Desire discrepancy is a situation when one partner wants sex more frequently yet the occurrence of actual intercourse doesn’t match the desire.. In fact, it’s one of the top reasons people seek counselling.
Discrepancy is when one partner wants sex more frequently than the other, and it’s not happening. One reason it’s problematic is because society, the media, and Western culture lead us to believe that “happy” couples are having wild sex at regular intervals.
Desire discrepancy can evolve in a myriad of ways for varied reasons. In today’s climate, where we are more stressed than ever, working longer hours, having trouble disconnecting – and connecting- relying on hustle culture to carry us through and letting our true selves, our true experiences, feelings, and pain fall to the wayside, it feels more than ever that our desire styles can become unmatched with our counterparts.
Differences in libido within a sexual relationship are bound to happen at some point and it is even more likely in the context of a global pandemic. These differences, sometimes called desire discrepancy, can be a huge source of tension between partners and it’s not always within our control. There are tons of factors that play into our desire for sex and with so many variables, it can feel difficult to understand. That’s why we’re going to cover the factors involved and what to do about it.
Essentially you have one person who is thirsty and wants to drink, and another person who feels like drinking whiskey, in order for the desire to flourish. Often what happens is you find yourself with two people who have different desire styles. This can apply for all kinds of relationships and cycle, the important thing is that each individual has a different desire style which is completely normal – but if there is one person who finds it that they are beer thirsty, they need to invite their person to buy the idea of a beer instead of whiskey, instead of just jumping in. It’s important that they use the power that they have of being instantly ready to create the space that is needed. You can’t force someone to drink if they want to eat instead, it’s important to make it feel enticing for the other person, which makes it a different experience, using your desire style with theirs to create the space.
Essentially, the idea there is that if you are suggesting something and someone else isn’t into it, that doesn’t mean that it can’t all together not happen, you just need to find a space where both of you are comfortable, which is when communication is key, and negotiating is really important.
Negotiating in ways where both partners feel comfortable with what’s at hand. Also understanding that sometimes some people aren’t into it and that’s ok.
In many cases, these discrepancies between partners can cause distress — on both sides. The person with the higher libido may feel rejected, while the one with the lower libido may feel some combination of guilt and resentment.
Desire discrepancy isn’t anyone’s fault. Try to practice some empathy and think about how your partner might feel in addition to you. And always remember: this issue, like all other relationship issues, isn’t one partner’s fault (and so on and so forth when there are more than two involved); it’s you all against the problem.