I have a much higher sex drive than my mate. Help!


I have a much higher sex drive than my mate does. What can I do to get my sexual and intimacy needs met? If it matters, my mate and I are gay males in a mostly exclusive relationship.

Received via Telegram (name withheld by request)


Having a libido that is very different from your mate's can be incredibly stressful and lead to a lot of hurt feelings on both sides: The partner with the higher sex drive feels neglected and unloved when his partner rejects his advances, and the partner with the lower libido feels pressured and like he is being used for sex. Without both partners trying to meet each other somewhere in the middle, it can be difficult to sustain a relationship when there is a major libido mismatch. However, it is often difficult to figure out where that compromise point is.

Naturally, no one should ever be pressured into having sex he did not consent to have. And it is important to remember that you never really "owe" anyone sex, no matter the circumstances. That said, when two people enter into a sexual relationship with each other and expect each other to be their primary (or exclusive) sexual outlet, it is certainly a good idea for each partner to attempt to keep the other satisfied.

Dan Savage, sex advice columnist and LGBT advocate extraordinaire, wrote a column that appeared a couple years ago in which he distinguishes "maintenance sex" from "enthusiastic sex." One partner having sex with the other without wanting it or needing it, solely for the purpose of satisfying his partner, is "maintenance sex"; both partners enthusiastically and passionately having sex when they both want it is "enthusiastic sex." While obviously most people would prefer enthusiastic sex 100 percent of the time, a high libido partner needs to learn how to settle for maintenance sex sometimes, just as a low libido partner needs to try to make an effort at having maintenance sex even when he isn't horny. 

Now, when I say that a lower libido partner should try to have maintenance sex to make his partner happy, I don't mean mind blowing, penetrative sex that takes all night and leaves you in a euphoric glow until dawn — it's totally unrealistic to expect that to happen every time, especially when one partner really isn't feeling it that night. If every time you and your partner have sex you both expect it to be mind blowing, sex will seem way too intimidating. Usually when we're talking about maintenance sex, we aren't even really talking about penetration. Especially for gay males, penetrative (anal) sex can take a lot of preparation and work, especially on the part of the partner who bottoms. It can also be painful, particularly if the bottom isn't aroused and into the idea of being penetrated right then. In that scenario, sex will seem more like a chore for the bottom than it does like something exciting, fun, or intimate. So, if you're a top with a really high libido and you're in an exclusive relationship with a lower libido bottom, you will at least have to get used to the idea of not getting to top every time you're horny.

Instead, for maintenance sex, what we're talking about are much lower-key activities. Your partner might cuddle with you or hold you while you paw yourself off, or your partner might paw you off or use his muzzle on you. That's about the level of time commitment and intensity that is reasonable to expect if your partner isn't in the mood. Masturbation and oral sex tend to be relatively low impact mechanically, and they don't require that the partner who isn't in the mood climax. That's another key thing for maintenance sex; the higher libido partner shouldn't expect his lower libido partner to cum just because he feels a need to! However, it isn't at all uncommon for maintenance sex to turn into enthusiastic sex; the lower libido partner might get turned on and suddenly feel horny enough for more intense sexual activity. If that happens, enjoy your luck!

Speaking of getting the partner in the mood, if what you really are craving is enthusiastic sex, and maintenance sex just doesn't feel like enough right at that moment, you might try to get your partner in the mood. Viewing porn together, particularly porn in the style your partner likes, might be one strategy. You could also send your partner a link to an erotic / yiffy story that features kinks you know your partner is into. Doing some shared storytelling or roleplay with your partner might also get him more in the mood. However, if you try these things and your partner still isn't up for very much, don't apply too much pressure. Fall back to maintenance sex sorts of activities.

Sometimes, your lower libido partner won't even be up for maintenance sex, and that's totally okay! Don't pressure your partner into being sexual with you if he's too tired, stressed, angry, or emotional to engage with you. Having any kind of sex under that kind of duress can be incredibly psychologically traumatizing, so be very careful not to force your partner into sexual activity. That's very close to the definition of rape, and it is not okay, ever. Period.

Although it won't help you in the moment, a strategy you can take with your lower libido partner in the long term might be to ask that he not paw himself off as much or at all. If your partner is willing to forego pawing, he may be able to direct more sexual energy into you. That said, some furries have extreme kinks that aren't realizable in the real world, kinks that they only get to explore on their own through fantasy and masturbation. Make sure you ask your partner if he's giving up too much by refraining from pawing, and consider letting him know that it is okay with you if he fantasizes about other things while he's engaged in sex with you (if that is in fact okay with you). If your mate is more on the submissive side or is into erotic denial, you might even consider not letting him finish every time during sex. Keeping him pent up and horny will definitely make it more likely that he'll be interested in having more sex with you.

Finally, if none of those ideas work, don't rule out that there could be something physically wrong that is affecting your mate's sex drive. If he is clinically depressed or taking certain medications, those might affect his libido greatly. He might want to try adjusting his medication regimen after speaking with his doctor. It's also possible that your mate could be suffering from low testosterone, in which case hormone replacement therapy might help. Definitely encourage your mate to seek medical advice if you suspect something physical might be contributing to his low libido.

One last point I'd like to make to you is that you shouldn't feel guilty for craving sex with your partner, or wanting to get off with him. You aren't a sex addict, you aren't wrong, or broken, or depraved. Some people simply crave sexual intimacy more than others, and that is okay. What your lower libido partner might not understand is that you don't just "need to get off." If your partner asks you to just go paw yourself off, you might even feel hurt. Pawing off when what you're really craving is sexual intimacy with your partner can feel deeply dissatisfying. Now, you mentioned that you and your mate are mostly exclusive, so this might not apply to you as much. But in non-monogamous relationships, lower libido partners also sometimes tell their higher libido partners to "just go have sex with someone else." This presents the same problem as the advice to just go paw; you aren't simply craving sexual release, but you want to experience your mate sexually and obtain intimacy of a sexual nature with him. People and sexual partners aren't interchangeable, and you can't satisfy an urge to be sexual with someone you love by getting off with someone you're more casual with. If at all possible, have a conversation with your lower libido partner in which you distinguish "needing to get off" from having a strong desire to be sexually intimate with your partner. Hopefully he'll at least be flattered that he's such an important part of your sexual life.


Viro the Science Collie

Viro Science Collie is a PhD virologist and medical writer, experienced in teaching, technical communication, and writing for the public. He has been active in the furry community since 2012 and has been happily and ethically non-monogamous for much of that time. His interests include non-traditional relationship structures, technology, biological science, and tennis.