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Different Sex Drives in Couples: Advice from a doctor

From the Desk of a Sexual Medicine Gynecologist.Guest Post from Michael Krychman, MD, and Director of the Southern California Center for Sexual Health and Survivorship Medicine

couple holding hands, with different libidos

What can I do if my sex drive is different than my partner?

"My high libido is hurting my marriage. My sex drive is lower than my wife's. I have a dead bedroom. I have a mismatched bedroom."

Sexual mismatch is one of the most common concerns that many couples face. Sexual libido or appetite waxes and wanes from time to time and it may appear that you and your partner have different levels of sexual wants and needs.

Communicate with Your Partner

For instance, some people enjoy morning sex, while others prefer sexual activity at night, to relax themselves before bedtime. Some couples value the quantity of sex when others value the quality. The first step towards addressing sexuality mismatch is to open the lines of communication, which may have become strained and stressed. Discussing barriers to intimacy will be helpful when trying to solve the sexual dilemma.

Check for Medical Issues

Lowered sexual interest in one partner maybe a signal of an underlying medical issue, or a hormonal imbalance. A sexual health assessment by a health care professional may be warranted to discover if the lowered interest in one partner has either a biological or psychological component, or perhaps both.

Negotiate: It Doesn't Have to be All or Nothing

Couples may need sexual negotiation.

The person with the higher drive may seek sexual relief from other activities that may not directly involve their partner (for example erotic videos, porn or self-stimulation). Open discussions avoid feelings of rejection and discomfort.

Other helpful hints include: set realistic goals for you and your partner in terms of frequency, compromise and realize that sex is an important adjunct to any relationship. The stars do not need to be perfectly aligned to have sex, so sometimes engaging in sex just for sex sake is reason enough! Sometimes its important not to get out of the habit, and as Nike often says… Just Do It!


About Dr. Krychman

As a doctor of sexual medicine, a board certified obstetrician and gynecologist, and a clinical sexual counselor and author, Dr. Krychman has devoted his career to helping patients and their partners overcome sexual health challenges and experience a higher quality of physical intimacy. Dr. Krychman is also a specialist in survivorship medicine and provides life coaching and care plans to optimize the health and wellness of patients with chronic diseases or cancer.


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