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Hot and cold

Got a case of the love bi-polar? Photo by Adele van Wyk

You and your partner don’t have the same degree of sexual desire. You want sex all the time, while he or she barely tolerates seeing you naked under the sheets once a month. They maybe even ask to get naked more frequently than you want to.

In other words, you both have mismatched sex drives. Let me tell you: you are not the only one with that problem.

Many couples have what experts call a “sexless relationship” for a number of reasons.

In our society, time is of the essence. Everything passes by so fast that we have little control over our schedules. We are too busy with school, working a job, volunteering, seeing family and friends, and trying to get some sleep at the end of the day to even think about being intimate.

Clinical psychologist Peter Fraenkel says the problem isn’t sex, but finding the time to have it.

For example, I value my sleep so much that I barely have time in my busy day to pay attention to my sexual needs, let alone attending to my partner’s. Our day is full of tightly scheduled obligations that can’t be cancelled, shelved or even interrupted for a quickie every now and then. (Even when we manage to have a quickie, it is not satisfying enough.)

A major misconception of mismatched sex drives is thinking that men are usually the ones who want to have more sex, while women are the hyposexuals in the relationship. Research based on the clientele of different couple therapy clinics has shown that women are actually the ones dragging their male partners to therapy because they are not satisfied with their sexual life the majority of the time.

Research has not provided data on same-sex couples, but it is my opinion that they do face the same sexual problems heterosexual couples have, regardless of gender

The good news is, as always, there are many ways to get around such a problem and to find a solution that satisfies both parties.

One of the most important approaches is communication. Communication is key to forming an understanding between partners. It may be embarrassing to talk about your sexual issues, and it may take a lot of effort to properly express feelings involving sex and sexuality, but shame should not be part of the equation. Yes, it can be embarrassing to talk about you or your partner’s low sex drive, but it’s important to bring it to light and discuss it.

Most importantly, do not bitch. Whining and yelling will only get you so far when trying to communicate with your partner. Talking about what is bothering you in a calm manner is the main step towards opening up and discussing your sexual issues at hand.

As Dan Savage calls it, the “Good, Giving, Game” is the best approach one should have to sex. The goal is to be good and pleasurable in bed with your partner. It’s not about being a selfish prude who is all about “me, me, me”, but to be generous and willing to give equal amounts of satisfying pleasure to your partner.

By meeting the three G’s criteria, as well as communicating properly with your partner and finding the time to attend to both your needs, you will have a well-balanced and fulfilling sexual life.

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