Unhappy couple in bed
Love Matters

Syncing for sex: do’s and don’ts

What happens if your partner wants more or less sex than you? It can be awkward, or even hurtful, but it doesn't have to be a deal breaker – if you work on it together.


  • ...talk about it
    Sex is more than just the physical act. It makes us feel loved, and wanted, and attractive. And if your partner doesn't give you what you need, or asks for too much, it can be very upsetting. Try to keep a cool head and don't nag or pressure – that will just make things worse.

    It might sound like an exaggeration, but differences in sexual desire can cause feelings of hatred, loneliness and despair. Sex can be an important aspect of a relationship, and many expectations are connected to it. And that's why it's important to talk to your partner about it, if things go wrong. What does sex mean to you, and what do you need? Listen to what your partner has to say, as well.
  • … deal with your frustrations
    If you have tried a lot of things, from initiating, to sexy underwear and flirting and all the seduction hasn't worked, you could be left with a lot of frustration bottled up in you. Don't make it worse by constantly focusing on the issue. Try and do what psychologists call ‘sublimation’ – which simply means putting your energy into something else.

    Exercise. Start a new hobby or join a club. Give yourself something else to focus on, so you don’t become frustrated with your partner and grow resentful. It's definitely worth a try!

    You should ensure that your partner doesn't feel excluded though. Make an effort to spend time with your partner, and even get him or her involved in your new activities.
  • … take a look at your relationship, your behavior, and your health
    It could be that changes in your relationship, or the way you treat and talk to each other, have an impact on your sex drives. Talk about what's going well, and what could need improvement, and your needs. This doesn't have to be about sex. Maybe your partner needs to spend more quality time with you, or generally feel like there is more to the relationship than sex.

    Behavior can also influence sex drive. If your partner only touches you when he or she wants sex, it can be a turn-off. Try to find new ways of working things out together. Do your best to listen. What might sound like excuses to put off sex could actually be important factors for your partner to feel relaxed and get in the mood.

    Also, don't forget to mention your low or high sex drive to your doctor. Particularly low sex drive, or other issues like erectile dysfunction problems, could be a sign that there are underlying health problems.


  • … take it personally
    Whether you are the partner with the high or low sex drive, it's important to remind yourself that differences in sexual desire are very common. And while it can make you feel lonely and be very hurtful to feel rejected by your partner, or make him or her feel that way, it's important to remember that this isn't your fault. It's not due to the way you look or that your partner isn't in love with you or attracted to you anymore.
  • … let your sex drive take over your relationship
    If the sex drive issue isn't just a temporary one, it can easily become a relationship's central hotspot. And not in a sexy way. But that can end up creating a vicious circle, making things even worse.

    So try this: instead of the constant pursuing-rejecting scenario, back off for a while. Don't make a big deal out of it, and certainly don't threaten your partner. Just give him or her time. Be attentive and loving, just don't try to follow through to make love. This might be really difficult, but it shows your partner that they are appreciated for more than sex. And who knows, maybe you backing off gives them much needed breathing space. And less pressure could result in your partner – you might have guessed it already – wanting to have sex again.
  • … deny yourself pleasure
    If you are the one with the high sex drive, you shouldn't deny yourself pleasure. You can masturbate – that will help with the most pressing sexual needs. Don't be resentful about it. It's okay to admit that you have sexual desires that need to be addressed. It won't change that fact that you want more sex than your partner, but it will take the edge off.

    On the other hand, just because your partner doesn't want sex it shouldn't mean that there is no physical intimacy between the two of you. Keep cuddling, kissing, and telling your partner that you find him or her attractive. But again, try not to pressure your partner, or the vicious circle will start all over again.

Have you experienced differences in sex drives in your relationship? How did you cope? Leave us a comment or join our Facebook discussion.

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