Dealing with Sexual Incompatibility in a Relationship

Sexual incompatibility is one of most common reasons why couples drift apart and eventually break up. This is because though all lovers want physical intimacy from their partners, the exact form and frequency of sexual desire may differ from one person to another. If such a situation continues for long, it might even lead to the breakdown of a relationship. However you can manage sexual incompatibility and here are a few ways to go about it.

Identify the problem

Sexual incompatibility is used to refer to a whole gamut of conditions ranging from varying sex drives to differing sexual preferences. Before you throw up your hands in exasperation, identify where exactly you and your partner are coming into conflict. It could be that you wish to have sex more often or that your partner wishes to spend longer time in foreplay. Then again each partner may view sexual fantasies, sex aids or sex games differently which could be creating conditions for sexual incompatibility. Recognizing the source of difference between how you and your partner feels will help you to take the right steps in addressing the situation.

Get rid of the pre-conceived notions

Sex has been made into the subject of so much analysis, theory and discussions that it is difficult to consider it objectively. There is too much being written and talked about how much, how often and how long couples should have sex. So at the very outset, accept that whatever works for you both is the right way and the right amount; so don’t perturbed if your best friend gets it thrice a week whereas you can manage it only thrice a month. At the same time keep in mind that sometimes two separate individuals may naturally have different sex drives. Don’t assume that your partner is a freak for wanting it more often than you do or that he/she is cold and insensitive for wanting it less than you do. Once you begin to get rid of fixed notions, it will be much easier to look for and work out a solution.

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Seek a middle ground

However things become problematic when couples experience actual desire differences as opposed to imagined ones. In such a situation, see if you both can meet somewhere in the middle. Suppose your partner is hooked to pornographic visuals while you like to restrict things between the two of you. An acceptable compromise would be to encourage him to share his sexual fantasies and see if you can act them out. This way he will get the visual stimulation he needs while you need not get uncomfortable about other images getting into the ‘picture’. Even though compromise means that neither of you gets what you really want and for the same reason maybe considered as less than an ideal solution, it is at least a start to accommodating differing needs and shows a desire to work at a relationship. And finally it is certainly a better option as compared to sitting and brooding or worse, turning to affairs and divorces.

Show goodwill

Once you reach a compromise, avoid sniping or making hurtful comments at each other about how much you are sacrificing or how you have got a raw deal in the relationship. Very often these little but cruel remarks over time can do as much if not more damage to a relationship than a one-time full-blown fight. Obviously you haven’t got what you exactly wanted but remember neither has your partner. Rather try to work out issues with good will, a little bit of generosity and keep your sight trained on the ultimate end of saving your relationship from a breakup.

Plan sex dates

It is difficult to have mutually satisfying sex when you are in a hurry or thinking about the company presentation that is scheduled for the evening. One of the best ways around this is to plan intimate sessions well in advance. Both you and your partner will then have time to try out the various things that you want. A long, relaxed foreplay is highly recommended for such situations and try to incorporate as many kinds of stimulation as possible – visual like dressing up, imaginary like role-playing and auditory like indulging in pillow talk. Scheduling sex in fact works well for partners with differing sex drives – the one who want more sex can look forward to a night of fireworks while the one who wants it less gets a break from fending off amorous advances and can even do what is necessary - like a warm relaxing bath or a visit to the spa – to get into the mood.

Redistribute commitments at work and home

One of the most common forms of sexual incompatibility is differing sex drive – when your partner does not want sex as much or as frequently as you do. More often than not low libido is caused by mental and physical exhaustion brought about by pressures at work or at home. Here the higher-desire partner can take on some of the parental responsibilities and domestic chores which probably leave the other partner too worn-out to look forward to sex. At the same time the lower-desire partner can hire help or delegate responsibilities to be able to enjoy some leisure and pamper oneself, all of which are great for putting one in the mood for sex. If stress or long hours at work are the usual causes of low libido, see if you can take on fewer commitments or keep weekends absolutely free for your partner.

Don’t give up non-sexual affection

One of the first fatalities of sexual incompatibility in a relationship is romance. Couples begin to display fewer evidence of non-sexual affection towards each other like kissing, holding hands on a walk or cuddling in front of the TV. While one partner fears that any instance of cuddling or hugging will be interpreted as a sexual invitation, the other may feels no need of showing affection since he/she knows sex will not follow. However the truth is that engaging in acts of non-sexual acts of affection is crucial to enriching a couple’s sex life. It makes both partners feel loved and cherished and hence more giving in terms of sexual overtures which may not be their own favorites but which their partners would like to try out. In the process, such acts of non-sexual affection strengthen the emotional connection between partners and thus act as important investments needed for mutually fulfilling sex life.