Tuesday, December 1, 2015

The Libido and You

Clearly, I like to talk about sex. I also like having sex. I like having sex in many forms and in many styles. That being said, I don't actually get it that often.

X is a very busy man. He commutes an hour one way every day, so he's out of the house by 8am. He works at least an 8 hour day, if not more. He commutes an hour home and gets home at the earliest by 6:30pm, usually 7pm or later. Sometimes he goes running. We have dinner. By the time we've digested and we could even be ready for sex, it's at least 8pm and he's tired. And these are the days when he doesn't have choir meetings (X is on the board for his semi-professional choir. It keeps him very busy for at least two nights a week.). When he has a choir meeting, he leaves the house at 8am and doesn't get home until at least 10pm and all he wants to do is crash. He's tired. He dedicates his heart and soul to his job and to his choir and he gets a lot of work done and helps a lot of people. It's admirable.

Then at least one night a week I have my own choir (we're musical people), so that's one more night out.

But H, you say, what about the weekend? Weekends aren't bad, but they're usually full of chores, yard work, social engagements, more choir stuff (his or mine), and then just trying to relax from the long week we just finished.

It has been three weeks since I had sex last. And I'm a newly wed. Plus, we're going on vacation next week to see my family and you can bet neither of us will be comfortable having sex under my father's roof. And the week after that, X is going to Seattle again. So it is going to be at least five weeks until I get laid again. I love my husband until death do us part, but this bites.

My energy level and libido would let us fit something in probably twice a week. But poor X is just so tired all the time that he just doesn't want to. And when he doesn't want to, no strip tease or kisses will change his mind. He flat out doesn't want to. There is a stereotype out there that men are always aching for sex and that women are always turning them down. This is a flat-out lie. Women can have more active libidos just as often as men can. We can want sex whenever and however often we feel like it.

So how do we handle this?

1. Figure out what you want out of sex. Sex is a complicated thing and people want it for many different reasons. If you want the intimacy, ask for a long kiss or snuggle. If you want the orgasm, masturbate. If you want the endorphins, exercise.
2. Make time for sex. X and I are at the point where we have to schedule it. Is it romantic? Kind of. In a sense, it's not, because it's planned. In a sense it is, because it means we're making each other a priority.

For me, as much as everyone loves a good orgasm, what I want the most out of sex is connection to X and intimacy. So I ask for long kisses that don't go anywhere. When I do this, I'm specific. I say "Give me a three second kiss." and he does and it's great. When we sit on the couch next to each other, I throw a leg over his lap. He may be playing video games, we may be watching "The Big Bang Theory," but it's physical connection.

Some people want sex because they like feeling sexy. You can manage that yourself in a couple ways:
1. Directly ask your partner to tell you he thinks you're sexy. He can do that even if he's not "in the mood" and he can do it on cue, when I really need it.
2. Wear things that make you feel sexy. Fitted sweaters. Matching underwear. Skinny jeans. Lacy socks. Heels. Boots. Mary Janes. Hair up with a pencil. Hair down and curled. Whatever it is that makes you feel sexy, wear it and be happy that you are sexy in your own eyes.
3. Work on your confidence. Confidence is sexy. I feel like a sexy person because that's how I view myself. I think of it as a part of who I am. Yes, I still have days when I feel like a cow in blue jeans, but most days I feel like a curvy goddess, despite seeing my physical flaws. It's taken me years to get to this point and it's an amazing place to be in. I can walk down the street in sneakers and just feel sexy because I'm walking down the street. That's confidence in my body.

Having mismatched libidos gives you a chance to really examine your relationship. Some relationships are based on sex. If you're not both having it at a rate that makes you both happy, tensions emerge and things can get rocky. But some relationships are built on other bonds - compatibility of personality, intellectual matches, love of the same hobbies. If you're not getting something - in this case, sex - out of the relationship, it's a good idea to stop and evaluate what you ARE getting out of the relationship and to appreciate those things. X may not sleep with me whenever I want him to, but he makes me laugh. He challenges me intellectually, he plays games with me, he spends time with me, he treats me well. He's not just my lover, but my companion and my friend. I married him knowing that our libidos weren't matched and I still want to spend the rest of my life with him knowing that.

When you're faced with mismatched libidos, some people will try to get off with other partners. This can either be through an open relationship, a polyamorous relationship, or cheating. The difference is that open and poly relationships are expressions of trust and understanding between all parties involved, while cheating is a violation of expectations and trust. If you do not want to leave your partner, but you absolutely need to have more sex than what you're having, talk to your partner. You may come up with a compromise, like scheduling more sex. You may decide together to have an open relationship. Whatever you decide, so long as it is done with trust, honesty, and open communication, and so long as it works for both partners, it is okay. It is never okay to cheat. If your partner thinks you are being faithful and you cheat, even if you just HAD to get some, you have a problem and you need to talk it out.

(There will be future posts about my very biased view on open and poly relationships.)

Note: IT IS NEVER OKAY TO PRESSURE YOUR PARTNER INTO HAVING SEX. You can try to get your partner in the mood to fool around through music, romance, lingerie, or whatever else turns the two of you on, but if your partner is not interested, that's it. Cool off. Do something else. Watch a show. But IT IS NEVER OKAY TO PRESSURE YOUR PARTNER INTO HAVING SEX. Nor is it ever okay to get mad at your partner for not wanting sex. People work on different schedules. People get tired or have anxiety. And that's okay.

-It is absolutely okay to do some things - kissing, petting, etc. - and then want to stop.
-It is completely okay to start having sex and then to change your mind and decide you don't want to finish.
-It is totally okay to feel too lazy to have sex and just want to masturbate.
-It is always okay to ask for sex so long as you can handle a "No."

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