This is probably not a letter you typically get, but I'm hoping my problem is a normal, usual relationship one.
I have been with my boyfriend for a year and a half, we are both college sophomores, and have been sexually active for about a year (full on HND). It was a mutual decision to become sexually active, we always use condoms, and I am on hormonal birth control. I enjoy sex, and love my boyfriend. The problem is, he likes sex more than me. Or at least, likes having it more frequently than I do (like every day, when I'd be happy with 3 times a week).
Whenever I turn him down, or say I'm not into it, he'll usually ask if everything is okay, and why I don't want to, and ultimately be okay with it, but I still feel bad—he gets into a bit of funk for a day or two afterwards when we don't, like he's worried he did something wrong. I love him, and I like sex— sometimes I just don't feel like it. Is this normal? There's no reason sometimes—I'm not upset, sleepy, stressed, or on my period, I am just not in a "sexy" mood. Is this indicative of a larger relationship problem?
Nope! So rest easy, Sparkler. The fact that you aren't raring to go all day, every day, is normal, natural, and not even remotely indicative of an underlying problem. Because hey, people are wired differently when it comes to sex, and not wanting to HND all the time and/or at all times is just part of the whole "it's personal" package. In fact, I'd like to paper the whole wide world with posters that bear the following statement:
What you like to do in the sack, and how often you like to do it, and who you like to do it with, are all highly variable and totally individual.
So when it comes to sex, just remember that the spectrum of "normal" is absolutely enormous, okay? And there's room on it for just about everyone, from people who like to HND rarely if ever, to people who would happily have sex with a bullfrog, or even a hundred bullfrogs, at the same time... that is, if it were legal, which it is thankfully not, although I am sure that I will receive many angry letters from the Society for the Prevention of Bullfrog Molestation nevertheless.
And yes, mismatched sex drives are an incredibly common source of conflict in relationships, and particularly in long-term relationships—to the point where your average marriage counselor could make a living exclusively from unhappy situations in which one party wants sex all the time and the other, almost never.
But for a mismatch like yours, where your guy wants to HND constantly, whereas you just want to HND frequently, the solution is simple: when one partner isn't in the mood, the other just, er, takes matters into his or her own hands.
If you know what I mean.
(You do know what I mean, right?)
And it also helps if the less-libinidous party sometimes makes the effort to get in the mood, with his or her partner's help, even if he or she isn't feeling particularly sexy at the moment of initiation. Not because anyone owes nookie to anyone else, but because compromise and respect for your partner's needs make for a healthy relationship.
SCIENCE SIDEBAR: Since you're on hormonal birth control, it might be worth it to talk to your doctor about some alternatives. Lowered libido is a common side effect, and a different pill—or a different delivery system—or a barrier method like a diaphragm—might boost your level of desire a bit.
SEXY SIDEBAR: Without taking this post into too-steamy-for-SparkLife territory, let's just say that if your boyfriend isn't making your enjoyment a priority—and if your sometime lack of interest in the HND stems from the fact that you're not having as much fun as you could be—then you might want to explain to him that you'd be more in the mood, more often, if he paid (ahem) certain types of attention to (ahem) certain parts of your body. AHEM.
But as for your boyfriend , I've gotta tell you: his reaction is the one part of your letter that does concern me. Because acting entitled to sex, and sulking like a little weenie when you can't have it, is totally unacceptable behavior. So sit him down for a let's-talk-about-us chat, and tell him:
a) that you feel the desire for sex less frequently than he does,
b) that doing the HND several times a week is fully satisfactory to you,
c) that it's a matter of personal biology that has nothing to do with your feelings for him, and so,
d) since you don't much care for the idea of just putting out to placate him, and since presumably he doesn't either, when your respective desires happen to be out of alignment, he's welcome to take care of business himself.
And then, maybe add that:
e) you hope this conversation has resolved any misunderstanding, such that he won't feel compelled to mope for 24-48 hours whenever you don't want to have sex.
Not just because it's immature and manipulative—although it is—but because when it comes to turn-ons, a person who pouts about getting laid on a thrice-weekly schedule is possibly the least sexy thing in the world.
Have you ever had an SO who wanted to fool around more (or didn't want to fool around as much) as you? Tell us in the comments! And to get advice from Auntie, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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