Ahh… desire discrepancy. Haven’t we all rejected, or been rejected by, our lovers at some point? How did we handle it? Did either of us feel good about it? Probably not.
There’s a better way to deal with desire discrepancies.
Now, to be clear, there are just as many men turning down women, as there is the other way around, but that’s a discussion for another day. For now, I’m talking to the women that are saying no.
If you are avoiding sex, for whatever reason, and you don’t acknowledge the real reasons behind it, then you won’t be able to resolve it.
Things don’t normally clear up on their own, so you need to figure it out and then do something about it.
Your sex life is important to your relationship.
If you need convincing…
What is desire discrepancy?
Desire discrepancy is a term used to describe the situation where one partner wants sex more than the other. It may not happen at the beginning of a relationship but it will happen at some point and it can alternate between partners.
The two sides of desire discrepancy
The person who wants more sex
This person will feel rejected, frustrated, and resentful that they must pester you to have sex. They might even think you aren’t as attracted to them as you once were. He or she might also start to feel angry and bitter towards you for denying them. Ultimately, they may give up and stop asking.
The person who wants less sex
This person will feel pressured, guilty and perhaps even angry, that they are made to feel like the bad guy/girl all the time. He or she might start to believe something is wrong with them for not wanting sex as much as the other partner does. They might go so far as to avoid any type of physical contact for fear that it will lead to sex.
Bear in mind, that the one with the lower sex drive effectively “controls” the sexual relationship.
If this is you, then you have a responsibility to be considerate in how you wield that control. If this is not you, then maybe your partner should give this a read.
At any rate, if there’s a good reason for saying no, then tell your partner.
Don’t just say NO. And don’t lie about it either. You need to be honest here.
The partner that has requested the sex might still feel somewhat rejected, but they’ll be less hurt if you were thoughtful and loving with your response.
That’s why HOW you deal with saying NO is crucial. And it goes without saying, but you can’t be saying no all the time… no matter how nicely you do it.
Couples need to negotiate their sexual needs so that both partners are satisfied.
While I’m a big advocate for saying YES to sex, there will be times when you’re legitimately not interested in sex.
Let’s consider the most common reasons…
- Perhaps you’re tired because you didn’t sleep well last night. If it’s a one-off day, then no big deal, but if this is something that is always an issue, then it’s something that needs to be dealt with. Not only is sleep important to good health, but now it’s negatively impacting your sex life.
- What if it’s because you’re overworked. Is it from office work, or household chores/responsibilities, or both? Again, not healthy for you to be burning yourself out, and not fair to your partner if you’re repeatedly saying no because of it. Can you delegate some of your responsibilities at work/home? Is your partner able to do more to help you? Learn to ask for help and then be willing to accept it. Also, if they want you to be ready and willing to engage in sex, then they’ll need to step up. But they won’t if you don’t speak up.
- Maybe you’re not interested because the sex isn’t great and doesn’t seem worth the effort. Oh boy. That’s not good. Although, instead of avoiding it, why not do something to make it better? If not now, then when?
At the very least, you need to speak to your partner about it. Ignoring the problem isn’t going to make it go away. The sooner you fix it, the sooner you can enjoy great sex with your partner!
In the meantime, here are some things to consider:
- Sometimes it is precisely those times when you don’t initially feel like it, that you end up “getting into it”, and having the BEST sex.
- How would you feel if your partner said no to YOU?
- Are you being kind in how you go about rejecting them?
- Is there another way to satisfy their needs, while also satisfying yours?
- Why are you really saying no?
- Do you wish that you wanted to say yes?
- Is there someone else you would say yes to sex with instead?
Dealing with desire discrepancy:
If you are the one saying no, here are some suggestions to soften the blow:
- I’d really love for us to have sex tonight, but I’m exhausted, and I don’t feel that I could give you the attention you deserve. Can I have a rain check for tomorrow? Be sure to pick an alternate date… and stick to it. Then be sure to give them the attention they deserve.
- I’m sick/have my period/in pain and simply can’t have intercourse with you right now. I love you, and I wish I could have sex with you, but perhaps I can watch while you pleasure yourself? Or come up with something else.
- It’s late, and I’m too tired, but perhaps you can wake me up early instead? Then get to bed and plan on waking up a bit earlier the next morning. PS: Morning sex is my favourite and I’m not even a morning person!
Or maybe meet them halfway, and say:
- I don’t feel that we have enough time to have a deep sexual connection right now, but I’m fine with a quickie if you are? Quickies are good too, but you still need to be willing and present. It doesn’t count if you’re not.
When you’re upfront and honest, you’re respecting your right to say no, and you’re not leaving your partner guessing as to the reason for turning down sex with them.
Always remember, that when you say no to sex, regardless of the reason, there’s always a better way than just saying: I have a headache.
BUT, if you really do have a headache… just say so.
Photo Credit: shutterstock.com/NotarYES