14 Bedroom Tips From People Who Have Very Different Sex Drives Than Their Partner

    "My partner and I trade oral or a hand job for a nice massage if one isn’t in the mood."

    A little while back, we shared a list of tips from people in long-term relationships who were experiencing the hurdle of having a drastically different sex drive from their partner's. A lot of people in the comments dealing with similar issues were grateful for the advice, so we've rounded up 14 more suggestions:

    1. "My partner and I trade oral or a hand job for a nice massage if one of us isn’t in the mood. It’s great for both of us. Instead of making it feel like a chore to get the other person off, or one partner feeling rejected, the massage trade makes it sensual and reciprocal."

    A partner gives their smiling partner a neck massage with their elbow

    2. "Compromise, communication, planned sex dates, and a lot of understanding. Also, it helped when I (the one who has a higher sex drive) stopped fantasizing about sex the way it’s shoved down our throats the majority of the time (e.g., how movies and porn portray it) and instead enjoyed it for what it was with my partner. It made me enjoy our sex life so much more."


    3. "My girlfriend has a much stronger sex drive than I do. She's typically always ready to go, whereas I'm not always in the mood for sex. When that's the case, she won't pressure me or make me feel bad because she isn't getting hers — she's aware that I'll eventually feel like it. She doesn't push me into getting hard; she's patient."


    4. "I have a much higher sex drive than my S.O. We're super in love, very compatible, great roommates, and see ourselves raising children and growing old together. However, he is satisfied with sex once or twice a week, and always in the evenings. I, on the other hand, wake up every morning super horny, and I wake up for work hours before him, so I masturbate and then get up to start my day."

    "He knows I do it, and it's fine with him. We've just learned to deal with it and to love each other anyway. We're open with each other about our sex drives being different, and he supports me doing what I need to in the mornings. We've gotten used to it."


    5. "My ex and I had a sort of visual language: We each had a lighter — mine green, hers black. They were never used for actual lighting purposes. They sat on the bar, laid on their sides. When one of us felt like fooling around, we'd just go and stand our respective lighter up. When one of us saw the other person's lighter standing up, we would either a) stand ours up, signaling consent/invitation, or b) lay it back down, signaling, 'Not right now.'"

    A green lighter on a wooden table

    6. "In all seriousness here, if you can talk through the inevitable jealousy and be honest and vulnerable with each other about your feelings, polyamory is a viable solution."


    7. "Sometimes when I’m not feeling sex but my boyfriend is, I’ll just talk dirty to him or touch his balls while he jerks off. It works for us."


    8. "I have a higher drive than my husband. The first thing I did when we moved in and got over the honeymoon phase was ask him what sorts of things turned him on the most. (Was he more visual? Emotional? Did he like dirty talk? Lingerie? And so on.) I also asked if there were any specific behaviors or circumstances that were particular turn-offs for him, so I knew what to avoid if I was trying to make things happen."

    "And I told him my turn-ons and turn-offs too. Honestly, what happened was that just having us make efforts to do more of what the other liked and less of what they didn't like led to more sex in general."


    9. "I don't care or judge him if he looks at porn. In fact, we have a fun relationship of sharing porn with each other."

    A couple looking mischievously at a laptop

    10. "Over the years, I've learned how to separate my sense of self-worth from the amount of physical attention he gives me, but sometimes it's very damn hard."


    11. "There are times when one of us isn't in the mood and the other is extremely horny. In these instances, we turn to masturbation. We always give each other the option of being slightly involved or watching. Sexual urges will always happen, and I realized that it's unfair to expect my partner to fulfill them. The best way to make it work is to communicate and keep an open mind. It's hard, but it can make a big difference."


    12. "If you've found that one of you has had a change (even over several years) in your sex drive and energy levels, get a blood test. My GF went to the doctor and had a blood test. Turns out she has an autoimmune disease that causes hypothyroidism, and one of the symptoms of a messed-up thyroid is no sex drive. She started medication a week ago, and we're hopeful things will improve once her hormones normalize."


    13. "I have always been into edging, so we use that in our sex lives. She will tease and edge me several times and not allow me to come. This will go on for a day or sometimes over a week. The longer I go without coming, the hornier I am and thus want to have sex more."

    Woman straddling her male partner

    14. And finally, "The reality of sex and love and relationships is that your body and feelings fluctuate over time. Sometimes you're up, sometimes you're down. You should never stop working at loving each other, either way. You just have to roll with it."


    If you and your partner have been experiencing troubles in the bedroom that are affecting your relationship, please don't hesitate to seek professional advice from a relationship counselor or therapist.

    Note: Some submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.