I have a very high sex drive but my long-distance boyfriend doesn’t

We rarely have sex when we’re together and it’s causing problems. I’ve tried talking to him about it, but he just gets defensive

My long-distance boyfriend and I rarely have sex when we are together. I have a very high sex drive and I don’t think he does. I don’t want to end my relationship, but my sexuality has always been a big part of who I am. I have tried talking to him, but he gets really defensive.

The notion of “high” or “low” sex drives is misleading, because throughout their lives, people normally experience fluctuations in desire. These increases and decreases may depend on many factors – such as health, age, stress, fatigue or relationship factors such as unexpressed anger, fear or resentment. Most commonly, when we judge a person for having a “low” sex drive; what we really mean is that he is currently not as available for sex as we would like him to be. The complaint itself is rarely useful, since – as you have discovered – it can inspire defensiveness. The only way to have a productive conversation – and you do need to have that talk – is to approach him very gently and without blame. Start by letting him know how much you enjoy the erotic connection between you, and encourage him to be frank about what he likes most. Listen calmly and openly. Perhaps you need to find a way to reduce the stress of travelling. Long-distance relationships are challenging; the common expectation – that everything needs to be wonderful when you do get together – is unrealistic, and after a separation many partners need a fair amount of time to become fully reconnected.

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Alex Vidal