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I Want (More) Sex

Not all sexual appetites are treated equally, but what do you do when yours is not being satisfied? The 4-way panel of relationship non-experts discuss compromise and sex in committed relationships.

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Dear 4-Way,
I have a healthy sexual appetite, meaning I like to have sex at least six or seven times a week. My boyfriend is the complete opposite—he’s usually up for one or two times tops. When we are together, it’s amazing, and I don’t doubt his feelings for me or think that his desire for less means he isn’t into me. But I’ve never dated a guy who wants so little sex. Isn’t it the woman who’s usually complaining of headaches and being tired? It doesn’t seem normal. What do you guys think? Are there any arguments or sexy tactics that might help persuade him to want more? I’m concerned because if we ever get married, I worry that we would have even less sex than we do now. And that’s just depressing.—EG, Phoenix, AZ

The gay woman’s perspective: Jody Fischer
There always seems to be one who wants more. This is true in all couples I know, straight and gay. I’m curious about a couple of things here. First, have you spoken with him about this already? And second, has this always been the case for him, or is this a new behavior? You won’t be able to answer the second question until you ask the first one.

So how do you broach the topic? I’ve got to say that I’m at a loss here as to what to say to a guy about this, because there’s this notion that guys are supposed to always think about and be ready for sex. (Though my male friends assure me that they really do need to recharge.) One guy friend told me, “What’s with you women? First it takes you so long to get there, and then when you arrive, you’re ready to go again.” I had to laugh at that one. 

If you’re really viewing him as the marrying kind, then you better be comfortable talking honestly with him about this. I’m guessing that he probably knows he’s leaving you unsatisfied. Keep in mind that there are many ways to satisfy besides just the traditional roll in the hay. If his parts down under aren’t up to the job, perhaps other parts of him are. I sure hope so.

The straight man’s perspective: Chris Kennedy
First off, if this guy can’t keep up with you, can I have your number? I’m kidding. (Mostly.)

This is usually a “guy” problem, so I guess we’re sort of used to the imbalance. We’re usually dismissed as horny mutts and sent to the sexual doghouse until the female whistles us in whenever she’s ready. You, as a woman, are not used to this backyard view. Or are you? Has this been a problem for you in past relationships? I’m guessing not, because you didn’t mention it.

Having different sexual appetites and other differences in preferences can be a problem in relationships. People in these inequitable situations may be tempted to go elsewhere to fulfill their needs, or they may find alone time with their computers, or they may just suck it up and live with the fact they don’t get as much sex as they’d like. You have similar options. 

As for any future marriage, I don’t think you should be too concerned about that. The status quo on that is that your sexual desire will decrease as well … maybe making you more compatible?

As for things to do to increase his desire, what turns him on? Have you played into his fantasy? A certain outfit? Dancing for him? Men are visual. There’s a bunch of things you can try and you might as well do so. You may hit on something that trips his trigger. Or you may try all this only to be rejected, which would be a real bummer and blow to your ego.

If nothing else, there needs to be some compromise, a meeting somewhere in the middle. Maybe four times a week would work. Compromise is essential in strong relationships, and this is an area in which it needs to happen. If one of you is not able to adjust, well, that’s a bad sign for the continuation of the relationship. The bright side is you’ll be let out of the doghouse and be free to roam in more fertile pastures.

The straight woman’s perspective: Rebecca Brown
Jenna? Jenna Jameson? Is that you? I’m so honored that you’re a 4-Way reader!

Seven times a week, EG? Seriously? What kind of female Cialis is pumping through your veins, girl? I’m exhausted and a little sore just thinking of all that activity. But I digress …

While I think it’s important to have compatible levels of interest in this area (and clearly you don’t), I’m wondering if you’re focusing a little too much on quantity versus quality. Wouldn’t you rather have a pleasurable and intimate connection the times that you are together? Because the alternative is being with someone who’s on autopilot, someone who feels pressure to perform and stares nervously at the wall while he aimlessly jackhammers away. That doesn’t sound pleasurable or intimate for anyone involved.

You mention marriage, so clearly this is someone you care about in more than just a “bang him seven times a week” kind of way. So if you haven’t talked to him about what you like and what you need, you should. And maybe that conversation isn’t even about what you need and what you’re not getting; maybe it’s a sexy little chat about the things that turn him on the most. Lacy bustiers? Thigh-high stockings and heels? Assless leather chaps? (It takes all kinds, people!) Or maybe he just needs a good old-fashioned pair of white cotton panties. Whatever it is, surprising him with his favorite turn-ons might help up your weekly volume.

But be forewarned: even with those sexy enticements, he may never be able to match your enthusiasm to the tune of seven times a week. Can you be happy with 3.5 times per week, maybe taking some alone time with your battery-operated toys to carry you through the droughts? That’s what you need to think about. If you marry this man—or any man (or woman), for that matter—a mismatch in sexual desire is something you’ll have to work out at some point. Cause honey, if you think you’re suffering now, just wait until you face the prospect of having sex with the same guy for the next forty years. Find a sweet spot you can both live with. As Tim Gunn says, “make it work.”

The gay man’s perspective: Darren Maddox
I think sexual appetites come in all sizes. Some people have a tapas size appetite for loving, while others choose to Super Size it. You clearly fall in the latter category.

Six or seven times a week seems a little extreme to me, but maybe some of our readers feel differently. After reading your question, I conducted my own mini-survey of some close friends to find out more about their sexual habits. I was shocked to learn that one friend has sex with his partner every single morning and every single night without fail, while others reported that once a week was fine for them. It was all over the map.

That said, I think it all comes down to compatibility. If you’re both getting what you want out of your sex life, it’s a winner. If not, you need to back up and regroup, or move on. Have you told him you want to have sex more often, or do you simply assume he should know that because he’s a guy? Do you make the moves or does he? Instead of looking for an argument or tactic, open up your lines of communication with him. That’s sexier than anything and will take you to another level of understanding beyond the sex.

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