October 23, 2018

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What sex therapists tell people whose partners don’t want sex.

What sex therapists tell people whose partners don’t want sex.

This is a serious matter and because it isn’t something you want to freely discuss, here are tips from the experts on how to handle your matter.

Being in a relationship with someone who’s disinterested in sex can feel incredibly lonely. A discrepancy in desire is more common than most people realize, though.

What’s the best way to address it with your spouse? Below, sex therapists share the advice they give people with higher sex drives than their partners.

  1. Be honest with your spouse about your needs.

Don’t shut your partner out and quietly suffer through your sexual frustration. The first step you should take to improve your sex life is to tell your S.O. that you wish you were intimate more frequently, said Keeley Rankin, a sex therapist in San Francisco, California.

“See how your spouse responds,” she said. “Listen to what they say, feel and say they want. You never know, they may want more closeness as well.”

  1. Discuss the things that make sex possible and the barriers in the way.

Without asking, there’s no way of knowing why your spouse is disinterested in sex. Maybe they’re just exhausted and too stressed out by the day’s end to initiate sex. Or if they’re experiencing sexual dysfunction of some kind (premature ejaculation, erectile dysfunction or a lack of vaginal lubrication, for instance), it makes sense that they’re apprehensive about initiating sex.

“You have to consider the life, emotional and physical barriers that can affect sex and shift libidos,” said Elizabeth McGrath, a sex therapist and educator who works in the Bay Area. “If your spouse has been caring for others all day, for instance, they might not feel ready for sex until they’ve had a moment to themselves to feel nourished and decompress.”

Once you’ve pinpointed some potential causes, figure out a workaround as a team; schedule a doctor’s appointment if there’s a physical barrier to sex, or give your spouse some totally kid-free “me time” if exhaustion is the problem.

  1. Try seduction, not criticism or pressure.

A slight mismatch in libido can easily become a larger one if the lower-desire spouse is badgered about the issue, said Danielle Harel, a sex therapist and the co-author of Making Love Real: The Intelligent Couple’s Guide to Lasting Intimacy and Passion.

 

The mismatch often creates a cycle where the spouse with the higher sex drive complains, compares or criticizes their partner and the partner ends up having sex out of obligation, she explained.

Instead of pressuring your spouse, “see if you can find out what turns them on the most and try seduction,” Harel said. “Try saying (and really meaning), ‘It’s fine if we don’t have sex tonight but would you be willing to just open up to see if you start to get turned on?’”

She added: “Just because you start, doesn’t mean you have to go all the way. Make sure you have this agreement with your partner.” Read more

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