Sexual problems are common within committed relationships. Men commonly complain about a lack of sexual frequency while women commonly complain about a lack of emotional intimacy in the relationship.
The reason these are the most common complaints from men and women is very simple; men and women are very different when it comes to sex!
Biologically, the human sex drive is controlled by the amount of testosterone in the body. Because men produce more testosterone than women, they are more likely to be sexually aroused easier and ready for sex more often and throughout the day. Women, however, usually have a lower sex drive, expect during the middle of their menstrual cycle during ovulation. The difference between sex drives can create problems within the relationship.
Some common complaints from me are:
“It’s not fair. My wife is in control of our sex life. If she wants it, then we have it. If she doesn’t, then I have no say about it. Why does it always have to be her way?”
“My wife complains that she needs to feel intimate before we make love, but I get to intimacy through making love.”
“I don’t reach out for sex much anymore because I’m tired of being rejected, but my wife says she wants to be pursued in a romantic way. This feels like a no-win to me.”
“I think if my wife really cared about me and my needs, she would have sex with me even when she wasn’t turned on.”
Although they are different, some common complaints from women are:
“He always seems to be ready for sex, but I don’t feel turned on unless we are feeling close. I can’t just watch TV all evening and then feel like making love.”
“I often feel pulled on for sex, as if having sex is more important than caring about me. When I do what he wants, I feel used, and when I don’t, I run into his anger, resentment, blame or withdrawal. It feels like a no-win.”
“My husband often comes to me like a needy little boy, wanting me to pacify him or validate him with sex. Ugh! There is nothing erotic about an insecure, needy little boy!”
“There must be something wrong with me. I just don’t ever feel turned on anymore.”
For the majority of men younger than 40, the issue is that they are biologically motivated to have sex while women are mostly emotionally motivated. When her man is warm, open, caring, and personally powerful a women becomes a sexually aroused more easily and more often. Men who are closed, distant, angry, blaming, or needy are a turn-off to most women.
Couples can resolve the issue of sexual frequency as they learn to understand and accept each other’s differences. Men must understand and accept that women are not sexually motivated the way men are. Many women rarely even think about sex, while men think about sex much more frequently. When men understand what turns women on, i.e. love, romance, emotional intimacy, warmth, caring, and personal power, they can become the partners that women want and need, which could lead to more frequent sexual activity.
When women can accept that men are biologically predisposed to have higher sex drives, they can stop criticizing them for it and start help their men it create more romance and emotional intimacy, and personal power. When women continuously criticize men, instead of understanding and accepting them, men become insecure and needy which turns women off. By appreciating rather than demeaning her man for his sexuality, a woman can find ways of meeting his needs without feeling used.
Learning to recognize and acknowledge the differences between men and women’s needs can result in a more satisfying sex life and relationship.