Contrary to what the Wall Street Journal and countless sitcoms seem to think, there are plenty of women who want sex more than their male partners.
To put the only stereotype of the frigid female to rest — and to shed light on the dissatisfaction a lot of women feel in their sexual relationships — we put out a call for stories from women who had been physically involved with a partner who didn’t share their sex drive.
The emails poured in. From age 25 to 65, single, in relationships and married, women wrote to us about how they have struggled — or are still struggling — with the fact that they want sex more than their partners, often much, much more. We present their stories below not to blame men or women for these issues, but to showcase that sexual frequency is an issue for partners regardless of gender, age or marital status.
“I’m learning to accept that I am just going to have to be the aggressor”
My husband works 10 hour shifts, 6 days a week. We are both tired, stressed, sore, and overworked by the end of the day. But after our daughter has gone to bed, I like to set aside everything and be intimate with my husband. Unfortunately, he doesn’t have the same ideas. He’s too tired, or too sore, or just “not in the mood.” We are a recently married couple, in our late 20’s. We should still have a decent sexual drive. It’s frustrating to me that he isn’t on the same page as me when it comes to sex.
It’s the main argument in our marriage. I can’t understand how six or seven days can go by, and sex just never happens. No woman wants to always take the initiative … If I didn’t speak up, I’m sure a month could just pass by without any intimacy at all. I would be happiest with intimate contact every day of the week, but I’ve tried to compromise to every other day. But even that doesn’t occur without a reminder. I’m learning to accept that I am just going to have to be the aggressor 95 percent of the time.
“He bought me a vibrator so I would be happy and leave him alone”
[I] have had a difference in desire from my husband for about the last 11 years or more. We have sex a couple of times a year and sometimes it might be twice a week for a week and then nothing for months at a time. I have tried making his favorite meals, doing a week’s worth of really nice things to get him in a happy state of mind, wearing sexy clothes and lingerie — it doesn’t work. I have no idea what turns him on. My husband doesn’t respond to pressure, hates talking about it and it is a cause of stress on our marriage. He bought me a vibrator so I would be happy and leave him alone. It doesn’t fill the need, although sometimes I just enjoy the pleasure without the hassle and have to fantasize that my husband enjoys pleasing me.
He wouldn’t have sex while I was pregnant with each of our children. Talk about a long nine plus months. It was well over a year if no sex with our last child. Now that we have completed my our family I don’t know if we will ever have sex again. He says his work is done … We are completely happy otherwise. In total we have been together 20 years and married almost 11. We are each others’ best friend just not compatible lovers.
“I’m beginning to think that I will never find a partner whose sex drive is equal to mine”
I’m a 65-year-old woman who has been divorced since 1991. Since that time, I have been in approximately six serious relationships. In every one of them, my sex drive was higher than my partner’s. Now I’m running into the problem that even if my partner is interested in having sex at all (much less as often as I would prefer), he has ED. I’m beginning to think that I will never find a partner whose sex drive is equal to mine. I’m very open minded and am interested in sharing a variety of experiences with my partner, not just intercourse. I do understand that sex isn’t everything in a relationship, but it is very discouraging if sex IS important to you and you and your partner just aren’t on the same wavelength in that area.
“By the time I’m 35, I may never have sex again”
I’ve been married 5 years to a man that’s 12 years older than me (he’s 40, I’m 28) and sex has nearly always been an issue … At first I thought it was my orgasm issues, then I thought it was his anti-anxiety meds, but he’s been off those for over a year and there’s been no change. I’m not sure how quickly we got here, but for at least the past few years I’m lucky to get lucky twice a month. And that’s with begging. BEGGING. My husband has nearly no interest, does not notice if I’m naked, states he doesn’t ever think about sex, refuses to see this as a legitimate problem, and if I’m to try to get him there, there is a laundry list of factors that have to be aligned for him: tired? work stress? comfy bedding? smelly breath? kids distracted?
There is no pornography issue, he’s only had three sexual partners in his life, he’s fantastic at sex, says I’m very satisfying — but he only needs to be satisfied once a month. Even when we were separated for 6 weeks (job move) and reunited, I had to ask for it. But he was tired … So I do my best to trust in a higher power and purpose and not feel despair at the very real thought that by the time I’m 35, I may never have sex again.
“I am not unhappy with my marriage just frustrated that I do not get any sex”
I am turning 60 this year and yes I would love to have sex every day. It seems the husband is past his prime and rather watch TV no matter what I do to entice him. My sex drive has always been high and I have enjoyed a relationship or two where my partner could match that drive … I am not unhappy with my marriage just frustrated that I do not get any sex and have to reach for the handy vibrator instead of having the real thing.
“[I] feel abnormal for wanting more sex”
I have been married for 15 years. My husband is 59 and I am 42. He never seems in the mood. Never any expression of passion or desire. I would say we have sex maybe 3 times a year. He has been checked out by the doctor all is really fine. I think he just has a low need for male/female contact. The problem is that not only is it not enough sex for me, [but] it makes me feel abnormal for wanting more sex. It affects my self esteem as well. After expressing this problem for many years with no change I feel like it is just a dead end!! And I am the one who is getting cheated.
