Sex Drives: His and Hers
By Michele Weiner-Davis of Divorce Busting
the entire country is focused on sex lately, I thought this letter that
I received might be of interest to people.
like to ask your advice about sex. My husband and I have very different
sex drives. For him, everyday would be great, and twice a day would be
greater. For me, once a week, but to accommodate him, I'd have sex twice
a week. I don't think I'm abnormal, but he asks, "What's wrong with you?"
I say it's normal for a couple to have sex once or twice a week. He says
he doesn't care about 'normal', it's not enough for him. He has a point,
but everyday and even every other day is too much for me. We've been married
almost 20 years and have both built up a lot of resentment towards each
other. He, because of the sex, and me, for a whole lot of other marital
problems. I never did have a high sex drive, even before we were married.
Neither of us know how to solve this problem, but it's a big one.
am very glad that you are asking for feedback about your sexual relationship
with your husband because the patterns in your marriage are so common that
others reading your letter and my response might benefit greatly.
of all, know that testosterone, one of the hormones responsible for sex
drive,is 20-40% more prevalent in men than women. Though it is not always
the case, it is very common for men to desire sex more often than their
wives. This gender difference often creates problems in marriages, particularly
when people blame each other for being different. Men think their wives
are passionless and women think their husbands are sex maniacs. (I write
about this in "A Woman's Guide to Changing Her Man"). Blame is the thing that destroys marriages, not differences in libido.
men and women have substantially different sex drives, something interesting
happens. Most women need to feel close to their partners emotionally to
desire sex. Women need to spend time with their partners, to communicate
on a deep level and feel like they're team mates in regards to housework
and kids and so on. All this has to be in place for most women to really
desire their men.
on the other hand, generally need to feel close to their partners physically
before they invest a great deal of energy into their relationships. So
she's waiting for him to be more intimate emotionally and he's waiting
for her to be more tuned into him physically and the resentment that results
in this waiting game is so huge, it's beyond belief.
being said, it's really important for both of you to become more understanding
of each other. This means you both need to try to imagine what it would
be like to live in each others shoes for a while. He probably walks around
feeling that if you loved him more, you would be more sensitive to his
needs. He undoubtedly feels hurt and rejected and might even question his
probably feel that if he loved more, he would be satisfied having sex once
or twice a week. He would also be more responsive to the other issues concerning
you in your marriage that you alluded to in your message. You also probably
walk around feeling bad that he never seems satisfied, that no matter what
you do, he's always unhappy. This isn't a pleasant feeling when you love
Kathy, one of you needs to be the big one here to break out of the vicious
circle. Since you wrote to me, I'm counting on you. It could just as easily
be your husband, but since I don't have his ear (eye), I'm going to direct
my advice to you.
of all, know that you're right about the average amount of sex most American
couples have per week..KNow also that that statistic isn't worth a dime
because your husband isn't fazed by it. So he'll go on being resentful,
angry and distant. The upshot is that you need to make him feel better
about your sexual relationship. When you do, I promise you, he'll be more
repsonsive to you. Thousands of women have told me this has been true in
are lots of ways to accomplish this. Some may be more appealing to you
than others, but don't rule anything out just yet.
Flirt with him.
you remember the early part of your relationhip? Even though you were never
highly sexed, didn't you flirt more in the beginning, pat him on the butt,
tell him he looks great, and so on. This makes a difference.
Put other things aside and make time.
women place too much priority on everything else they have to do and make
their sexual relationships last on their lists. Examine if this is true
for you. If so, other things can wait. Your marriage can be better than
ever if you reprioritze your time.
Even if you're not in the mood, do it anyway...sometimes.
many women have told me that they can jumpstart their sex drive by just
getting started. Once they're into it...they're into it.
Consider just pleasing him
you're really not in the mood for sex, your husband may be satisfied if
you do something nice for him once in a while.
Discover new ways to rev up your interest.
face it, girl, after so many years of marriage, you might need something
new to renew your interest. Cast your inhibitions to the wind and experiment
with anything that might intrigue you.
I can almost hear you saying, "Why do I have to do all the work?" Kathy,
just remember that the way to a man's heart is not through his stomach.
The more responsive you are to his needs, the more responsive he'll be
want you to know that I really understand how difficult this has been for
you during your 20 years of marriage and I'm proud of you for hanging in
there. It says alot about your (and your husband's) strength and character.
being a little more receptive to your man and let me know what happens.