You have been dating your partner for a while now and the sex has been fantastic. Starting out, every time you crawled into bed (or the floor, or went in the kitchen) the sparks just flew. But now, some time has passed and things aren’t the same as they once were. The desire is still there but, it’s not as intense as it once was nor does it seem to be at the right time of day for one of you. Perhaps you like it in the morning, before you start the day, your partner likes to do it after work. It just never seems to be the right time for one, or both, or you.
Sexual synchronicity, craving sex at the same time as your partner, is more of a pipe dream than what happens in reality. According to couples therapist Barry McCarthy, psychology professor at American University in Washington, D.C., this craving is more a movie reality than what happens in real life. McCarthy is quoted on the Reuniting – Healing With Sexual Relationships website “In reality, among happily married couples, only 50% of sexual experiences when both partners are desirous, aroused, and orgasmic.” The other 50% of the time, it may take effort to get into the mood at the same time.
No matter how long you have been together, sexual synchronicity can be an issue for many couples and experts say that this is a common phenomenon and sexual desire can be different for partners depending on time of the day, week, or even month. Hormonal surges at the beginning of a new relationship make it seem as if you are always in sync with one another then, as time goes by, your bodies return to their normal states resulting in going back to your “normal” levels of sexual desire, resulting in those feelings of being out of sync. As a matter of fact, you and your partner might never have been in synchronicity all, just flush with hormones at the thought of having a new lover.
Austin, TX based marriage and family therapist Pat Love, Ed.D., calls this a normal part of a committed, long term relationship. However, all therapists agree that the issue shouldn’t just be shrugged off just because it is normal. Left undiscussed, someone is likely to be left feeling guilty, rejected, hurt, and both of you generally frustrated.
Hormones play a huge role in synchronization of sexual timing and frequency but, what are additional factors that guide desire at different times of the day?
For women, this might be emotion and motivation, especially if she is pregnant or already has children running around. She might be just too exhausted when you are ready to take a roll in the hay and this is something that you must be sensitive of. Men are generally quite aware that women have different sexual needs and responses during sex. For example, many women must make a mind/body connection to become aroused, romance and intellectual stimulation come into play here. Everyone knows that an aroused man can “drop trou” at a moment’s notice however; a woman is much more complicated and needs finessing.
So, what can be done to synchronize your sex life?
Get Your Feelings Out – If you find yourself frustrated with your partner’s cravings at the wrong time for you, let him or her know about it. The worst thing that you can do is leave these feelings in and go along with them. If you cannot function when they want to, you will be happier if you discuss it.
The Early Riser – A man’s testosterone levels peak in the morning thus, your partner might want to have sex in the morning and whereas you might not. How do you resolve this situation? Discuss and compromise. Pick a few days of the week to have sex in the morning and pick morning’s where you aren’t pressed to get out of the house early, perhaps on the weekends. This will show thoughtfulness to his needs and you might even find yourself enjoying it as well, if you choose your morning’s wisely.
Ovulation – According to the American Psychological Association, women become more sexually excitable roughly 6 days mid cycle, and before and after ovulation (“that time of the month”). If the idea of having sex during her cycle turns you off then make a compromise and have it just before or just after her cycle. Another option is to try a “menstrual cup”, a small device that, when insert into the vagina, shunts the blood off your partner. Again, always discuss the situation with your partner and compromise everywhere you can.
Male Hormones – While rarely discussed in men, male hormones play a tremendous role in frequency and timing of sexual activity. Male testosterone cycles up and down throughout the day, month, and possibly even during the seasons, again according to the American Psychological Association. Age related drops in testosterone occur with age triggering a male version of menopause called andropause and this will have an effect on mood and sexual desire just as strongly as estrogen loss in women. Plan accordingly. If he isn’t as frisky as he used to be, work around it, don’t “beat him over the head” with it – he will appreciate your caring for his feelings.
If you are in a long term relationship, married, or just dating, the best plan is to discuss your feelings with your partner and resolve problems before they get out of hand. Your happiness with your partner depends on it and your emotions will thank you!