“To some guys a plate of food on the table when they get home is just as sexy and satisfying as a blowjob”
I’m a 25-year-old, healthy, mother to a wonderful toddler, I work full time and go to school. I am engaged to an amazing man who is no doubt my match; sexually we’re perfect — except that I’m the one who’s always looking for some loving. Our sex life is great, better than most, we average about four to five times a week along with plenty of snuggling and cuddling as well. He is beyond happy with this but I’m dying most days. There are some days that I’m looking for round two or three and he’s running out into the garage to “fix something” or “off to do errands” because he can’t keep up with me. Because of this I find myself cranky and snippy because I don’t want to please myself, I want to share an amazing moment with the man I truly love with all of my heart. It kills me to know that sometimes the man of my dreams feels “forced” to have sex with me when he’d rather go to bed just to avoid a fight. I think it’s because of this our once 50-shades-of-the-rainbow kind of sex has become very black and white.
We are so in love with each other but we show it in different ways. I want to make love every chance I get and he would rather lay around naked, snuggling, and just relaxing. We’re trying to incorporate both these things into our relationship to build what is most important: intimacy. I think this is so important to get our there that it isn’t always the woman’s fault [when] sex declines, especially after marriage or living together for awhile. I guess to some guys a plate of food on the table when they get home is just as sexy and satisfying as a blowjob. Who knew?
I am that woman who wants it more. I am the woman who is dissatisfied after not seeing my significant other for months due to a long-distance relationship. I am the woman that wants to learn more about why stories are published on the idea that men are the sex-starved species. We know now through responses that this is not the case. So, when do you take a look at what your needs are and realize that they aren’t met? When do you weigh commitment higher than sexual indulgence?
“I keep hearing that I’m ‘like a dude when it comes to sex’”
EVERY relationship I’ve EVER been in, I want more sex than he does. My partners have all acknowledged this. In fact, the refrain I keep hearing — or sometimes overhearing when they’re talking to friends — is that I’m “like a dude when it comes to sex.”
So having that social construct thrown out like it’s fact that women naturally want less sex just makes me want to scream. There’s so much variance among both sexes. Even among my female friends: some rarely want sex; others want it frequently. It’s so individual. You can’t say men have a higher drive, or women do. All we can say is this: Some people want more sex than other people. It varies widely from person to person regardless of sex.
“When my attempts to excite him with lingerie and high heels failed, I felt ugly and worthless”
In the vast majority of my relationships, I have always wanted more sex than my partner. I am now 28 and with someone with whom I am sexually compatible, but it wasn’t till a few years ago that I actually became fully comfortable with my sexuality. When I was 21, I married a man who I loved very much but who had an incredibly low sex drive. He claimed that porn did nothing for him and that he only masturbated about once a month. I would try to bring him out of his shell and suggest things to do together, but every suggestion was met with a flat-out “no” or silence. I felt ashamed for wanting much more sex than my husband, and when my attempts to excite him with lingerie and high heels failed, I felt ugly and worthless.
After we split, I found solace in Dan Savage’s podcast, Savage Love. He fielded TONS of calls from people, men and women, who found themselves in similar situations where one partner wants more sex than the other. I suddenly didn’t feel bad or freakish anymore for having a high sex drive, having heard their stories.
“My boyfriend and I have been going to a sex therapist for about five months now and nothing has changed”
I don’t need sex twice a day, once a day or even a couple times a week, all I am asking from him is sex MAYBE once a week to a week and a half but we on average have sex about every 30 days. I have a lot going for me: I am an attractive 25-year-old, I get looks and nice comments from different men, I run my own business, I work out regularly and am in better shape than most women, I have a great personality and have a lot of friends, I also am a woman that likes to have sex!! My boyfriend and I have been going to a sex therapist for about five months now and nothing has changed with our intimacy. I like to dress up for him but when he sees me in a sexy outfit he gets upset because he thinks I am pressuring him to have sex and that it’s not fair to put that kind of pressure on him. He doesn’t have a problem getting erect, in fact I find him masturbating in the shower and on the couch when he thinks I am not around. It hurts my feelings that I throw myself at him and am usually willing and ready for some action and he masturbates and doesn’t include me. I ask him over and over why won’t you have sex with me, what do I need to do?
“He wanted to go sightseeing and I wanted to take advantage of the huge bed”
I have been married to the love of my life for almost 25 years. In all those years I always wanted it more. The night of our honeymoon I was very disappointed because he wanted to go sightseeing the night we arrived and I wanted to take advantage of the huge bed. This was very hard on me I always thought men would be the ones in the mood. In my case if I don’t initiate it, nothing is going to happen. I actually waited during the first year of marriage to see if he would ever go for it. We went more than three months without it till I mentioned that we hadn’t had sex in months. If I remind him then he will say we should do it that night. Don’t get me wrong he never tells me no, but he NEVER initiates sex and it used to drive me nuts. We were each others first partners and we waited till we were almost married to have sex, though we dated for a few years. I thought he was just being very respectful now I realize sex is not a big deal for him.
“It’s a horrible place to be when your partner doesn’t want to have anything to do with you sexually”
I was on the bad end of this deal with my ex. I was lucky if we had sex twice a week and then when we went long distance because I was promoted out of state, during our monthly visits we maybe had sex once. He told me he just wasn’t in the mood as much as I was and we should just spend our time together by going out and doing things rather than having sex. It was a completely odd scenario. I later broke up with him for other reasons.
It’s a horrible place to be when your partner doesn’t want to have anything to do with you sexually and when you do end up sleeping together it seems like more of a chore on their end just to shut you up. At the end of the day I know that sex is a big part of what I want in a relationship because physical touch is huge for me in all aspects of the word.