Mismatched Desire

Low Libido and Lack of Desire

Do you and your partner argue because of lack of desire? Or are you just plain sad that your sex drive doesn’t match up with your partner’s?

Lack of desire, or low libido, is the most common sexual complaint. Unfortunately, there is no magic pill or bullet! With a bit of exploration, though, you can often find out how to re-ignite sexual interest and zest.

Sex therapy helps with all kinds of problems. Because most problems happen in relationships, couples therapy is generally recommended. However, married people sometimes want to come in alone due to embarrassment or just to explore a question. Single people also come in by themselves because a sexual problem bothers them enough that they are having trouble with relationships. Dr. Buehler only treats problems she is expert in, and she specializes in complex problems.


Wanting More Sexual Desire


I get so many calls about this problem that I could have called this The Desire Recovery Institute. Here are some typical problems I hear:

I just got married 6 months ago and my husband has already lost interest.

I have been married for 10 years and we haven’t had sex more than a half dozen times in the last year.

My husband is a great guy, so I can’t figure out why I don’t want to have sex.

My wife only wants sex about once a month. I can’t live like this.

I’ve been watching a lot of pornography and now I don’t seem to want sex with my wife.

Even if you don’t recognize yourself in these statements, I’ve probably heard your complaint before.

Mismatched desire happens for many reasons, including:

  • Biology. Hormones change over time, with stress, and after events for men and women. (Did you know that men experience hormonal changes after the birth of a baby? They do!)
  • Mismatched desire. Sometimes one partner’s ideal frequency simply differs from the other’s ideal.
  • Lack of intimacy. If there isn’t any heat in the living room, the bedroom may get icy.
  • Need for education. Women mistakenly think that men are like the Ever Ready Bunny, and men think their partners are like living dolls, supplying sex as needed.

A sharp detective—I mean, psychotherapist—can help figure out what the problem is and work with you and / or your partner to get you in synch with your partner.

Sometimes this takes 6 sessions, sometimes 12, and sometimes even a year, depending on how long-standing and complex the problem is. Someone who has a chronic illness, a shaky relationship, and a dislike of sex will be in therapy longer, generally, than an exhausted person who needs to learn stress and time management and rearrangement of priorities. Motivation to change and a willingness to work on the issue between sessions also makes a difference in how long the problem takes to resolve.


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