Confessions of a Higher-Drive Spouse

I’m currently the higher-drive spouse, although we’ve flip-flopped in my marriage. For all I know, next year my husband could be chasing me through the house and suggesting more frequent romps.

But for the time being, we both know that my sex drive is higher than his.

I was thinking about how desiring sex more than your spouse affects your thinking and behavior. And I decided to share a little of what goes on in my head and heart, with the hope that lower-drive spouses out there might “get it” a little better.

So here I go!

Woman peeking out from bed + blog post title

Yes, I think about sex a lot. No, it’s not all I think about. I am fully capable of going minutes and even hours without once considering sex. (Albeit it’s especially hard for me, given what I do here . . . ) I dare say I could go 24 hours without once thinking about the fabulous, marvelous intimacy I have with my husband. But just because I could doesn’t mean I do.

Sex pops into my mind at various times and in various ways. Maybe it’s a memory of the last time we made love. Maybe it’s a stray thought about his body. Maybe it’s simply the vague sense that I want my husband intimately close to me. Most of these thoughts are just that — thoughts. They don’t go anywhere. Except they do provide a steady beat in the background from which the music of sexual intimacy later swells when my husband and I are able to engage in physical intimacy. What you dwell on in your mind is often where you set your heart.

Sometimes I can’t help it — I stare. One of my favorite times of the day is when my husband is dressing — or better yet, undressing. I’m even more attuned than I used to be to his attractiveness. No, it’s not that his body’s so great he’s getting callbacks to star in the next superhero movie; it’s that his body appeals to me in its familiarity, masculinity, and intimacy.

If I’m reading a book in bed, and he comes in and yanks off his shirt, I sometimes find myself peeking over the top of my book’s cover and admiring the view. Even more revealed gets even more admiration. And then I sometimes think, What. Am. I. Doing? Um, yeah, I’m staring. Sorry, I kinda can’t help it.

I want to touch him, like all the time. Affection ranks in the top two of my love languages. That said, I’m even more affectionate when my sex drive is on overdrive. And it might seem like my touches are about getting something started, but sometimes they aren’t. There’s a bit of genuine satisfaction in touching my husband with a long embrace, a soft kiss, or a snuggle on the couch.

From being on the other side of the sex drive fence, I know higher-drive spouses can seem overly touchy and needy. It’s easy to feel that brushing off their touches will halt the advance of their seemingly endless sex drive. But that’s not how I’m experiencing it from this side. Yes, intimate gestures of affection can awaken my desire, but they can also sate it a bit. As if these touches hold me over, so to speak.

Innuendo can strike at any time. Well, not any time. But when you’re really in the mood, a phrase can easily be read as a sexual advance or intimate wordplay. Now imagine you’re in the mood a lot. Yeah, my brain just goes there more often than when I was the lower-drive spouse.

And yes, I think some of my turns and twists of phrases are clever, even hilarious, and should be rewarded — like with sex. (Did you hear that, hubby?!) But logically, I know that even clever innuendo has the potential to become annoying. So it’s better to keep some of my amusing thoughts in my own head and release the ones I think my husband will appreciate.

When he initiates, I internally celebrate. I know some couples have one spouse who always, or almost always, initiates, but my husband and I are pretty balanced. Even so, given where my drive is at the moment, there is a bit of rejoicing that goes on inside me when he takes charge of getting things going. Perhaps it’s because I already know I want him, but having him show how much he wants me puts us on the same page.

It really isn’t enough for your spouse to schlep to the bedroom, drop their underpants, and oblige your urges. What a higher-drive spouse wants is to get their lover up to their own level of arousal and excitement. My goal isn’t merely to satisfy my own sexual desire, but to have my husband sharing that sexual desire for one another. And if he arrives with that “I want you” look in his eyes, I know we’re in sync. And it’s going to be a wonderful night.

So are you the higher-drive spouse? What “confessions” do you have to help spouses understand what’s going through your head and heart?

41 thoughts on “Confessions of a Higher-Drive Spouse

  1. J Post author

    My husband wishes to clarify that he IS getting callbacks to star in the next superhero movie, so move over Captain America! LOL.

  2. katydid

    For all but the last 6 months of our marriage, I was the higher drive spouse. I am still the more adventerous one. He was the lower drive refuser/denying spouse (denying means he would have sex with me but deny the activities that best brought me to climax). He still denies me manual and oral, but he is a raincheck spouse rather than refuser. And now he is the one chasing me down just a little more than I do him, though I have NEVER refused or denied him.

    When you, the lower drive spouse, put in the effort, we will eventually be satisfied and satiated. When hubby finally started coming around I could have had sex 6 times per day. We were doing it once a day and eventually, we both settled in to our current routine of 2-3 times per week. And out of that, I’m good 1-2 times.

    As a higher drive woman, getting aroused enough to know I am likely to climax still takes effort and quite a lot of hormonal acrobats. To be refused or rainchecked during such a time is like suddenly stopping a roller coaster upside down on the loop de loop. It totally messes me up and results in a day of “crashing” which often involves fighting moodiness. Temptations increase exponentially.

    1. Tonya

      Katydid hit it on the head! I’ve been the higher drive spouse my entire 25 year marriage. Once a week is not enough when achieving climax is hit or miss. If it’s a miss then there’s a sort of depression that sets in that I’ll have to wait another week for another attempt. When hubby is done, he’s DONE. No further play to bring me to climax. I count my blessings that it’s once a week at this point. We went through seven months of refusal. I was sick and went through several surgeries but my libido didn’t die during that time. I really needed his love and attention during that stressful time.

