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I've been asked whether or not people with high sex drives can be in successful relationships with people who have low or no sex drives since the beginning of my sexology journey. I was volunteering for a sex education website at 19 and my supervising editor asked for my thoughts on sex drive-discrepant partnerships. At the time I didn't have solid thoughts about it. I did know that there wasn't a one size fits all conclusion. Also, I knew that calling them "mismatched sex drives" was a big part of the problem. As I developed my understanding of sexuality and worked with people in these dynamics I came to learn that no sex drives or interests are the same. Just as our appetites are nuanced so are our libidos. The trick is not stress or see them as a mis-matching but to gather your wits and solve this like you would any other challenge of individuality. Different religious or political beliefs, different parenting styles, love styles, languages! If there's something workable for your unique relationship -- great! If there isn't that's okay too. Just try not to limit yourself to black and white thinking.
Being together sexually or otherwise should always be a choice. Which means detaching from someone because of sexual incompatibility is not failure it is decision making.

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Can people with different sex drives have happy healthy sex lives?

*Title Screen*


Sex drive - explained here - is what we call the degree of desire one has to engage in sexuality with themselves or others.

Sex drive can be here, at zero: repulsed by or indifferent to the experiences of arousal;

Here: maybe there's interest, but not enough to motivate behavior like masturbating or asking someone out;

This spot: might be someone who under specific circumstances has kind of an itch to be sexual;

and then there's way over here - on this end - someone who thinks about, and desires, sometimes even acts on it all of their waking hours!

No one here is wrong or broken or superior or inferior because of their natural place on this spectrum. But I'm talking about something separate: People who have happy high and low sex drives but struggle with bringing those together in relationships. Going the way of a professional is certainly one option.

In session I may learn ANY number of things: like there's a lack of knowledge about the body and how to please it, and sometimes a loss of attraction or struggles with body image, or someone isn't doing anything socially to bring new energy to the relationship. Maybe there's an affair; little energy sucking children; work stress; school stress; fear of getting pregnant stress; long distance, closeted things like gender or orientation!

It could be one or many of these factors. It is less important to me what causes it and more important to me how you react to it. We all have different food appetites, so why does it hurt so much when we have different sexual appetites?

The first culprit in an exercise of awareness of the bigger problem: bad sexual education. NO ONE IS TEACHING THIS. Grownups rarely talk to youngsters about how much they're driven sexually. In movies/ sitcoms/ books/ porn are all scripted edited fantasy! Where do you learn, except the trial and error of your own relationships?

You'll need to grieve this and the time you've spent trying to manage such an uncomfortable discrepancy in your relationship. This episode will help with that. Don't stop in the pain though. Once you identify what you have control over and separate it out with what you don't, let's return you to a healthy sex life.

This video is about one woman's recovery from a spontaneous abortion (aka a miscarriage) It'll work as a sample of how to move from a painful reminder of sex like: body trauma, assault and misinformation to pleasure, in whatever form that takes. 

There's also this one encouraging those of you who have lost that "Loving Feeling" and how to Bring It Back.

This doesn't mean there is something to reinvigorate though! Just as you may have *screamed* for breast milk as an infant doesn't mean that you crave it now. The sex drive that people enter into relationships with doesn't have to be the sex drive that they maintain over time! It is quite possible that you or the partners you're into are asexual - or at least somewhere closer to this end of the spectrum - where even if introspection, therapy, changes in body chemistry, or lively experiences *could* boost the libido, they don't even want to want to have sex.

And that's for you to accept. You don't expect vegetarians to eat meat, you don't expect asexuals to want sex! I've said it before and I'll say it again! The pain is not in the change (or in this case the difference) the pain is in the resistance TO the difference.

But then you may say "Lindsey, but what if I WANT to have sex and they don't or I don't want to have sex and then they do?"

Exactly. the pain - you're resisting it! When you can accept the reality of the situation, my hope for you is that you'll get a flood of curiosity! The energy you expend fighting what is, will instead go to the amazing problem solving skills you already have. Knowing what you want and communicating to find mutually beneficial options is Sexplanations 101! Don't tell me after 150 videos your imagination is limited.

No one has perfectly matched sex drives. What we *do* have are choices. you can *choose* to focus your attention on the elements of our sexualities that are similar - maybe something like dressing sexy, or wearing sexy scents. You can choose to explore your own sexuality and the auto-erotocentricity that may constrict sexual expression.

You can choose to make a list of 26 non "black and white" options like I did in this video for How to Adult. And you can choose to break up! Whatever choice you make, protect yourself and stay curious!


A big thank you to all the patrons who voted for me to cover this topic and give me the opportunity to reflect on what an amazing catalogue of videos we've built as a community. I appreciate the support so much. If you'd like to be a benefactor of Sexplanations please visit our Patreon page!