Sure – there are some couples that are truly and hopelessly sexually incompatible. But then again – many couples have a desire discrepancy of one degree or another.

The good news is this doesn’t mean you aren’t utterly incompatible with your partner. You can address your sexual differences and end up with an amazing sex life and relationship. How? We’ll show you.

Are Mismatched Libidos Ruining Your Relationship?

Mismatched sex drives can cause lots of problems in a relationship. You may cause you to feel frustrated, rejected, pressured, and resentful of your partner. 

If you and your partner are dealing with mismatched libidos, here’s how to work through your desire discrepancy:

1. Identify the Why of Your Sexual Incompatibility

Figure out if the problem is really mismatched sex drives. Or if one of you is somehow not getting the kind of sex they want.

People often have a natural range around how often they want to have sex. Two people getting together may end up having very different needs with regards to sexual frequency. Or – the person in your relationship who wants less sex isn’t really getting the kind of sex they want. If this is the case, trying to solve the frequency problem won’t help. Instead, consider having a conversation around your Core Desires (what you want to feel during sex) and your Hottest Sexual Movies (what you want to do during sex).

Check out the book Coming Together if you want some guidance on how to increase sexual compatibility. Learning each other’s sexual desires can often solve the discrepancy right then and there. If the problem really is a difference in your natural desire for frequency, you will need to go to step two.

2. Stop the Negative Vortex

Couple being sexually incompatible

When couples come into our office with mismatched libidos, we often find the problem has been getting worse over time.

The higher-drive person tries to initiate sex, which applies pressure to the lower-drive person, with the result that they shut down sexually. The more the lower-drive person says “no” to sex with the higher-drive person, the more they feel a sense of rejection and scarcity and the more they push for sex.

This negative vortex can take a small sexual desire discrepancy and turn it into a much larger one. One person responds to their scarcity by pushing harder, and the other responds to the pressure by shutting down even more. 

3. Cultivate Acceptance

To get out of this negative vortex and learn how to cope with different libidos, you will need to start by cultivating acceptance. Realize that you have a difference in how often you want to have sex, but this differences isn’t personal.

If your partner wants to have sex less than you do, it doesn’t mean they don’t love or want you. When your partner wants to have more sex than you do, on a deeper level, they don’t want you to cross your boundaries, built resentment, and shut down to them either.

If you are the one feeling scarcity or rejection, see if you can back off a little. Let your partner know that you don’t want them to do anything they don’t want to. If you are the one feeling pressured, it may help to reassure your partner that you still want them and are attracted to them. But help them also realize that being pressured is killing your sex drive even more.

4. Grow Together – Sexually and Emotionally

To have great long-term relationships, you need to be willing to grow and stretch out of your comfort zones.

This means being open enough to hear and accept your partner’s desires – and see which of them you can enjoy participating in. You need to deal with the disappointments that come from the desire discrepancy. Know that every couple faces them in some area of their relationship. And you also need to learn how to share your boundaries lovingly, and support your partner in keeping theirs. 

How to Bring Passion Back Into the Relationship

In our practice, we get a lot of queries – from both women and men – how to bridge sexual incompatibilities and bring the passion back. Here are three of the most common questions – and how to address them:

“My Husband Has Lost Interest in Me Sexually – What Should I Do?”

Are you wondering why your husband is no longer interested in you sexually? Just know there could be a multitude of reasons. The best way to figure out the source of his rejection is to simply ask. There are, however, ways to bridge the gap more delicately than others.

For example, if you say “Why don’t you ever have sex with me?” your partner might feel blamed and defensive. Try instead to articulate the question with a bit more sensitivity. Maybe like – “It feels to me like we aren’t having sex that much lately. I imagine there may be a lot of reasons for this. I’m wondering if you are open to having a conversation with me about it.”

While people will often bring up the excuse of being tired, this usually isn’t the real underlying reason. You might then say, “From what I’ve been reading, low desire usually has something to do with people not really getting their desires met. Maybe we could talk a bit about our fantasies and see if we can make some of them come true.”

Couple with mismatched libidos

“Why Is My Wife Not Interested in Me Sexually?”

Most of the time when a wife avoids intimacy it’s because she is not getting the kind of seduction she needs. The second most common reason is that she doesn’t feel emotionally connected to you. Instead of bemoaning that “My wife rejects me all the time,” look at it from the angle of “What seems to make my wife feel closest to me?” and “What seems to give my wife the most relaxation and pleasure?”

If you don’t know the answers to these questions, it’s time to ask her how you can help her feel more supported and cared for by you. Also, instead of asking her directly about her sexual fantasies, offer to do things that relax her or that make her feel alive and happy. This should give you hints around what she wants to feel from you, and what makes her feel sexy. Also, if you are in the negative vortex around scarcity, definitely back off on the pressure!

“Can You Please Tell Me How to Be Attracted to My Husband Again

If you want to increase desire for your husband, you need to first get in touch with your own desires and passions. You want to start with a daily self pleasure practice. And no – this isn’t just about masturbation (but it can be!). A daily pleasure practice means getting in touch with your body and to your sexual energy. 

Once you’ve taken some time to connect with yourself and your own pleasurable experiences, bring yourself into the connection with your partner. It is very important to be a bit selfish here. Instead of thinking about sex in terms of pleasing your partner, just think about what you want from them. Most of the time, when you have lost sexual desire for a partner, it is because you are trying to either accommodate or fight off what they want from you. Instead, try centering yourself. Really look at what you want for yourself sexually – regardless of what they want from you. 

Only when you have a good idea of what you really want should you start inviting your husband to join you in this. You might be surprised how happy he is to hear your desires. Most men want to please their partners – they just need to hear what you need. If your partner however is not interested in your pleasure, it’s possible you may never get the physical attraction back into your relationship. 

How a Sex Coach Can Help with Sexual Incompatibility

While it is very possible to transform being sexually incompatible, sex can be a terrain full of emotional landmines.

It’s therefore often helpful to have a sex coach as a neutral third party to guide you through some of those landmines. They can help you stop having the same old fights, and start to have a much more productive conversation around sex. Additionally, an experiential sex coach can teach seduction techniques as well as help you learn how to deepen emotional intimacy. 

It can also be amazing to try a couples retreat where you learn the tools of connection and get coached to have better sexual and emotional intimacy. A couples workshop might be just want you need to learn each other’s desires, escape the negative vortex, and bring the spark into your love and sex life again.

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Danielle Harel
Danielle Harel, PhD is the Co-creator of the Somatica® Method and the Co-Founder of the Somatica® Institute. She trains coaches in the Somatica® Method of Sex and Relationship Coaching. She has her own private practice in Sunnyvale, where she supports her clients in having amazing sex and relationships as well as passion-fueled lives. She has published original research on Orgasmic Birth and is the co-author of two books, Cockfidence - The Definitive Guide to Being the Man You Want to Be and Driving Women Wild and Making Love Real - The Intelligent Couples Guide to Lasting Intimacy and Passion. Danielle Has her Masters in Clinical Social Work From Haifa University in Israel and her PhD in Human Sexuality from the Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality (IASHS). She is a Clinical Sexologist and a Certified Sexological Bodyworker. Danielle is a Certified Body Positive Facilitator and took many trainings in embodied and mindfulness based therapeutic approaches such as Hakomi.