Mismatched Sex Drives: How to Deal With The Libido Gap

Couples with mismatched sex drives often share feelings of resentment and frustration. Learn proven tips on how you and your partner can overcome sexual differences.

The Promescent Team
Hands on, practical experience – this is our expertise
by The Promescent Team Last updated 12/11/2023
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the libido gap

Having a higher or lower sex drive than your partner is quite common. But it may lead to serious relationship problems if left unaddressed.

Couples with mismatched sex drives often share feelings of resentment and frustration. It's important that both partners feel respected and desired without any obligation to be physically intimate.

Quick FAQs

Sex drive is the desire to engage in sex. It can range anywhere from low to high based on different factors.

A mismatched sex drive can be caused by health issues such as stress and hormonal changes.

A mismatched sex drive can be fixed through strategies such as communication and trying alternative sexual activities.

This guide will go over everything you need to know about sex drives and what happens when they're mismatched. Learn proven tips on how you and your partner can overcome any sexual differences to promote a healthy relationship today.

What is Sex Drive?

A sex drive, or libido, is the innate desire to engage in sex. Most men and women have a sex drive which can range from very low to extremely high depending on various factors.

A person with an active libido may experience:

  • A desire to engage in sex with a partner
  • A desire to masturbate
  • Sexual fantasies and daydreams
  • An interest in sex
  • A response to sexual stimuli, either mental or physical

While some people can have naturally higher or lower sex drives, it’s also not a static thing. Sex drives can shift throughout a person’s life, and in the short-term, a libido can shift wildly from day to day as well.

What Causes a Mismatched Sex Drive?

A man or woman’s libido is bound to change over time, with various ups and downs depending on circumstances.

In relationships, partners often go through a honeymoon phase in the beginning where sex drives are high and they're having sex daily, often times multiple times a day. But this may not last forever.

A person’s sex drive can drop due to various issues such as stress, medical issues, or a lack of sleep.

However, a drop in libido doesn’t have to be permanent. It’s important to work together to find healthy ways of matching libidos more closely.

Some of the most common causes of a lower libido include:

  • Changes in hormones, such as from menopause or low testosterone
  • Mental health issues, such as depression, stress, or anxiety
  • Medications

Even becoming more familiar with a long-term partner can reduce one’s sex drive over time, as the novelty of sex becomes slightly more routine. However, there are ways to help bring desire back into the bedroom.

Before we dive deeper into the reasons for mismatched libidos, remember that it's important to speak with your doctor if you notice a drastic change in your libido. In some cases, libido issues in relationships may be due to a medical issue, and it’s always important to rule that out quickly.

1. Pregnancy and Menopause

In many cases, pregnancy may lower a woman’s sexual desire, especially during the first trimester. Studies have found that pregnancy often affects a woman's libido due to:

  • Hormonal changes
  • Lifestyle changes
  • Increased stress

During the first trimester, many women report a sharp decrease in sex drive. However, the same study found that some women may have an increase in libido during the later stages of pregnancy.

The study also found that men often reported a lower libido as well, likely due to the stress and lifestyle changes involved with a pregnancy.

Along with pregnancy, menopause has been shown to decrease a woman’s libido and even orgasm satisfaction. This is due to sudden hormonal changes along with menopause side effects such as:

  • Hot flashes
  • Insomnia
  • Increased anxiety

In the same study, it was found that women who exercised frequently were more likely to maintain their libido during menopause compared to those who did not.

2. Low Testosterone

Low testosterone, or Low T, is a common cause of low sex drive and other sexual dysfunctions in men.

While a decrease in testosterone is expected as one ages, men of all ages may suffer from low testosterone due to:

  • Stress, anxiety, or depression
  • Insomnia
  • Poor diet
  • Lack of exercise
  • Other medical issues

Some of the most common symptoms of Low T include:

  • Lowered libido
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
Pro Tip: Check out Promescent Testosterone Booster to help maintain healthy testosterone levels and enjoy increased endurance and stamina.

3. Depression

Depression can affect men and women of all ages, and some of its side effects related to sex drive include:

  • A decreased libido
  • Sexual impairment, such as erectile dysfunction or decreased vaginal lubrication
  • Reduced pleasure response
  • Reduced orgasm response

Depression may occur due to a specific reason, such as job loss or illness, while other times it may be a chronic condition without a specific external factor. If you’re suffering from depression, it’s important to speak with your doctor or therapist for the best professional guidance.

4. Medication

Sometimes medications can lower one’s sex drive, and anti-depressants are often one of the leading risk factors for sexual dysfunction. Studies have found that certain antidepressants, or SSRIs, may drastically lower women and men’s libido.

If you notice a loss of sex drive from antidepressants, or any other medication, it’s important to speak with your doctor before discontinuing usage.

In some cases, a doctor may recommend a slight change in the dosage to see if side effects cease, or they may recommend a similar medication as well.

Other medications that may alter one's sex drive include:

  • Certain antihistamines
  • Prostate medications
  • Birth control pills
  • Hormonal medications

5. Stress

Stress can have a strong negative impact on both women and men’s libido. Research has shown that stress affects the body in numerous ways, such as disrupting hormones and lowering overall sexual functioning. In fact, stress can even contribute to erectile dysfunction.

