Ep #51: Relationship Libido

The Midlife Sex Coach for Women Podcast with Dr. Sonia Wright | Relationship Libido

When we’re dealing with a mismatched libido, it usually involves one person having a lower libido and the other person having a higher libido. There is a belief that one is correct, and in a heterosexual relationship, it is usually whichever one is held by the man. But whether you have a high or low libido, there is no such thing as one being correct or more important than the other. There’s a third libido to consider – the relationship libido.

The relationship libido is when individuals involved in a relationship come together as a team and assess the relationship’s context, needs, and dynamics to create a libido level that is appropriate and works best for all involved. Diamonds, you get to create the relationship libido that works for you and your partner, and this week, I’m showing you how.

Join me this week as I dive deeper into what the relationship libido is and why it is so important to see this as its own entity. I’m showing you how to get creative together from a place of loving commitment to show up for your sexual intimacy, and how to create an environment that feels safe and nurturing for the shared libido level.

How is your sex life? If you rated it on a scale from 1 to 10, is it less than an 8? If so, we need to talk. I’m inviting you to check out my new 30-day program Your Empowered Sexuality (YES!). We’ll give you the sexual tune-up you need to kickstart your intimacy and create the sex life that you deserve, whether you have a partner or not. Click here for more information!


What You’ll Learn from this Episode:
  • How to stop viewing mismatched libido as a problem that needs to be fixed.
  • Why every individual must define their own sexuality in the relationship.
  • How to create the relationship libido you want.
  • Why a partner is not responsible for meeting the other person’s sexual needs.
  • How to stop feeling broken if you find yourself not wanting to have sex.
Listen to the Full Episode:

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Full Episode Transcript:

You are listening to The Midlife Sex Coach for Women Podcast, episode 51.

Welcome to The Midlife Sex Coach for Women™ Podcast, the only show that combines a fun personality, medical knowledge, sexual counseling, and life coaching together. To create unique sex coaching that helps busy women awaken their libidos, address intimacy issues, and learn how to express their sexuality for the rest of their days. Here is your host, certified life coach and sexual counselor, Dr. Sonia Wright.

Hello, Diamonds. I hope you all are doing well. I am actually recording this podcast late at night right after I finished my group coaching call for Your Empowered Sexuality, also known as YES. Can I just say how much I love my YES group? It’s such an amazing group of women. And we just get to be free and talk about our sexual concerns. It’s an anonymous group because everybody changes their name when they enter or we help you change your name. And your camera’s off and your audio’s off. And we use different names like Groovy Girl, and Luscious Lover, and Genuine Joy.

Really, it’s a lot of fun. And this evening we were talking about dating again in midlife. We were touching about over touching and not being necessarily interested in sexual intimacy because you’re breastfeeding, you have lots of kids around. We also talked about staying committed in a relationship and trying to reignite that spark versus making other choices. I really love the work that I do in Your Empowered Sexuality. I know it’s making a difference and I love being there for my Diamonds.

So, I would love to have you all in my group, you and your girl friends could all join because it’s anonymous. Nobody knows who’s talking about whatever issue it is. So come hang with me. It’s every Wednesday evening and we talk about getting our groove on. And then I have extra bonus sessions on Sunday afternoons as well. Did I mention that I unbox a different toy every week? Tonight, we talked about the modern vibrator which is a combination of a clitoral vibrator and also a portion that’s kind of like a dildo or a penetration device.

And we also talked about clitoral stimulators. And people asked whatever questions they wanted to ask. And since I have so many different toys, I’m sitting in my studio right now and I’m surrounded by all these different toys. So, I can just grab a toy and talk to the women about the toys. And they get to ask any questions that they want. So, you don’t have to be afraid of toys. And I get to tell you all about them which is pretty fun.

And you know what? For less than the cost of a dinner out you can actually begin to restore the intimacy in your life. And my membership price is definitely a fraction of the cost of actually working with a sexual counselor one-on-one. I’m on a mission and I know people have heard this mission. But I’m on this mission to positively impact the sex lives of over a million women. And YES is one of the ways that I plan to do it. Come join me and let’s do this together.

So, if you enjoy listening to me on the podcast then come and visit me every Wednesday evening at 8:00pm Central Time in Your Empowered Sexuality aka YES. Come join me in the community, join the conversation. Get a sexy name and come talk all about your issues around sex. Or just come and sit and relax and laugh because we have a lot of fun in this group. If you have any sex coaching concerns or if you have any questions I’m here to help you. I’m here to be your sex coach. This is what I do and this is what I love doing.

So, in episode 49 we talked about mismatched libido and what some of the causes of mismatched libido might be. And then in episode 50 we talked about while you’re figuring out issues around mismatched libido how you can develop and become your own best lover, develop a relationship with yourself. And this week I want to continue the discussion around a concept that’s not often talked about. And it’s one that I like to call the relationship libido. Okay, Dr. Sonia, alright, that’s what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, what exactly is the relationship libido?

Well, when we’re dealing with the scenario of mismatched libido usually there’s one person that has a lower libido and there’s another person that has a higher libido. And due to the couple’s relationship dynamics or society’s beliefs about sexuality along gender lines, usually one person’s libido is considered correct and the other person’s libido is considered incorrect or broken. And I usually see it in heterosexual relationships that the man’s libido, whether it’s high or low is considered the correct libido.

So, if a woman has a high libido then she’s labeled as a freak, or a whore, or she’s oversexed. And if her libido is low then she’s considered frigid or there’s something wrong with her, something that needs to be fixed. So, either way a woman, she just can’t win. But what I’m actually saying is whether or not you have a high libido or you have the low libido, neither one is considered the correct libido. Please listen to this, there’s no such thing as one libido of a person in the relationship being better, more important or correct than the other person’s libido in the relationship.

And of course, I’m making the assumption that the relationship involves just two individuals. It may involve more than two individuals. But for the sake of this discussion, I will be just talking about the concept around two individuals. So, getting back to what people consider the correct libido, I think the correct libido and the libido level that should be focused on within the partnership is actually a third libido. And this third libido is what I call the relationship libido.

Basically, it’s not the level that’s right for one person or the level that’s right for the other person but it’s the libido that takes into consideration the relationship. And the relationship has its own entity and determines what is right for the relationship, not for the individuals in the relationship. And it requires that the people in the relationship come together and figure out what works best for all people concerned.

In this instance it’s not an adversarial role that gets established between partners with one person maybe asking for too much sex and the other person may be offering too little sex. It just kind of clears those concepts away. All the drama gets released and the focus is upon the individuals coming together as a team and creating the libido level that works best for everyone concerned and which works best for the relationship. And of course, there’s a disclaimer here because why not?

This disclaimer says that the relationship libido level, this works best when the individuals understand that they are responsible for their own pleasure and for meeting their own needs. So, there’s this belief and an understanding that a partner’s not responsible for meeting the other individual’s sexual needs.

So much of the frustration and anger around mismatched libido that I’ve seen has this underlying concept that the other person is responsible for meeting one individual’s sexual needs. And if they’re not meeting their sexual needs then there’s a problem and that problem must be fixed. So also, each individual must decide and take ownership of their sexuality and work on defining their sexuality for themselves and understanding how their body works. So there also is this belief that you’re responsible for your own sexuality.

Your partner’s not responsible for finding your sexuality and giving you pleasure or any of those things. You come into the situation as a fully grown adult taking responsibility for your body, for your pleasure, for how you express your sexuality and these two or more people come together. But it’s an adult sexual responsibility for your own shit, please. It also requires that there be no tantrums. What?

Listen. Listen up. Listen up women, listen up partners, listen up everybody. I can’t tell you how many times women come to me and they say that they don’t enjoy sex themselves but if they don’t do their duty and engage in sex then their partner pitches a fit and they just don’t want to hear it. So, they just slap on the lube and they get it over quickly. And I’m like, “Ooh.” I mean I love sex and I wouldn’t want to be doing sex. I would be like I’m good.

I mean look at this. So, you basically have a grown adult in your house that’s throwing a tantrum. You want to keep everything nice, and normal, and sweet, and quiet, and please them, and not rock the boat. And so, you would rather have somebody engaging in sexual intimacy on your body. And I’m not even sure if I would call it sexual intimacy. Engaging in the act of sexual intercourse, utilizing your body just because you just don’t want to have somebody throw a tantrum, and yell, and scream, or get irritated or whatever.

So, let’s look at this in a different perspective, Diamonds. What would you do if this were a three year old having a tantrum? You’re in the grocery store, they saw a yummy, sweet lollipop and they wanted this lollipop and you said, “No, no.” And they yell and scream and they flop on the ground. Are you just going to buy them a lollipop, will you give it to them and hush them up, and get them out of the store? If you do, what happens the next time they see that lollipop? You’re just reinforcing the behavior.

So, do you buy them a lollipop or do you just allow them to have a temper tantrum and just recognize that’s what they’re going to do? Do you let the toddler have the tantrum and then they learn how to self-soothe, and they learn how to deal with reality? Well, some of you have 55 year old toddlers roaming around in your house and they’re throwing tantrums all the time. Please, let’s kind of look at this situation. And then you also wonder why you’re not enjoying sexual intimacy.

The relationship dynamics that have been set up are such that it’s not one that’s conducive for you to feel safe, emotionally safe in the relationship. What dynamics have been set up are one that is going to allow you to shut down, separate from your body because it’s not necessarily what you want to do. And then you’re just so shut off from your body.

I deal with this all the time with Diamonds, that it’s so hard for them to find the pleasure and even have an understanding that they deserve pleasure because they’ve been engaging in this, appease the toddler for so long that they don’t know how to get back into their body. They don’t know how to get the pleasure that they want. And then they’re coming to me concerned that they’re broken because they don’t necessarily want sex. I wouldn’t want sex in this situation either.

So, look at the context of your relationship and what’s going on in that relationship. Are you functioning in a relationship where everyone is responsible for meeting their own sexual needs and coming together as adults, and not blaming each other, but taking responsibility for their emotions and needs? Is this what’s happening? Because if that’s happening then people are more likely to work together as a team and to sort out this mismatched libido stuff.

But I have an even more interesting question for you. What if there wasn’t a problem at all with mismatched libido? What if the problem was thinking that there should be some other way, that this should be other than mismatched libido and thinking that there’s no one to blame and nothing has gone wrong? So, what if the problem with mismatched libido is actually thinking that there’s something wrong with mismatched libido? What if there were actually just people working together to create an optimal libido or sexual intimacy for the relationship, what would it look like then?

What does the relationship need in terms of the level of sexual intimacy and connection given that one person may like to engage in sexual intimacy say once a month and another person likes to engage in sexual intimacy every day? If we just look at it like this, taking the shame, and the blame, and the guilt out of the situation. And just looking at the relationship and what would be best for the relationship. So how can people work together as a team to create the relationship’s sexual intimacy?

It’s not about blame and it’s not about demanding one person change or do something else because you want it that way or they want it that way. It’s more about seeing that you two can get creative together from a place of loving commitment. And not necessarily from a place of resentment, anger or blame. So how do you want to show up when you’re trying to create this relationship intimacy, this relationship libido? What does this relationship libido look like for you and your partner? What can it look like?

Maybe together as a team that means that one member discusses what they really want when they’re talking about sexual intimacy. And then the other person discusses it from a place of mutual respect. Maybe one person talks about the fact that they want the touch because for them that’s really important. And sometimes they are thinking that having sexual intimacy every single day is a substitute for that touch and that connection that they need. Or it’s the only way that they can get it but there’s more than one way that you can get it.

Maybe for another person it means discussing how they haven’t been enjoying sex or sexual intimacy. And it just feels like another thing to do on their to do list because they’re burnt out and exhausted. What can your relationship libido look like within your relationship? How can you both create an environment that feels safe and nurturing for the shared libido level? What does self-care look like within the structure of this relationship intimacy? What does communication look like within the structure of this relationship intimacy libido?

What does it look like within this relationship, when one person has the courage to say that they’re touched out because they have young kids and because they’re breastfeeding? And they just can’t stand being touched for another minute. Or what does it look like when another person talks about how stressed out they are with their job or how anxious they are in terms of their performance in the bedroom? And they’re concerned that they’re not doing it right and maybe they never mentioned this before so they don’t even want to try.

What does a relationship look like when it’s safe enough for somebody to say that they feel broken? Diamonds, you get to create the relationship libido and the relationship intimacy that works for you and your partner. So please throw out all these old notions that mismatched libido is a problem and it’s a problem that must be fixed. And it’s a problem that involves blame, and guilt, or coercion, or shame, or any of that. Nothing has gone wrong. And you know that’s my favorite line. You’re always going to hear me say, “Nothing has gone wrong.” It’s just a little bit of work that we need to do.

But coming from a perspective where it’s okay that people’s libidos do not match up exactly and it just creates a scenario and there’s nothing wrong with the scenario and you get to work at it together, to figure out what it is that you want. So come together and create that relationship libido that you want from a place of love, and commitment, and teamwork. Release the blame, the shame, the resentment. Release the thoughts that are leading to those feelings. Release this thought that you are broken in any way.

And if you have grown adults throwing tantrums actually see what it might be like if they throw the tantrum and they go through the whole fit and recognize you can’t control another person. They’re allowed to have their tantrum. And you are allowed to decide what it’s all going to mean for you.

But I suggest working together to create that zone of sexual safety, that environment, which is supportive for everybody in the relationship, looking at the situation as specifically nothing has gone wrong. But how you two or more can come together in this loving committed way and figure this out. And figure out what’s best not for one person or for the other but what’s best for the relationship. And figure out what you want to do about it.

Okay, Diamonds, that is all for today. Love you a lot. Dr. Sonia out.

Diamonds, how is your sex life? No, really, how is your sex life? On a scale of one to ten how would you rate it? You know I’m all about the intimacy for women in midlife. If you rated the passion in your life as less than an eight then we need to talk, sister. I’m personally inviting you to check out my new program, Your Empowered Sexuality 30 day kick starter. I am so excited about this program. Most of you know that I have an impossible goal to positively impact the sex lives of over a million women. And I am just getting started.

Come work with me for 30 days to kick start that intimacy in your life. Let’s create that amazing, satisfying, intimacy that you deserve. Let’s face it, if you’re in your 40s, 50s or 60s, you could have 30 to 50 more years of intimacy ahead of you. What do you want that intimacy to look like? Let’s get real and talk about what’s going on with your body, your libido, let’s see what we can do to kickstart this intimacy. This program is for you whether or not you have a partner.

If you are a woman who wants to enjoy all aspects of her life then this is the program for you. It finally gets to be your time. So, click on the link in the show notes or on my website at soniawrightmd.com and come join me for Your Empowered Sexuality aka YES, Your Empowered Sexuality 30 day kick starter. I cannot wait to see you Diamond, talk to you soon. Take care.

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Sonia Wright MD

Hi, I’m Dr. Sonia Wright and I’m YOUR SEX COACH! I’m on a mission to end the pain and isolation associated with sexual difficulties and to help women create satisfying sex lives.

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