Resolving difference in libido

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Link+Zelda
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Re: Resolving difference in libido

Post by Link+Zelda »

Much of what I'm going to say has already been said, but I'll just throw out my opinion as well, even if there's some repeating.

I was glad to see @Lightbulb mention 1 Cor 7, as my gut response is that this is a situation of depriving. As is often the case, you're going to need to find a middle ground where each spouse bends some to accommodate the other. Marriage is 100/100, not 50/50...so both of you will need to put in your max effort. In my opinion, it is not okay for the higher-drive spouse to have everything sexual controlled by the lower-drive spouse, which so often seems to be the case.
Plumpurple wrote: Mon Jun 20, 2022 11:26 am It seems we just have a difference in libido. It may be in part due to low T for him, but that will go unresolved for the timebeing if it is involved. So I'm looking for other suggestions on managing a difference in libido. Ideally I am interested about 3x/week, whereas he has said he is comfortable with once a week/every other week and it's just really not a big deal to him. He has no problem reaching orgasm when we do have sex, but just isn't interested a lot of the time. After beginning our conversations we had sex more frequently for a couple weeks, but we had further conversation that it's just too frequent for him to be able to enjoy/be really engaged in that regularly.
This section caught my eye. While there is a small percentage of men that at your (presumably younger) age are fully satisfied with just once/week, I think it's pretty rare without a testosterone issue (rare but not unheard of). And that's coming from someone who doesn't like to point to low T as a possible cause often. Why will it "go unresolved for the timebeing if it is involved?" Are you two against hormonal treatment?

If low T isn't involved, my next guess would be mental blocks from his upbringing, particularly the Purity Culture stuff you've discussed.
Plumpurple wrote: Mon Jun 20, 2022 11:26 amI am not interested in "just for me" sex really - it's more about the intimacy of enjoying each other than the physical satisfaction for me. So if he's not enjoying it it's really doing nothing for me and causes more emotional discomfort than just foregoing sex entirely.
Of all the info you've mentioned, this stuck out the most to me. Why aren't you interested in "just for me" sex? Many people, myself included, can struggle with that, but what is the why for you? Is it Purity Culture related? Is it shame/embarrassment of a high drive (actually, 3x/wk isn't really that high)? You mention intimacy/enjoying each other, but that is still very much available in one-side sex...for instance, cunnilingus is considered by many to be as (more) intimate as (than) intercourse.

And why doesn't your husband enjoy it? I have no interest in doing some things my wife does (e.g. shopping) or some things she wants (e.g. redoing the bathroom). However, I very much enjoy doing them for her and would easily sacrifice many other options in order to do them. Many spouses do that in other areas, so why is sex different? Again, is it one or both of your upbringings? Does he love cooking for you, cleaning the house for you, and/or buying you gifts? If so, then why doesn't he love wrecking you in the bedroom if that's your request?

In terms of options for action, here are things that come to mind:
  1. Get advice for other higher-drive wives, even if that higher-drive status was only temporary. @SC already gave some input. Here at TMB, there is also @workerbee, @Violet, and @tentsofpurple. I don't know if any of those ladies is ever on these days, but you might also try @LuckyInLove (not sure if she's ever been higher drive through)...no way to now if she's reading this thread. You could also look into support networks for HrD wives. I know that J. Parker hosts one here. I bring this up simply because I know that HrD wives do face some unique challenges.
  2. Have you considered having sex (including PIV) with your husband without having him ejaculate? His orgasm/ejaculation will deplete his drive, but what if you had 3x/wk, but only once where he O'd? I know many women are against that and insistent the husband O's (for instance, my own wife), but I wanted to throw it out there.
  3. Various types of "sex for you" sessions, including: (1) him pleasuring you with OS, MS, or a toy, and (2) you masturbating with or without a toy while he was there supporting you. Both of those have a lot of appeal to many of us husbands.
  4. Consider solo masturbation if your husband won't participate in the above two. (This coming from a person who rarely suggests this.) It should be done with his full knowledge, but if he's depriving you, he can't insist you not solo M either. Would that be allowed if it was food? As @Lightbulb said, be sure to weigh this against the possibility of building up resentment.
  5. When doing all the above, make sure to communicate in a way that's not hard on his low(er) drive. Apparently, just like HrD wives have unique mental hurdles, so do LrD husbands.
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Re: Resolving difference in libido

Post by Plumpurple »

