The level of sexual desire, or how much sex one you want, is influenced by any numbers of factors. These could include stress, how one feels towards one’s partner at a given moment, physical wellbeing, age, as well as drugs and medicines. But just like everything else in life, there is tremendous variety between people in how much or how little they desire sex. For some people very infrequent sex or no sex at all feels perfectly sufficient, while I have had other people in my practice who report that at a minimum they would like to have sex once a day, but preferably more.
In the bad old days people could be diagnosed as either hypo-sexual (too little sexual desire) or hyper-sexual (too much sexual desire). But in fact in all of my years is graduate training, and years as a sex therapist, nobody has ever been able to tell me the “right” amount of sex to want. In fact, there is an old joke in the sex therapy community in which hypo-sexuality means that you have sex less frequently than your therapist does, and hyper-sexuality means that you are getting it more than your therapist gets it.
So the chances of both you and another person liking sex with the same frequency is fairly slim. It is no more likely than two people having the exact same appetite for food, but when it comes to sex, different levels of sexual appetites in a relationship if not handled well can…
Don’t let this happen to you! My friend and neighbor Jimmy rang my bell some time back and was in tears. His wife, and mother of his children had just told him that she wanted to separate. He was shocked because he hadn’t imagined that she was so unhappy in the marriage.
“Baby”, he said, “What’s wrong? Whatever it is I’m sure we can work it out. I’ll ask our friend Eli if he could recommend a couples’ counselor.” Her response was firm. “The problem Jimmy is that I can’t stand looking at you face another minute.” Truth is there were some explicatives in her remark, but you get the idea that she had had it; she was done and was not turning back.
I wish that I could say that this was a unique story, but I’ve heard it before. Another friend of mine only found out about his wife’s complaints about him in the divorce papers! He was not particularly aggressive in his career, while she was. As far as he knew they had had a happy arrangement in which she was the major breadwinner and he contributed some to the family income. It had never been mentioned that she resented working so hard, and wanted him to contribute more to the family’s income.
While these examples are fairly extreme, they illustrate one of the most basic problems that couples encounter and can put a relationship into danger of falling apart. Specifically, that is poor communication which can…
Sexual tastes and appetites vary enormously from person to person, just as tastes in foods do. Someone might love for example the flavorful and intricately spiced foods of Southeast Asia, while their partner might be happier with the relatively unseasoned foods of Northern Europe.
Sexual appetites are not much different and a common concern when two people meet is that they fear that they are “sexually incompatible" because one partner savors and delights in a particular kink or fetish, which simply does not appeal to their partner. While this seems to most like an insurmountable problem, my experience is that of the many sexual worries and complaints that people come to my office asking for help with, this actually is among the simplest to fix, and the results might surprise and delight you.
Ronny and Mike came to see me after dating for about a year...
They told me how they had met at a club, enjoyed their first few dates with each other. They immediately liked each other very much, and felt a strong physical attraction. Yet when they started having sex with each other they both described it as “Okay.” but that it lacked the passion and fire that they had hoped would be there. Early in the relationship, the times they had sex together dwindled and neither really looked forward to it. Both Ronny and Mike were sad because they really wanted to feel “hot” for each other, and actually said that they loved each other, but…
Making the decision to consult with a sex therapist is a difficult one for anybody. People would want to be sure that the therapist wouldn't judge them for their sexual likes or dislikes, nor be disparaging or dismissive of their sexual problems. In essence, almost everyone needs to find a therapist with whom they can feel safe, understood, and who can help them.
For gay men, the choice is usually simple. They would want help from someone who understands them from the inside out. Someone who has had experiences similar to their own, and knows first-hand the struggles they deal with on a daily basis. And who better than another gay man to help them overcome their sexual difficulties and concerns.
Logic would seem to hold that people who consider themselves “straight” would likewise be best served by a sex therapist who also identified as straight. Yet the surprising truth is that many straight people, both as an individual and as a couple wind up getting the best results resolving their sexual concerns by seeing a gay sex therapist.
Here are just some of the reasons a certified sex therapist who identifies as gay might be just be the perfect fit for heterosexuals looking for help with sexual problems: