Why Do Some Partners’ Sex Drives Head Different Directions?

Man cuddles up to his wife in bedHe wants it, she doesn’t. That’s the common urban myth that was the catalyst for phrases like, “Sorry, honey, I’ve got a headache.” But is men’s lust and women’s lack of desire fact or fiction? According to several experts, the truth is that a husband and wife may have very different sexual appetites, and that is neither is right nor wrong. It just IS.

Sexuality counselor and author Ian Kerner describes different types of desires. A woman, says Kerner, usually has a ‘responsive desire,’ which is fueled by sexy encounters and intimacy. Men, on the other hand, have a ‘spontaneous desire.’ In other words, when they desire sex, they are ready immediately. This can give the illusion of their desire being stronger than a woman’s. But, Kerner says, that is certainly not always the case.

He goes on to say that in his practice, he encounters many couples who come to him with varying degrees of sexual desire. Often, they are just in a rut and do not know how to direct their desires toward each other. “But,” he adds, “I meet just as many men dealing with low desire as women.”

The reasons for sexual desire problems are many. When couples first fall in love, their worlds revolve around each other and, often, their bedrooms. But as the relationship grows, so does the size of the world they live in. The relationship begins to include friends, family members, social events, work, and perhaps even children. Ultimately, chores and daily routines take the place of spontaneity and lust. Even if the desire is there, it is often dampened by the added stress of these obligations.

Specialists also say that one partner may be carrying emotional wounds that affect desire. Other things that could make a person’s sexual appetite change are medication, diet, and hormonal shifts. Just because partners have mismatched sexual appetites does not mean that they need to dine alone. Getting to the root of the problem can help put the bloom back on the love life.

Clark-Flory, Tracy. (2013). When She Wants Sex More. Salon (n.d.): n. pag. Web. http://www.salon.com/writer/tracy_clark_flory/

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  • betsy a

    May 13th, 2013 at 1:54 PM

    Married couples are like any other couple- there are gonna be some times when you want it more and there willbe times when he does. That’s just the natural cycle of any relationship.

  • eugene

    May 13th, 2013 at 11:39 PM

    its not that men are always craving for sex and the women are not.from the years of marriage what I have discovered is that there will be days when both the partners will be low and will not be in the mood.

    that is the perfect time to be friends with each other!no sex but a good good friend.brings you two closer emotionally and does not leave the no-sex-tonight feeling in you because you are having a good time together anyway.

  • Mary Beth

    May 14th, 2013 at 4:01 AM

    I think that there are numerous reasons why sex drives can go in the opposite direction; but I think that a big reason especially for women would be hormone levels.

    This becomes a huge problem that goes undiagnosed all the time, so that the women know that there is something wrong but they don’t have the terms to adequately describe what they are feeling.

    I think that people inevitably point the finger to the female and say that it is us just not wanting intimacy anymore, but I think that it goes much deeper than that for many of us.

  • lisa

    May 14th, 2013 at 11:34 PM

    look we’re different people with different likes,dislikes,moods,events and most importantly different pasts and all the years we spent before meeting each other.so if the sexuality and preferences and all other things sex are different it shouldn’t really be that surprising.it is not ad should not be a cause for conflict.

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