Link+Zelda wrote: Tue Jun 21, 2022 9:21 pm I think it's pretty rare without a testosterone issue (rare but not unheard of). And that's coming from someone who doesn't like to point to low T as a possible cause often. Why will it "go unresolved for the timebeing if it is involved?" Are you two against hormonal treatment?
If low T isn't involved, my next guess would be mental blocks from his upbringing, particularly the Purity Culture stuff you've discussed.
He seems uninterested in getting it checked out due to not thinking it a serious concern and budget-wise the treatment/consultation fees are more than we can afford currently even if it is an issue (assuming that it would only be for hormonal treatment, nothing life-threatening that would of course be worth sacrificing for).
Link+Zelda wrote: Tue Jun 21, 2022 9:21 pm Why aren't you interested in "just for me" sex? Many people, myself included, can struggle with that, but what is the why for you? Is it Purity Culture related? Is it shame/embarrassment of a high drive (actually, 3x/wk isn't really that high)?
I think in part due to feeling awkward that my drive is higher than his, as well as not wanting to make him feel inadequate. But mainly the emotional part of it just seems like it would be very awkward for a long adjusting period if we go that route - it's hard for me to be in the mood if I feel like he isn't there too. And I love giving him that attention/enjoying his body and that he's "mine," and it feels like that would be less a part of it. I actually think I would feel almost equally satisfied in manually or orally stimulating him and not needing the O myself once or twice a week, but he isn't interested 😆 I may see if he's interested in letting me enjoy him physically in some way though without any expectation to "fully" reciprocate - I'd still appreciate some kisses and cuddles.
I suggested other kinds of physicality (making out, "fondling" - I hate that word 😂, hand jobs, oral) and he was turned off by those for the most part (he's okay with manual stimulation during sex and making out during a more active sex session, but not really by themselves if that makes sense?). He said he is definitely not interested in oral, and is a simple guy who enjoys things as they are and doesn't need me to "achieve some new level of sexy" for him 😅 which I appreciate the sentiment, but also i am interested lol. I asked if he was comfortable with me kissing him "down there" and he said I could try it but he doesn't know how he would feel about it, more open to that than oral though.
Link+Zelda wrote: Tue Jun 21, 2022 9:21 pm And why doesn't your husband enjoy it? ...Again, is it one or both of your upbringings? Does he love cooking for you, cleaning the house for you, and/or buying you gifts? If so, then why doesn't he love wrecking you in the bedroom if that's your request?
I don't know if he has moral objections to it in his current framework of sex, but I don't think either of us even really considered sex "just for one of us" being an option until I came to this board (and it's only me here so far - he has been invited and knows I'm active here). So it's a lot to think through. I also think he just isn't emotionally interested in that level of physical intimacy that frequently - he can be more private/less expressive with his emotions in that way.
I hate to answer "no" to the "does he enjoy doing things for me" because it makes him seem like a bad husband (which I don't think he is). But no, he doesn't really enjoy buying me flowers/gifts or cooking for me or cleaning the house. He doesn't really view most of those things as things people *need* to do for one another exactly... More that we should work together in all things, if that's the way to put it. Things that need done at the end of the day that we didn't get to, we accomplish together (cleaning up our toddler's toys, cleaning up after dinner, I clean the kitchen while he cleans the bathroom, etc.). I think he has a different mindset toward a lot of things that is much more based on cooperation than a view of doing things for one another that were assigned to one of us. How that translates to bedroom activities, or if he has a different mentality in that area entirely, I'm not sure.
My husband definitely isn't the norm, but we work well together and I love almost everything about him - he has been a great partner in life, parenting and faith for me 🥰 just mentioning that because while this is a time we are at odds, I don't want to be representing his character poorly.
Link+Zelda wrote: Tue Jun 21, 2022 9:21 pm Get advice for other higher-drive wives, even if that higher-drive status was only temporary... You could also look into support networks for HrD wives. I know that J. Parker hosts one here. I bring this up simply because I know that HrD wives do face some unique challenges.
Thanks for these resources and for the rest of your reply! The other options are definitely something to think through; as I said we're just getting into the more "diverse" world of not absolutely plain vanilla sex.

It's a strange juncture right now because I had previously thought the lower sex frequency was due to some fault of mine, which was emotionally hurtful but seemed changeable. Having more communication from him on this and it possibly just being a libido difference feels both more and less manageable 🤷 more so in that it relieves some of the emotional tension but less so because it creates a different dynamic I wasn't aware of and am having to build a new "toolbox" of mentalities and ideas to work through it.
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Re: Resolving difference in libido

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Irnmyk wrote: Tue Jun 21, 2022 7:38 am
benny wrote: Tue Jun 21, 2022 7:08 am I'm going to go out on a limb here and say there's no resolution until the low drive spouse opens their minds and hearts to understanding the importance of sex and intimacy to their spouse and wants to change. Communication is great for pouring out your heart and letting your frustrations known but it's pointless unless they're open to working on change.

Many times a compromise is the best you can hope for.

Well, now, that's really the elephant in the room, isn't it? @Benny didn't just walk over and kick it, he poked it in the eye.
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Re: Resolving difference in libido

Post by Jpops »

benny wrote: Tue Jun 21, 2022 7:08 am I'm going to go out on a limb here and say there's no resolution until the low drive spouse opens their minds and hearts to understanding the importance of sex and intimacy to their spouse and wants to change. Communication is great for pouring out your heart and letting your frustrations known but it's pointless unless they're open to working on change.

Many times a compromise is the best you can hope for.
In our situation I’d even take this a step further and instead of “wants to change” use the phrase “has the ability to change”. Wifey has expressed that she wants to want sex, but the overwhelming preoccupation of her anxiety and use of distraction to cope prevents a meaningful shift of mindset and choices.
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Re: Resolving difference in libido

Post by benny »

Jpops wrote:
benny wrote: Tue Jun 21, 2022 7:08 am I'm going to go out on a limb here and say there's no resolution until the low drive spouse opens their minds and hearts to understanding the importance of sex and intimacy to their spouse and wants to change. Communication is great for pouring out your heart and letting your frustrations known but it's pointless unless they're open to working on change.

Many times a compromise is the best you can hope for.
In our situation I’d even take this a step further and instead of “wants to change” use the phrase “has the ability to change”. Wifey has expressed that she wants to want sex, but the overwhelming preoccupation of her anxiety and use of distraction to cope prevents a meaningful shift of mindset and choices.
I can see that

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