Beginners Guide to Sexual Desire Discrepancy

couple difficulty

Author: Joanna Sullivan

At its core, sexual desire discrepancy refers to a lack of sexual interest in one’s partner despite the presence of sexual interest in oneself. This may sound fairly simple, but it can be quite complex. If you’re feeling frustrated by things not working out as planned between the sheets, or if you’ve noticed your sexual desire “disappearing” over time.

What is sexual desire discrepancy?

Sexual Desire Discrepancy (SDD) is the measure of the difference between partners’ levels of sexual interest. It’s important to note that high levels of this discrepancy can affect a relationship by leading to feelings of loneliness, anger, and depression for one partner, while equally reducing their satisfaction with intimacy in the relationship.

Here are 3 tips to help you deal with this situation.

1.   What do you really want?

The first question a couple needs to ask is, what does each want from the sexual relationship? Truly knowing yourself and what you desire can have a major impact on your sex life.

Here are some things that many people will experience at various times during their lives:

Stress

Stress or anxiety can cause a blood flow issue, leading to a lack of arousal or inability to orgasm, but it won’t necessarily be linked with your emotional state.

Physical issues involved in arousal for women include increased blood pressure, increased heart rate, and restricted arteries due to tension in pelvic muscles.

This same stress can contribute to problems achieving orgasm in both sexes. Forcing an erection or having sex when you’re not up for it could amplify this tension and make reaching orgasm difficult.

Medication

Lack of interest can be caused by medication, medication side effects (such as mood changes due to antidepressants), lack of sleep in either partner, illness, or other physical problems. It’s important to talk with your doctor about any medications you’re taking if you’re experiencing a lack of sexual desire. Here are some simple solutions to boost low libido:

  • Get more sleep.
  • Get treatment for an illness or other medical conditions that might be inhibiting your sex drive.
  • Have a healthy diet and exercise.

Dissatisfaction

Relationship dissatisfaction is the number one reason why couples seek counseling for their sex life. If there has been an affair or a divorce, for example, this will affect whether a couple chooses to continue having sex with one another. The very thing that once attracted partners to each other is now their biggest irritant.

Couples can choose to work through this for the children’s sake, out of financial necessity, or because they want to try and make it last (marriage). They will then need to ponder how much is related to the relationship problems versus individual sexual preferences; they need to figure out if the two are compatible.

Lack of communication

Lack of communication can be an issue when your partner desires a certain type of intimacy that you’re not comfortable with or unwilling to partake in, yet you avoid talking about it. This can cause feelings of distance and resentment over time and a loss of sexual desire by both partners, which often leads one partner to seek affection outside the relationship.

Boundaries

Every individual has their own comfort zones, but if you are completely shut down sexually to your partner, it will affect him/her too. For example, if one partner finds certain acts and types of touch unpleasant, hurts, or is considered degrading, he/she could become turned off by them over time and lose their arousal for the person they love most in this world.

There needs to be a safe space where you can voice your desires without fear of judgment or rejection because you know that you’ll both play an active role in doing whatever it takes to keep you happy and satisfied.

2.   Can you compromise?

Compromising means meeting each other halfway between your preferences. It is important to recognize that compromise does not mean giving up something you truly desire, only taking turns with the goal of meeting one another’s needs even if some requests are denied occasionally. Balance can be achieved by understanding needs vs. wants on both sides. The first step in sexual compromise is to accept sexual differences rather than try to change each other.

3.   Consider counseling:

If you’re unable to work it out on your own, consider couples counseling. In a supportive environment, you may discover ways of adjusting your sexual patterns to make sexual relations more satisfying for both parties. However, don’t give up too easily without seeking professional help from a skilled therapist who understands sexual health care and has experience in resolving sexual difficulties with non-traditional approaches.

We offer treatment in both our Lakewood & Longmont offices

Take the first step, when you are ready to contact us, we invite you to call us at 720-551-4553 for a free 20-minute phone consultation. You can schedule your appointment via phone, email, or the contact page on our website. Right now, because of COVID-19, we offer both in-person and online anxiety counseling. We’re open to whichever option you feel more comfortable with.  We look forward to hearing from you!