When one thinks about a sex drive, you’d immediately think about how an imbalance can cause unnecessary pressure between two people. Or is that just me? Sex is supposed to be filled with excitement and exploration but that pressure can ruin it for so many partners. So of course, I did a little research to try find some answers, as well as comparing it to some of my own experiences.
“A drive is a system whose job is to make you do something that will return your body to balance. With sex, there is no ‘balance’ point to return to; therefore sex is not a drive. Instead it’s an ‘incentive motivation system,’ which means that rather being pushed by your internal imbalance to do something, you are PULLED by desirable things in the environment.”
This, I thought, made complete sense. Especially because the conversation around “sex drives” is often incredibly gendered – something I’m not a fan of at all. When the sex is lacking in some sort of way, it’s usually pinned on the woman. Women live in a permanent state of Catch 22, often oversexualised but as soon as they begin to be confident in their sexuality they’re slut-shamed. Conversely, they’re expected to be virgin-like in relationships and yet know how to pleasure the men they’re with. Couple that with stereotypes about how men should always want more sex than their partners, the conversation about “sex drives” as they are is basic, and quite frankly far too binary for my liking. Let’s throw that away, shall we?
A “sex drive” is simply how one responds to specific stimuli (sight, sound, touch and at times smell) and this in turn allows desire to surface. Some people, like everything else, respond differently to their environments and how they feel desire. Some react immediately – acting upon it – and others pretty slowly – at times not doing anything at all. That very motivation system speaks to their desire and how they act upon it to get something out of it. The ‘something’ being pleasure in every form. So when most people say that their “sex drives” don’t match, it may just be an imbalance in how they reach to their feelings of desire. Tricky.
A gap in desire is an incredibly common thing, especially when the first novelty of a new relationship wears off. The way to work through it is, as with most things in relationships, communication. Do you speak about your desires? Do you chat all through your sex lives and about what you’d like to try or stop doing? Speak about the imbalance you feel and work at it together. Keeping silent about the inevitable frustration that comes with such can fester resentment and in the long run – if it even gets there – erode the relationship. So talk!
Balancing your sex drive
Something fun to try, to try balance desire in a relationship is masturbating in front of, for and with your partner. If you’re the one with the higher levels of desire, hit two beds with one stone by masturbating to relieve some tension. Your lucky partner then also gets a show. That very show could also be the answer in bringing their lower levels of desire to the surface. Look for things to explore together that will help the both of you to reach some sort of balance in the pleasures you prefer and the way you experience them. Masturbating for each other is also another way for the partner with the lower level of desire to teach the other how to ascend when it comes to desire.
Desire is so much more than just the sexual, or even just the physical. Have your partner learn how to pleasure you in ways that are not only sexual but may lead to the act if you’re both willing. A foot rub, a long bath, a massage (sensual or not), some cuddling or even the act of giving you some space may heighten your desire and have you feel more receptive. Your mental state makes up a huge chunk of how you feel and, more so, how you react. When you’re able to establish a state of compromise, things can get easier for both of you, taking the pressure off both sides equally. At times you can choose to do what your partner with higher levels of desire wants, and what the other needs. The key is balance and it may seem difficult, but even with desire this can be found, enjoyed and take your sex lives to places you never imagined.