Low Desire, Inhibited Desire and Discrepant Desire
Desire is wanting to enjoy sex. Libidinous desire for both sexes is compromised by hormone imbalances (which I routinely solve by working closely with physicians who specialize in sexual medicine), inhibitions about sex and about one’s body image, medications
Inhibited desire involves guilt, shame and sexual repression. I help inhibited people let go of negative, rigid thoughts about sex and about their bodies.
that work against desire and poor health (including a lack of aerobic exercise, poor sleep and a poor diet).
Causes for Lowered Libido
Additional causes for low libido include too much alcohol, a lack of sexual chemistry, a lack of erotic imagination and fantasies, relationship tensions and resentments, and stress and fatigue from work and other sources.
Sometimes sexual trauma and other traumas from childhood or later in life restrict sexual desire. This is why I refer clients to trauma therapists when a significant past trauma (sexual, mental or physical) affects the present. I work with the trauma therapist to solve the desire (or other) sexual/relationship problem.
Discrepant desire is the most common sexual problem. Some sex therapists label this “mismatched” desire, but I prefer discrepant desire, because I often find ways to close the gap and to adjust smoothly to any remaining discrepancy. My work proves that the two lovers are not “mismatched.” They need some of my help to get more in synch.
The person with less desire may feel badly, but the person with oodles of lustful desire may be labeled as “over-sexed,” or as a “sex addict.” I do not subscribe to negative labeling. Some with less desire fear touching, cuddling and kissing, because they worry that any touch will be foreplay. I encourage couples not to view all touch as foreplay, so they can be more freely affectionate. The best sex is emotionally charged, resulting in an intimate and romantic connection.
Dealing with Desire Discrepancies: A Couple’s Challenge
Dealing with desire discrepancies is a couple’s problem, not the problem of one or the other in the relationship. This is why individual therapists cannot solve a couple’s sexual problems. It takes a board-certified sex therapist to fully address issues of sexual desire, including desire discrepancies.
If one person has a negative, blaming and controlling attitude about sex and/or the partner, desire is compromised for that partner. I help the person with the negative thoughts exchange her/his thoughts for more rational and sex-positive thoughts, which then enhances emotions and behaviors needed to improve the sexual relationship.
It is not always the man who has more desire. I see more and more men who have less desire than their wife or girlfriend. Work stress and financial stress work against desire for both sexes. I also help lots of gay and lesbian couples with issues of low, inhibited and discrepant desire. There are similar causes and ways to treat desire problems for gays and lesbians.
As long as couples take my suggestions and stick with therapy, I am extremely successful with desire discrepancies. There usually is more than one reason for desire discrepancies. Sex should never be a carrot to attract and manipulatively pull back from a lover. I use plenty of humor and my freewheeling imagination to solve desire issues.
I help couples find more reasons to feel and playfully act on erotic desires and lust-filled fantasies. This is far better than accepting distorted thoughts which make one or both believe that the problem cannot be solved. Sometimes this necessitates more balance so the couple connects more emotionally and has fun dates. It often requires prioritizing the relationship more, rather than putting work, children and other activities ahead of lovemaking. Imbalances do not facilitate harmonious, satisfying lovemaking!
There usually is more than one cause for low, inhibited and discrepant desire. I am comprehensive in how I diagnose and treat desire problems. I have more medical knowledge than most sex therapists, which helps fully solve the problem. It is not enough to tell a client to see their doctor to solve the rest. I work with doctors as a team.
Women who have young children and women who are menopausal have special needs to solve their desire issues. Similarly, men who feel they are not good lovers or who have low confidence are helped by me. Desire problems usually can be solved, and I enjoy solving them!