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Bridging the Sex Drive Gap for Happier Relationships: Overcoming Mismatched Libidos.

Pallavi Barnwal
Updated on May 9, 2024
Bridging the Sex Drive Gap for Happier Relationships: Overcoming Mismatched Libidos

On the path of relationships, one of the most common roadblocks is either partner’s low sex drive. You know how it goes – sometimes one person’s libido is high while the other person might not be on the same wavelength. This gap might leave both partners feeling rejected, sexually frustrated, or displaying avoidant behavior. As one of India’s leading sexual wellness and intimacy coaches, I get to talk to tons of people daily. Just yesterday, Ajay and Dipti opened up to me about their sexual challenge as a married couple. Dipti shared that she doesn’t get as excited about sex as Ajay does. Ajay on the other hand, is almost always raring to go! And this disparity in their love language has reduced their moments of intimacy to just three to four times a month! Ajay hates the idea of his wife getting into it half-heartedly and Dipti worries about the slowly growing disconnect in their relationship despite their deep emotional bond in every other aspect of their relationship. That’s tough, isn’t it? Well, not as much as you think! 

Intimacy and Pleasure are like the juicy, pulpy bits of the fruit juice of relationships – they’re what makes them more satisfying and fulfilling. And whoever taught you that sex equals intercourse, probably missed out on the fun stuff themselves!! And this makes it even more crucial for couples, married or otherwise, to manage the gap in their sex-drive with understanding, knowledge and communication while respecting individual boundaries. 

Because here’s the thing.

Trying to get in the mood to avoid disappointment when you are not feeling it is like trying to dance with two left feet – awkward and out of sync! And I am sure you don’t want to be the “starfish” in bed with your legs and arms stretched out with little to no active participation.

You may not realise initially how being inauthentic affects your psyche. Over time, it creates resentment leading to gradual detachment thereby widening the gap even more.

Understanding Mismatched Libidos.

It is important to understand that sexual desire is dynamic and affected by several factors like health issues, physical injuries, stress, parental responsibilities, and life circumstances. It is also essential to recognize that fluctuating sexual appetites are pretty common and are not limited to a particular gender. It is absolutely normal for both partners to experience differing libidos throughout their lives. And it doesn’t have to always end up in intercourse! 

Communication is Key.

Talk it out. Open and honest communication is one of the main building blocks of any fulfilling intimate relationship. The creation of a safe space for both partners to be authentic, and express their desires, boundaries, and limitations without any guilt is of utmost importance. The fear of being judged for initiating sex or expressing what you enjoy and dislike needs to be consciously let go of. If your partner freely asks for what they want, it indicates their confidence in the relationship. It also goes to show their trust in your receptiveness. This trust and expression must be validated and not judged, acknowledged and not condemned. There is so much you can explore in the flowering garden of pleasure and eroticism. So many erogenous zones in our body, waiting to be caressed and explored. Limiting the act of sex to penetration is like going out for a fancy dinner buffet and only tasting the appetizers. Why are you skipping the main and dessert course? For the sake of love, don’t do that to yourself and the love of your life!

Imagine teasing your partner just enough to peak their sensual and sexual arousal, toying with their urge to explode and… pulling back. You play, you nudge, you prolong and withhold to heighten their pleasure in anticipation…You are only limited by your imagination! 

Explore Alternatives to Intercourse.

Let’s get real for a second. The idea that you have to orgasm every time you have sex is total bullshit. Sex is much more than the act itself! Penetration is awesome and there is no denying that. But it’s just one petal of the pleasure flower. There are a plethora of ways to connect with your partner like you haven’t before. Dive in with your creativity pitara and unfold what floats your boat.

Consider this for a second

You are not all that touchy-feely right now. And you are not crazy about the idea of orgasming today either. But your partner is all fired up with excitement. What are you going to do about it?

How about lending him or her a helping hand? Quite literally! 

