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What Is Desire Discrepancy?

Learn what desire discrepancy is from couples counselor Victoria Wilson, Ph.D. in this Howcast video.


The most common reasons why people seek couples counseling is desire discrepancy. And what is desire discrepancy? It's when one person has a much higher libido, wants a lot more sex than the other one in the relationship. And sometimes the discrepancy is really dramatic. You know, I've seen couples where a wife wanted sex everyday and the husband was only interested in having it once a month and vice versa. A lot of things plays into it such as, you know, levels of energy and fatigue, hormonal levels, stage of your life, you know, child bearing and other issues as well. But desire discrepancy can be very dangerous to a relationship particularly if the gap is great. Because obviously if one person wants to have sex once a month and the other one wants to have it once a year, we definitely have a problem here.

So what is the solution for desire discrepancy? The solution of course, is compromise and cooperation. How can we compromise to bring the couple together to an optimal level of sexual activity that they're both content with? What kind of activities can we engage in to compromise, whether it's autoeroticism, whether it's autoeroticism, autoerotic activities with a partner. What kind of sexual acts are acceptable? What are preconditions to the arousal of that partner? What sort of conditions, whether it's lowering level of distraction or lowering housework level, that have to be met for that person to become more interested in sex. That could be issues with hormonal supplementation such as testosterone, Estratest injections and patches and so forth. So there are issues that can be looked at particularly in couples counseling to even out this difference in sexual desire and to make sure that the couple remains satisfied with the sex life.

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