Not in the Mood: Sexual Drive v. Response

Alright, so first and foremost, a major disclaimer… The following post reflects the thoughts and opinions of myself (that’s kind of what a blog is…) so just know that this isn’t a medical article and shouldn’t substitute advice from a medical professional.

Ok, moving on.

So, in my work with individuals and couples, sexual issues arise over and over. Sex issues don’t care about your race, religion, age, experience, whatever… they just show up. And throw you for a loop. And can radically impact otherwise healthy relationships.

One of the most common things I hear is the complaint of “not enough time” or “not enough desire” for sex or to work on the sexual dynamic of the relationship. So, I totally hear you on this one, and this post will focus on the latter.


But, I do feel that there is a deeper issue at hand. I believe that many people experience a lower drive, or low libido and think that must equal less frequent sexual activity. It doesn’t necessarily HAVE to.

You see, I think there is a HUGE difference between Sexual Drive v. Sexual Response.


Sexual drive references the frequency of urge or desire. How frequently you are a horn-dog, basically. Sexual Response deals with your ability to become turned on if there is effort put into place. For instance, I don’t have a rip-roaring sex drive. I get a little urge once or twice a week and that feels healthy for me. Now, my response is quite different, however. Meaning: if I don’t have any desire or am not turned-on in any given moment, I can GET there if there is some sort of stimulation that ensues.

Now, if you and your partner put any number of methods in place (ie. Porn, toys, oral, whatever) to get you turned-on and you lack the response… meaning, nothing gets you turned on, then there may be a response issue that needs to be handled medically. There may be issues at hand that can be treated from a medical standpoint, either in a western or non-western approach.

I will say, that it seems much more common that people suffer from a decreased sexual drive due to life circumstance: work, kids, stress, etc. That shit will totally impact how horny you get! But, here’s the thing: If you know that if you actually just put a little effort into GETTING turned on, you may actually have a blast in the bedroom. Or wherever you happen to be. [grin.]

I always say, “If I only worked out when I felt like working out, I would never work out.”


So, same thing goes for sex and connecting with your partner. The idea of not being effected by life and stress and having a robust sex drive all the time and wanting to spontaneously throw your spouse up against the wall is a lovely thought, but unfortunately, not so realistic. Sometimes, you actually have to put in the effort to get turned on. In the same regard, I don’t think I’ve ever heard of anyone finishing a workout and saying, “Man, I really wish I wouldn’t have done that.” Who would say that? Same thing with putting in the effort to getting turned on and having sex with your partner. I doubt you would say, “Man, seriously wish I didn’t do that.” Most of the time, at least in my experience, it’s more like, “Damn, thanks for talking me into that” or “Thanks for getting me all hot!”

All that to say, just the same way you consciously make your fitness important (or choose something else applicable) and schedule it, even if you don’t “feel” like it, you can make your sexual connection with your partner just as much of a priority. If you want to. If you CHOOSE that. Sometimes your sexual desire just needs a little kick in the ass. A quick jumpstart.

It just takes a little effort. A little communication. And a little awareness.