If you are in a long-term relationship, one of you has more sexual desire. And you have a partner who wants less. How do I know that? Because over time, in any long term committed relationship, a system develops in which there is a more sex person and a less sex person.

The person with less sexual desire controls sex – like it or not.

Here’s another facet of how the system works: the less sex person controls sex. He or she is the one who says no. He or she agrees to certain behaviors but not to others. He or she sets the tone, the timing and the agenda because he or she can just say no, and the more sex person tends to say yes to everything.

Notice that I say “he or she.” It is a myth that the men are always the partner with more desire. In my experience, and in the experience of the pioneer in this field, Dr. Schnarch, women are the more sex person about half the time.

There is no proper amount of sexual desire.

It’s important to keep in mind that there is no correct amount of sex, no proper number of times a day, a week, a month or a year to make love with your partner. The more sex person in one relationship would be the less sex person in another. The more sex person early in the relationship might become the less sex person over time or when circumstances change. Nothing is wrong when one person is more interested in sex than the other. It is to be expected.

Sexual desire discrepancy creates different problems for each person.

What makes this dynamic problematic is when you ascribe meaning to the difference in desire that isn’t real and when you don’t know how to handle your feelings about your own position in the system. There are particular challenges that face each person. Check out my recommendations for the higher desire partner and the lower desire partner.

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