If you ask me, stimulation is a game of both mind and body. In this case, hand and mind. You guessed that right! We are talking about our old friends Mr. Handjob and Miss Finger play.  They can be absolute game changers for both partners because it is not just a mere replacement for intercourse but a standalone incredible experience. It gives you the power to drown your partner in the depths of pleasure without having to get too close. Too awkward to dive right into it? Try this – Touch your fingertips or nails of the left hand on the palm of your right hand really slowly. Now, move those fingertips along your forearm gently and gracefully. Slight tingles and anticipatory shivers, right? That is the magic your hands can create for your partner. They hold the power to connect you to your partner on a level way deeper than intercourse.

Observe your partner’s reactions and adjust the naughtiness quotient.

You can get creative with the touching, stroking and inserting intensity,  alternate between gentle and slightly heavy movements, experiment with finger formations, and create a titillating journey of sensations. Your partner’s reactions in the form of moans and groans can be a giveaway of the heights they are climbing in pleasure-land. As soon as you realise they are inching closer to the summit of Mount Arousal, try pulling back on the pace of stroking, fingering, tapping or any form of no-intercourse stimulation you are pleasuring your partner with. In this process by keeping penetration at bay, both partners may end up learning the art of extending the feeling of arousal consciously. Isn’t that a blessing for both?

Do you want to get more frisky? 

Here’s a fun, erotic and adventurous twist for you to try. Request your partner to pleasure herself or himself (you can also use the word masturbate here) while locking eyes with them as they feel every bit of themselves. The way they explore themselves, the expressions that form on their faces coupled with the moans they let out, their rapid breathing…if you ask me, I find this pretty hot! You can stay connected and make your presence felt by exploring various parts and areas of their body while they take the wheel of their pleasure! Your presence and choice to be an active part of his pleasure will vocalize your love for them. It will show how important it is for you to make them feel wanted and their needs validated. You may add an element of tease where you can sit naked in front of him but playfully not allow him to touch you. A little twisted anticipation can lead to mind-blowing experiences. It really is about perspective sometimes. From my vantage point, setting boundaries like this makes it hotter for me. Like me, let your imagination flow freely beyond the vanilla realms of the mundane!

The Power of Massage.

I get it. Sometimes you have absolutely zero energy and willingness to pull a handjob off. That is when massages can come to your rescue. It could be a quick 5-minute rubdown, a sensuous 15-minute session, or an indulgent hour-long massage. It is a potent trick for improving intimacy and reducing stress simultaneously. Just a couple minutes of receiving or giving a massage can work wonders for our physical and emotional health. Moreover, it is such a smooth way to transition to cosier moments. If your partner is bubbling with sexual energy, why not ask him to give you a nice massage? Back, thighs, pelvis, butt, nape, toes…you may either give him complete freedom or guide his hand to where you need it to be. Trust me, massages work wonders!

Did you know that the need for touch is so deeply ingrained in us that the absence of it puts us in survival mode and not thriving mode? Food for thought.

Keep it really simple.

The easiest way of communicating your need for simple touch and not the whole shebang is to get naked and cuddle. Imagine your partner to be your favorite wooly blanket and snuggle under. It is a warm and affectionate way of honouring one’s needs and respecting your own boundaries. You can spoon, kiss and even move your fingers over each other’s bodies and enjoy unexplored sensations.

Empower each other to share what they enjoy and don’t.

Dismissing your partner’s needs may seem like an easy way out, but that will only keep widening the rift between you. It will make them question the importance and value of their sexual needs and lead to feelings of neglect, isolation, and distrust. 

Whether it’s a specific form of touch or outlining your boundaries, the idea is to find a common ground to maintain a healthy, deep, and satisfying relationship. It is all about how much you respect your partner’s feelings and theirs

You know how they say that love knows no bounds? So why should your efforts? Libido Limbo strikes all of us because that is life. But the choice to stay stuck in there or break-free is yours.

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