If you were to believe traditional, heteronormative stereotypes you'd think women were crying 'headache' every time their eternally randy significant other gives them the ol' wink nudge. But like much conventional thinking on the topic of sexuality, it just ain't so.
While libidos can sometimes be mismatched in partnerships, it's not uncommon that a woman will have a higher sex drive than their male partner. Given the aforementioned cultural norms around gender and sexual appetite, women can really struggle with getting consistently turned down and often take the rejection far more personally. Fortunately, you're not alone. The Internet, as always, is here to help, with a whole bunch of women taking to Reddit to share their tips for dealing with a parter who has a lower sex drive.
1."The constant rejection is soul-crushing and the conversations rarely produce results. It's a tough spot. The worst part is I have always had the higher sex drive in all my relationships, and it hurts the same every time. Now I'm married and we were a great match at first, but after I got pregnant he lost interest and never gained it back. I'm still trying to figure out how to deal."
2."Masturbate and don't take it personally."
3."His was always lower than mine because of his meds, but he made a lot of effort to engage and we've always had good sex. Then I was put on medication and mine has face-planted so now we're both at about the same level. The good thing about this though is now I fully understand what he has dealt with and I'm more understanding. We try to maintain intimacy in other ways (lots of touching, cuddles, affirmation words) and make the effort together to have sex when we're both feeling it. It sucks not having the drive I had at 25, but I'm happier than I've ever been with a partner."
4."Honestly, I left and am dating someone more sexually compatible. I couldn’t take the constant rejection. I felt really unattractive and creepy, and like I was being disgusting and spoiled for wanting my partner to touch me. Maybe some people would be better able to deal with this kind of thing. I’m not one of them."
5."Have the conversation first. When I mentioned it, turned out he didn’t want to do it if he didn’t feel like he could give 100%, and didn’t want to do it half-heartedly if he was tired after work. I have also learnt that a no isn’t a, ‘No, and I am rejecting you, and I don’t fancy you,’ but it is literally, ‘I am tired, we will at the weekend when I can give you more attention and more energy’. We do it about two to three times per week, mostly at the weekend when we are both off, but occasionally during the week. Not gonna lie, still feels like rejection sometimes but I’m happy to put up with it because I know that when it does happen at the weekends he’s all in."
6."Toys is my solution. Well, we tried talking it out but even if they're not 'in the mood', they're often willing to help 'play'. But everyone is different, although they may not be horny as such and they don't know why - experiment, be patient or find alternatives."
7."Honestly, I left and am dating someone more sexually compatible. I couldn’t take the constant rejection. I felt really unattractive and creepy, and like I was being disgusting and spoiled for wanting my partner to touch me. Maybe some people would be better able to deal with this kind of thing. I’m not one of them."
8."It just depends. Everyone is different and open communication is key. My BF and I had similar sex drives when we got together but over many years it gone up and down. Right now I’m on a birth control that takes away my sex drive. I’m looking in to changing it but it will take time. My BF understand this and I try really hard to be aware of his wants and needs as well as mine."
9."My boyfriend has a lower sex drive, but the reason why is because of his self esteem issues that affect his life. He loves having sex, it’s just getting it going that’s an issue for him. We’ll have sex maybe once a week once or twice every two to three weeks. We talk about it because it affects my self esteem which makes me think he doesn’t want to have sex with me and doesn’t find me attractive. We’ve had discussions about it and we’ve agreed that I am a submissive person while he is a dominant person in all aspects, but when it comes to sex he is not that dominant due to fear of not pleasing me (not at all the case). So he told me what might help is have me be more dominant in initiating, which I have no problem doing. It helps him feel like I WANT to have sex with him, and it helps him get over his insecurities. It’s a messy situation but I love him and in no means is this grounds for incompatibility. We work on this together."
10."I dealt with this a few years ago. To be honest, I left him. There were other problems too but it really affected my self esteem, especially since we had previously been having regular sex. He didn't offer any meaningful reasons for why he didn't want sex, or anything I could do. It was always just, 'I'm tired' or, 'I don't feel like it'. Those are valid reasons not to have sex, but if sex was just off the table and I felt guilty even trying to initiate it, that wasn't sustainable for me. Maybe I could've lived with it if he was a better partner otherwise or we had been together longer, but I was 19 and it just wasn't worth it."
11."My husband's sex drive was lower than mine but still compatible. Now that we've had children it's reversed but still compatible. Things change over time. Doesn't have to be a deal breaker. I learned not to take it personally and we talked a lot about needs and preferences. I would ask, 'Are you open to being aroused?' if he didn't seem like he was responding to my advances. Sometimes it's yes and it requires more work on my part to get him on board, sometimes it's no and we just cuddle. Also, masturbation. Quality over quantity in my mind."
12."You shouldn't depend on it possibly changing. It's like holding out for your partner to come around on wanting kids when they don't. You can't help how you feel, and if it's a deal breaker, you need to do what's right for you in your own situation. Never hold out hope that someone will change, if you're not happy with how things are."