Fun with Mis-matched Libidos

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Every libido is a unique fingerprint woven together by a variety of complex factors: interests, fantasies, beliefs, values, morality, physical body, preferences in activities, settings, sensitivity of touch, frequency and type of activity, and on and ON!

With such a broad spectrum, many folks who believe they, or their partner, might be unhealthy or dysfunctional are just DIFFERENT.

So here are a few reasons why mismatched desire is so challenging:

  • it hurts to reject and be rejected
  • it is frustrating to not know what to expect and can build resentment over time
  • both sides are often shamed for certain reasons: the low libido partner is broken and frigid, while the high libido partner is an insensitive sex addict.

Healthy Sexuality Cake

So in most healthy happy couples, the foundation of their cake is connection – how strongly bonded you both feel. However, there are always ebbs and flows and challenges in this!

Issues and solutions for connection:

The 2nd biggest layer, where healthy happy couples spend most of their time in terms of behavior is – cuddles and kisses: hugs, rubs, small massages, kisses, pecks, making out, flirtatiousness, and the like.

  • some people like kissing and touch, some people don’t – preferences may be rooted in trauma, beliefs, messages, or simply because they just don’t like it :
  • big takeaway here – IT’S ALL OK. You just need to talk about it and focus on what you DO like. Ask questions, like: Is there anything that could be adjusted that you might like better?
  • If you can’t have this conversation with gentleness and openness – you may need to find a sex therapist to help.

The 3rd and next to smallest layer would be what a lot of people will call foreplay and what most sex therapists will just call sex or outercourse

  • anything from goosing and spanking to manual and oral sex and dirty talk
  • same as above – There are lots of unique preferences here that are ALL OK

The final and SMALLEST layer, where healthy happy couples spend the least amount of intimate behavior, is actual intercourse

  • many healthy happy couples cannot or do not have this at all (intercourse is often limited to young heterosexual couples)
  • this layer is where we encounter the biggest number of problems: physical pain, erections, lubrication, and orgasm difficulties
    • these issues often make sex traumatic. With each encounter, anxiety and avoidance of all intimacy and sexual activity becomes heightened.
      • If you are here, STOP intercourse. Your pain and anxiety are real and need to be addressed. These are all treatable conditions.

So what does the cake with your partner look like?

  • many couples will find their cake is upside down, or that their intimacy is focused solely on intercourse. Whoops! (too bad we can’t talk about sex more, amirite?)

What do you want it to look like?

  • We often focus on how we can’t get everything we need (yup, that’s a tough pill to swallow)
  • Shift the focus on how you can you get (AND GIVE) more of, or enough of, what you (and your partner) need.

Need more help? Have more questions? 

Email me at [email protected] – I specialize in sex and sexuality, as well as empowering sexual vitality after trauma related to relationships, sex, and birth.  Jeff Cockerham, our other therapist at Revitalist specializes in couple’s counseling and can also help!

Mental Wellness Visionary at | Website

Kathryn A. Walker is a pioneering medical researcher and psychiatrist known for her groundbreaking work in the field of mental health, particularly in the area of ketamine treatments. With a deep passion for understanding and alleviating the burden of treatment-resistant mood disorders, Kathryn has dedicated her career to investigating the therapeutic potential of ketamine.

Through her relentless efforts, she has played a pivotal role in shedding light on ketamine’s efficacy in treating conditions like depression, anxiety, and PTSD. Her research has not only transformed the way we approach mental health care but has also provided hope to countless individuals who had previously found little relief from conventional treatments.

Kathryn A. Walker’s pioneering contributions continue to shape the landscape of mental health medicine and inspire new avenues of research in the pursuit of better mental well-being for all.

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