads, remember this thread.

BraveSirRobin posted 5/4/2019 07:00 AM

But it seems that sex as a love language have this polarizing effect on people, if it's not your love language, speaking it or having it spoken to you is actually unpleasant?
My BH has been pretty consistently high drive for our entire M, while I have fluctuated, so I'll try to field this one.

There's a reason that horniness is compared to an itch. You know how when you have an itchy spot on your back you can't reach, and it's driving you nuts, and your partner scratches it for you? That totally blissful feeling of "YES, mmmm, that's it, right there?" Imagine that you have a spot that's itchy on a reasonably frequent basis, and so your partner knows just where it is. Now imagine that because of that, your partner decides that you wanted that spot scratched every day, multiple times a day. If you're sweaty, if your skin is dry, if you have a sunburn, if you're in the middle of doing something else, they'll scratch it, because look at the great reaction they got several times, right? You don't want to tell them to buzz off, because you love them, and also because under the right circumstances, they've got the best fingernails in the business. So you try to be subtle and honest, but it turns out that they're really getting something out of it (maybe they have a scratching fetish; I know, the metaphor is getting slightly tortured, work with me here). The point is that you want to be reciprocal, but your back is getting raw. You need time off to heal a bit. So if you manage that, and your back starts itching again, you go back to get it scratched, and now they're thrilled that it's all day every day again. So maybe the next time it itches, you grab a long handled hairbrush and give yourself a quick scratch instead of bringing them into it, because you just aren't up for touching off another marathon.

This can get to be a very damaging pattern for an M of mismatched drives, which is why communication is so important. Especially since, in my case and due to assorted hormonal issues, there have been months of time where my back is itching constantly, and others where it's so sensitive that it can barely stand to be touched.

[This message edited by BraveSirRobin at 7:25 AM, May 4th (Saturday)]

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