4 Solutions For When Your High Sex Drive Is Mismatched To Your Partner’s

Your libidos might not be as different as you think.

couple dealing with low sex drive getty

If you and your partner have mismatched libidos, meaning one of you has a high sex drive and the other has a low one, it can make intimacy a difficult — and touchy — subject in your household.

How familiar does this sound?

You and your partner are both in bed after a long day at work. You’re reading or doing something on your phone, and then your partner reaches over and starts getting frisky with you. 


RELATED: 7 Things To Do If You Have A Higher Sex Drive Than Your Partner

He’s trying to initiate some love-making like a horny college student trying to score with a sorority girl. Unfortunately, you’re just not in the mood.

Sex is the last thing on your mind after dealing with a demanding boss, a screaming toddler, an unyielding workload, and a soul-crushing commute because another idiot on the shortlist for the Darwin Awards got into an accident and added 45 minutes to your drive.

Your partner’s sex initiation and your tendency to reject them (or maybe it’s the other way around) may be repetitive behavior and a result of mismatched libidos, or mismatched sex drives.


Low sex drive is incredibly common.

Low sex drive in one partner is a common problem in relationships, perhaps up there with miscommunication, score-keeping, and all the negative things your partner does.

Or is it?

Sometimes, couples think their sex drives are more off than they really are.

I’ll spare the details, but my partner Phillip and I thought we had mismatched libidos for a while until we rated our own sex drives on a scale of one to 10. When we realized our libidos weren’t actually that far apart, we had a new perspective on our intimate life.

If you and your partner did the same exercise, how far apart would you be? Worlds apart, like Earth and Neptune, close together, or somewhere in-between?


Wherever you are, it’s normal for the person with the higher libido to feel ashamed about their sexual needs after much rejection. It’s also normal for the one with the lower libido to feel pressured, inadequate, or good for only one thing — sex.

With that said, if you and your partner feel worlds apart in your sex life, there are a few things to consider in making this part of your relationship less daunting like a cliff jump and more comfortable like a memory foam mattress.

Here are 4 solutions for when you and your partner's sex drives are mismatched.

1. Practice empathy and communication.

These are such fundamental practices in any relationship, although sometimes it can be difficult to empathize with the other when you’re consumed in your anxiety, like being trapped in a jar.


Slow down, breathe, and talk it out like mature adults in a judgment-free zone (or with as little judgment as possible). Take turns sharing how you feel, and acknowledge and validate each other’s feelings, whether or not you agree with them.

If he feels like he can’t live without nipple squeezes, as weird as it might sound to you, acknowledge and validate him anyway.

If you feel like you can’t live without clitoral stimulation (and indeed, many women need it to orgasm), he should acknowledge and validate you, even if it sounds weird to him.

This is not a parliamentary debate or a drama-driven reality TV show; it’s a real-world relationship with stakes.


RELATED: Why Anxiety Increases Sex Drive In Some People

2. Respect each other's boundaries and non-sexual qualities.

Another huge ingredient in a rock-solid relationship is healthy boundaries. It’s respectable to have reasonable limits, whether that means not filming yourselves having sex or being intimate two or three times a week.

Also, if you’re both decent human beings, you’d respect each other’s non-sexual qualities. This is especially important for those with lower libidos who might feel like all they’re good for is a good old-fashioned whoopee.

As it turns out, people are multidimensional creatures, not sex dolls. Please acknowledge your partner’s other amazing qualities, which are the reasons you two fell in love in the first place.


3. Discover what turns you on.

For whatever reason, whether it’s because you were raised in a sex-negative environment or because your selfish exes always received more pleasure than you did, you might be disconnected from your body and don’t know what lights your fire.


A loving, patient partner will help you discover what gets your sex juices flowing, or give you space to figure it out yourself. Masturbation, a practice that’s so natural that it’s been depicted in prehistoric rock paintings, can be a good place to start in rediscovering your body.

4. Find a happy medium between your sex drives.

Finding a happy medium in your relationship can be likened to eating your favorite junk food in moderation. It’s the “Goldilocks zone," meaning it's not too much, not too little, but just right.

Find what works for you both, whether that’s finding a more comfortable way to give a blowjob or acting out a sexual fantasy based on terms you’ve negotiated (e.g., he wants you to dress up, but you get to pick the outfit).


You can even consider sex therapy as a last resort. Work together on this problem like you have on others in your relationship, and I have faith you’ll return victorious!

RELATED: Why Won't He Sleep With Me? 14 Sad-But-True Reasons Your Boyfriend Or Husband Isn't Having Sex With You

Holly Shaftel is a certified professional coach who specializes in helping women trade in their relationship anxiety and insecurity for peace of mind. Learn more about her practice at Holly Shaftel, LLC, and take her research-backed "Relationship Insecurity Quiz" to see where you stand romantically.