While therapy is highly recommended for those suffering from chronic stress, you can also try to reduce stress by:

  • Exercising more
  • Spending time outdoors
  • Engaging with hobbies
  • Getting enough sleep
  • Eating a balanced diet
  • Reducing alcohol consumption

6. Being in a Long-Term Relationship

While being in a long-term relationship can be highly rewarding, researchers have found that it may lead to a drop in libido at times if partners aren’t careful.

In this study, it was discovered that libido loss can occur when either the man or woman experiences continual dissatisfaction in the bedroom.

However, women were more likely to experience a lower sex drive if there were problems within the relationship as well.

Some tips to deal with these issues include:

  • Ensuring both partners do equal chores
  • Planning date nights
  • Minimizing stress
  • Speaking with a couple’s counselor

How a Mismatched Sex Drive Affects Relationships

Low sexual satisfaction can affect both men and women, and it may lead to problems beyond the bedroom. In a study, men and women who were unsatisfied with their sex lives were also found to be more unhappy in their relationship overall.

An unhappy relationship also leads to a further decrease in libido as well. While sex is often not the most important aspect of a relationship, it is a crucial part of one.

It's important for couples to find ways to ensure both partners are equally sexually satisfied.

How to Fix a Mismatched Sex Drive

Studies have shown that there are ways to overcome different sex drives in a relationship, like with increased masturbation or simply discussing sex more often.

However, fixing a mismatched sex drive doesn’t mean simply raising the libido of the lower-libido partner. It often requires some open discussion on what each person expects or desires from sex.

1. Make Compromises

One problem that many partners with different libidos face is resentment. The higher libido partner may feel unfulfilled, and the lower libido partner may feel as though they're being pressured to engage.

It’s helpful to make compromises on both sides to prevent resentment and encourage libidos to grow more naturally.

Some examples of compromises include:

  • Taking time each week to discuss sex
  • Encouraging the lower libido partner to make the first move
  • Encouraging masturbation
  • Scheduling a time for sex
  • Engaging in foreplay more often

Some supplements can also help to increase one’s libido. Natural herbal supplements like Libido Booster for Women and VitaFLUX Nitric Oxide Booster for Men may promote a stronger sex-drive and healthier sexual functioning.

While both of these supplements utilize well-studied and high-quality ingredients, make sure to talk with your doctor before trying any new supplementation.

2. Masturbate

In a relationship with mismatched libidos, masturbation can be a healthy activity that can reduce urges and minimize tension in the bedroom. Many of its potential benefits are similar to sex, such as:

  • Increased pleasure
  • Reduced stress
  • Improved self-esteem

Masturbation may prevent one partner from feeling unsatisfied should the other partner not be in the mood.

3. Communicate

Communication is a crucial part of mending mismatched sex drives in a marriage. Some conversation starters include:

  • Asking your partner what turns them on
  • Talking about fun new things to try in bed to add some excitement
  • Whether it’s ok to masturbate in bed with your partner next to you
  • Talking about pornography, and how you feel about watching it solo or together

To prevent sex from feeling like a habit or chore, talk about ways you’d like to be seduced, and ask your partner how they’d like to be seduced.

It’s easy for long-term partners to get stuck in sexual habits, but a little spontaneity can help to make things exciting again.

4. Try Alternative Sexual Activities

To prevent sex from feeling like a routine, you can try alternative sexual activities to make intercourse more impactful and potentially raise your partner’s libido.

Some spicy sex acts include:

  • Using sex toys, such as vibrators or cock rings
  • Light BDSM, such as spanking, blindfolding, or using clamps
  • Watching pornography together, and taking turns choosing videos
  • Role playing as different people or with different power dynamics
  • Trying new lingerie or clothing to tease your partner
  • Flirting and talking dirty throughout the day
  • Sending sexy text messages

Take time to discover new ways you and your partner can enjoy sexual activities together.


While having a mismatched sex drive in a relationship can feel frustrating, it is something that can be worked on to ensure both partners are satisfied.

Communicate honestly and respectfully with your partner, and know that it takes time for changes to occur. By utilizing these tips, you can help to improve your sex life and promote a healthier relationship overall.

Finally, make sure to speak with your doctor if you experience any sudden loss in libido.

The Promescent Team

The Promescent Team

Our team has over a decade of experience in the sexual wellness field and are experts in sexual dysfunctions, like premature ejaculation. We help couples and individuals better understand treatment options available for different types of sexual needs and educate the public on all things related to intimacy. All of our authored content is medically reviewed for accuracy and reliability.


Absorption Pharmaceuticals LLC (Promescent) has strict informational citing guidelines and relies on peer-reviewed studies, academic or research institutions, medical associations, and medical experts. We attempt to use primary sources and refrain from using tertiary references and only citing trustworthy sources. Each article is reviewed, written, and updated by Medical Professionals or authoritative Experts in a specific, related field of practice. You can find out more about how we ensure our content is accurate and current by reading our editorial policy.

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The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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