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Here's what to do when your sex drive is way higher than his

By Maya Khamala

So many women I know have this problem—believe it or not. Maybe it’s just the pack of wild woman I run in—hard to say. We (and when I say “we” I mean people of all genders) have been taught from a young age that women have lower sex drives relative to men, who are naturally surging with testosterone and therefore hornier than us. Never have I ever felt represented by this information. Never have I ever felt this information wasn’t somehow catered to serve men and justify their supposedly biologically programmed behaviours (ie., “boys will be boys”). Nope, sorry. Not having it. 

Regardless of the sources that spout this shite, very seldom is socialization take into account: (hetero) men and women are taught to express their sexualities differently. Duh. Women are taught to be more subdued, subtle, less forward. Men are taught they are supposed to want it. Forget that the birth control pill has been known to artificially (and criminally) lower a woman’s libido, or that in my experience, women are usually far hungrier for (good) sex than men. Maybe the “good” part is key here. 

In any case, as a woman who has never not had a higher drive than my numerous male partners (I’m not even that excessive!), I have specific experience yo, and have come up with tips for coping with the situation. Because it can require coping. If you’re there, you know exactly what I’m talking about.

Identify whether or not there is a “problem” to address  

This advice is for women that are invested enough in their relationships to put time and emotional work into it—something that women do a lot more of than men already. Hello institutional patriarchy, may I take your coat? Let’s start here: because of the power imbalances that be in the world as we know it, being a woman with a higher sex drive is different from being a man with a higher sex drive. It just is. Men are rewarded and women are shamed (the Victorian era lives on!). I am generalizing heavily, but I have faced shame in every relationship for wanting it more, and for not letting my man initiate. One partner I had took two years to admit to me that he had an issue with a woman initiating sex. Other men may not even be aware that they feel this way.  

So my advice is this: figure out whether your man actually has a bonafide lower sex drive than you (a totally valid discrepancy), or if the issue is actually a deep-seated misogynistic tendency of his to get more turned on if you seem uninterested—the “hunt,” as it were. Don’t even get me started on the hunt. I believe there are just as many huntresses as hunters out there. Really, though, it is almost certainly an overlap of the two. 

Decide whether it’s worth fixing or not. If the issue is more about you being a super fiery woman and your man admits feeling stalled/intimidated (this does happen), remember that you’re not his therapist, and only you can decide whether the issue is serious enough or deep enough or anxiety-inducing enough or draining enough (or worth it enough!) to dig into. ‘Cause real talk: it might require some excavation, and you might be better with a shovel than he is.

Navigate consent  

If the issue is a true discrepancy in sex drives, you have a whole other set of questions to ponder: For starters, does your man want to up his drive, or is he happy the way it is? I used to try to “seduce” a long-term man of mine, but he saw it less as seduction and more as pressure. He even once said something to me that I’ll never forget: “How can you call yourself a feminist and then violate my consent by pressuring me to have sex?” While I don’t actually believe this particular guy was at all in his rights to say that to me (he’s the one who later admitted he simply had an issue with women initiating), it got me thinking. There’s a pretty thin line that women must straddle/navigate/walk. 

We’re taught to be seductresses. We’re taught that if our man is disinterested, we can be doing something more/better/different. But in my experience, when I do, I run the risk of being accused of “pressuring.” If you’re in this position, it probably feels like shit on multiple levels. A) You probably feel like something is truly wrong with you: how could you do something as shitty as pressure someone into sex? B) You may feel additionally shitty because you feel undesirable. Are you somehow too much? Intimidating? Too masculine? Are you too hungry? Again, you may wonder what is wrong with you or feel you are somehow outside the lines of acceptable womanhood. All of the above can be incredibly emotionally taxing.

What trying looks like 

Regardless of the reasons behind your man’s lower drive (relative to you), one pure truth does remain: you have to back off and let it breathe because desire can be fickle and cruel and it definitely does not respond to more attention. Perhaps it’s simply human to want more of what we can’t easily have. In any case, it can be a rough game to try to “pretend” sex is not on your brain when it is, or that the situation is not stressing you out when it is, and you really shouldn’t spend much, if any of your goddess-given life-source pretending. So don’t fall into that trap.

If you can, do this instead: find other things to occupy your interest outside of your relationship, and/or non-sexual but still fun-as-shit things to do with your man that you will both enjoy. Sometimes all your relationship needs is a little boost from an unexpected place, and then it’s up and running again, sex and all—organic, hot, and just enough…If time passes and this doesn’t happen, and you find you are stewing in your unhappiness, it may be time to reevaluate your ties to your guy. 

We all deserve to be happy, and there are no formulas.

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