My fiance and I have a virtually ideal relationship. Our ideals, goals, beliefs, senses of humor, and attraction are mutual. We communicate openly and hold each other in high reguard. We try to meet each other’s needs as often as possible, and are successful for the most most part.There is one problem though. His sex drive is on overdrive (and in reaction, mine is low–like 1-2 times a wk is plenty for me). I often brace myself against his affection in an effort to not have to do it. I am totally attracted to him, but his aggressive manner puts me off.We talk openly about this problem, and he has backed off a little, but he feels jilted and sarcastically jokes about my lack of enthusiasm. What is a normal amount of lovemaking? How can I make him understand that if he backs off I will come to him? (I’ve exemplified this when he has backed off, but that ‘s not often and it doesn’t stand out in his mind).We are 23 yrs. old. I did not have this problem when I dated a man 17 yrs my sr. . . I was very sexual with him. Will this improve with time. . . I’m afraid my sex drive will never go up. . . Help!
I think there is more to this story than meets the eye. On the surface it would appear that we are dealing with a simple difference in levels of sexual desire. But, that ‘s not really what the conflict is about, at least not as I see it.What we are actually dealing with is a power struggle that shakes down to: When your boyfriend presses you for sex, your sex drive fizzles. You asked me to help you find a way to convey to your boyfriend that if he would only back off, you would come to him. Unfortunately, getting your boyfriend to back-off (not ask for sex) is not a solution to the problem, for several reasons.First, in a healthy relationship, both partners need to feel free to communicate their needs, sexual and otherwise. So, to tell your boyfriend to sit on his needs (no pun intended) would be placing him in a straight jacket. Even if we could convince him to do this, he will surely come to resent you for it, which will harm your relationship in the long run.What your boyfriend needs to work on is learning how to communicate his desire for you in a way that doesn’t feel so aggressive to you. In other words, he must be true to his own inner needs, while being considerate of your feelings when he does approach. As for you, you need to focus on understanding why you feel so resentful when your partner asks you for sex when you aren’t in the mood.To figure this out, you first need to know that your negative reaction finds its roots in the separation-individuation phase of early childhood. During this phase, which occurs between 1 1/2 to 3 years of age, a child needs to be given freedom to explore his world, and stretch his wings without much parental interference. If a parent is too controlling, and continually inserts demands, rules, limits, etc. , the child will become frustrated and annoyed and will develop contrary and oppositional behaviors in order to fight the parents’ intrusions.When that child grows up, he or she will find it difficult to respond to his or her partner’s requests. In fact, all requests will be perceived as demands or commands. And, here’s the demonic part. The more those demands are resisted, the more demanding the other person becomes, which leads to more and more angry feelings.In your case, your angry feelings are expressed by withholding sex or turning off to sex.So, as you can see, in order to resolve this issue, growth needs to occur on both sides. He needs to learn to approach you in a more sensitive way. This will be hard for him to do since he is feeling so upset to be put off by you.So, in order for him to feel less rebuffed, you will need to become more responsive to his requests, or at least kinder in your refusals. When he feels less rejected by you, he will not feel impelled to press you so hard. This in turn will soften your feeling of being demanded upon, and in this way the vicious cycle can be broken.I hope this letter helps you carve a path out of the rut you’re in.