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Men's Health

Prescriptions for Sexual Frustration

You want it more, she wants it less — or vice versa. Sexual frustration affects almost every couple. So how do you get past it?
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What causes sexual frustration? continued...

There's a fair amount of negative speculation regarding men with lower sex drives, too. If he lacks interest, Weston, says, she may wonder if he's secretly gay or has another lover on the side.

New thinking about the female libido may explain why women seem to want sex less frequently than men do. In a 2001 article in the Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy, researcher Rosemary Basson, MD, of the University of British Columbia, proposed that many women need to become physically aroused before their desire for sex kicks in. Couples may run into trouble when women don't understand this about themselves.

"If I'm sitting around waiting to feel like I want to have sex or to desire to have sex, it ain't gonna happen," Love says. "I have to make a conscious decision to become aroused, to do whatever it is that arouses me. All you need is the desire to desire to be a great sex partner. But we're not used to being intentional about it."

So how often does the average couple have sex? What is normal?

"I will never answer the question," Lou Paget tells WebMD. Paget is a sex educator whose books include The Great Lover Playbook and Hot Mamas. "And you know why I don't?” he says. “Because I know someone's going to get beaten up with that number."

Sexual communication

As frustrating as it is to not have sex as often as you'd like, what's worse is not being able to do what you like. Maybe you have a fantasy your partner isn't willing to help you fulfill, or a certain sex act is off limits. It could be something relatively tame, like having sex with the lights on instead of in the dark, or something as crazy as ... you name it.

Violet Blue says she routinely hears about three things that would really make someone's day but their partner says, "No way": anal sex, swallowing after fellatio, and arranging a threesome.

Typically, she hears this from men, but that doesn't mean women are all shrinking violets. "Men tend to be more vocal about wanting to try a particular sex act or a particular fantasy," she says, “but women are always proving me wrong. They always blow my mind with how shocking they are about sex."

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