What Should I Do?*
As we’ve discussed in the previous articles before, neither the High Desire Partner (HDP), nor the Low Desire Partner (LDP) have a better position in the dynamic of the couple. We tend to hear couples saying that they have the bad reputation in the couple and they wished that their lover would better understand them. Thing is, both parties are dealing with the same things, just in a different ways.
The LDP’s Catch 22!
The LDP is stuck in a very similar outcome than the HDP, where they don’t necessarily want the sex they are being offered for whatever reason, yet they don’t want their partner to leave them. They know full well that if they don’t give out here and there, their partner will eventually get tired of the lack of sex and leave. Since they don’t want that, they offer once and a while what we call pity sex. Not only is it the worst thing to do in a relationship, where there is a discrepancy between the sexual desire of the partners, it makes the LDP feel like crap about themselves. As much as pity sex tends to get their partner’s off their backs for a while, they’ll come on knocking for more soon enough. This is where the LDP can’t hold on to themselves and loses their integrity.
Lose Your Self-Respect and Integrity: Lose Your Sexual Desire
Now, you must be thinking what does self-respect and integrity have to do with sexual desire. Unlike what most people think, long lasting sexual desire in a committed relationship isn’t entirely based on how desirable our partner is. It’s also based on what we think and perceive of ourselves, which is something LDP’s tend not to have in high quantity. When someone offers their body to their lover for sex without enjoying it much or even at all, they tend to think less and less of themselves. They realize that they are willing to go pretty low to avoid a break up or a conflict. This doesn’t make people feel particularly desirable, which by contrast doesn’t make them feel sexual desire for others.
Refusing Crappy Sex Is Offering The Possibility of Great Sex
A lot of LDP’s actually have a lot of sexual desire bubbling underneath that facade of disinterest. The thing is, they don’t want to do it with their partner. Sex might have been good at the beginning of the relationship, but like all sex lives it starts getting repetitive and boring after a while. It’s predictable, planned (especially if you have kids) and monotone. It takes more effort each time to get turned on and we skip the passionate parts to just get down to business. Most LDP’s will start to feel this before the HDP partner’s but they won’t say anything about it to avoid hurt feelings. Sometimes it’s to avoid putting the effort into their sex lives for themselves. Some LDP’s have a very wild sexual imagination, but have never really shared it with their partner out of fear of being rejected, seen as perverted, judged, etc.
Therefore, they don’t get the sex they want and eventually and inevitably lose most if not all their sexual desire. Since they’re in an other validated intimacy dynamic, just like their HDP counter parts, they only self-disclose what they think or know will be accepted by their spouse in bed.
Standing Up On Your Own Two Feet
So you feel you have little if no self-respect and integrity for accepting pity sex for so long. You want better sex, but don’t know what or if your partner will even want what you have to offer? You are afraid to hurt their feelings and make things worst. Well you are exactly where you should be! This is the opportunity to grow up and mature and face your insecurities and doubts about yourself. Now, why would you want to do that? Well…dealing with them will actually give you your self-esteem, self-respect, integrity and feelings of being desirable back so that sexual desire feels more natural to you.
First off, stop offering and giving pity sex. Second start being more assertive in what you want in sex or find out what your sexual preferences are, if you don’t know what they are. Refrain from avoiding your spouse’s sexual advances and get in the game of seduction with them. Or at least have the balls or ovaries (depending on the case) to tell them you’re not in that mood right now and offer some other type of couples activity. Try to think before you say «NO» to them and really reflect on why you want to say it. Is it just automatic? Are you avoiding your own sexual insecurities? Maybe you don’t like intimacy and prefer not to deal with the uncomfortableness of being truly seen by someone?
Changing a couple’s sexual dynamic is hard work and requires putting effort into it by confronting ourselves. We need to learn to self-sooth and give grounded responses. It only takes one person to transform a relationship, but it’s far better when done in a collaborative alliance.
François Renaud M.A.
* Inspired by the book Intimacy and Desire from David Schnarch
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