      1. The Man

        I wish you could explain this to my wife. “It’s not rejection” she says. “You shouldn’t feel depressed or down.” She just refuses to get it.

        1. J Post author

          There are a lot of wives I wish I could speak to personally. Continue to love her, pray for her, and hope. I am saying a prayer for you too.

      2. Gianna

        How did you make it!?! I’m going through the same thing, and I’m about to die. Lol

  3. Erik Matlock

    Good stuff.
    After all we have been through, it’s still awesome to hear of marriages thriving like this. Thanks for sharing.
    Now, how long before you start speaking in public? Maybe we need to organize a tour of bloggers who aren’t afraid to tackle the big issues in marriage.
    I’m in when that happens.

  4. MommaBird

    I’m definitely the house drive spouse, but lately I think that’s encouraged my husband to embrace that, which totally rocks! I think I spent some years not interested enough and shut him down, but we’re recovering from that rather nicely.

    That being said, I love opportunities to sit close to him. In the car I like to put my hand on his leg. I definitely like looking at his body when he’s dressing, like you said! Really, it’s like you read my mind writing this post haha!

  5. Ruth

    After 23 years of marriage I became the higher drive spouse and it was a real adjustment. I had my considerate husband trained not to initiate until I had given them the signal that I was open for business. Now I actually wanted him to initiate without a signal, and it could never come soon enough. We finally made a deal – he had 48 hours to initiate, then once we had sex, I had 48 hours. He now believes that he can initiate whenever he wants and I will not turn him down.

  6. D

    YES! YES! and YES!

    This blog post described me to a T! THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for being open and honest and making me feel not alone. Every point you expressed was as if you were describing me. I’ve always been the high drive spouse in our almost 19 years of marriage.

  7. Lina

    I could actually live forever without sex, as far as I feel within myself, but (I love the way you expressed this) I want to pour out my abundant love and affection on my beloved, so I offer him pretty much everything every day. We have a running joke, in which I say, “Don’t feel obligated, I’ll be ok if you don’t want to,” and he laughs a lot at this idea. However, he did ask for what we call a ‘moritorium’ night tonight 🙂 so I’m glad he feels free to turn me down when he needs to!

  8. Amy

    I’m definitely the higher drive spouse and everything you said is spot on!

    I would say as a higher drive spouse that one thing I often want is to know my hubby is thinking about sex as much as I am. Sometimes it seems like it just isn’t that important to him and I began to feel like I’m such sex fiend thinking about it so much! LOL
    Reality is, my hubby has long weekly work hours — up at 3am and in bed early — so sex for us usually only happens 1-2 times weekly, which is way too little for me and hubby knows it but when he’s exhausted it makes it hard for him to be in the mood much more often.

    Interestingly, last year when my hubby had a couple weeks off around Christmas he actually initiated every single day for a solid weeks. In 6 days we had sex 7 times (you can figure that out!) with one day off.
    That week taught me some things about myself and how I truly feel about sex:
    1) I do NOT want sex every.single.day like I always thought — what was really going was a feeling of a drought and yearning for more sex, but once it happened the frequency increased I realized it was almost too much. My ideal would be 3-4 times weekly which feels up my love tank, while once a week often leaves me grumpy and frustrated especially if a climax does not happen for me. When we crave something and are denied it for so long it becomes all we think about, but once we get satiated the strong craving lessens.
    2) I loved the feeling of being sexually desired by my husband and seeing him desire sex so much — sometimes when we only connect sexually once or twice a week it can leave me wondering if my husband even thinks about sex or desires me sexually, and that can leave me feeling a little depressed.
    3) We became much more connected in all other aspects of our marriage — we each had a little extra bounce in our step, twinkle in our eyes and a playfulness about us as a couple. It was fun!
    4) And the perhaps the big thing I discovered is that I was completely content during the couple of times I did not reach orgasm — I could never understand women saying that orgasm is not necessary for still enjoying sex. I mean really, are you kidding me I would think! But when we were having daily sex, I found myself completely okay without climaxing a couple times which actually seemed to disappoint my hubby. It was still fun and satisfying for me. So I learned that if sex is more frequent I can forgo an orgasm once in a while without it being a big deal, but if sex is only once or twice a week I want it to happen each time or else I’m left frustrated for a week until the next time.

    Those are my thoughts as a higher drive spouse. 😉

  9. Anonymous

    J, you have described me to a “T”. I have been the higher drive spouse throughout our marriage. However, I must admit that many times I have felt embarrassed or ashamed of my higher drive. In fact, my darling wife has told me that my higher drive is a weakness…

    1. J Post author

      It’s not a weakness! But a difference in drives is something you two have to work through. Best wishes and blessings!

  10. Sarah

    So thankful for this post! I have been thinking about emailing for the past week because I’ve been a little discouraged on this subject. I’ve got the higher drive in our relationship. We’ve only been married a little less than 9 months, and with what everyone told me about men before I got married, I’ve really had to adjust my thinking. Oftentimes when I initiate and my husband turns me down, I have to do a lot to try to recover my own emotional state PLUS convince him that he’s not any less of a man just bc he isn’t always craving sex/ready to go like the guys on the TV. I like Ruth’s idea of the 48 hours back and forth. Might try that. Learning so much in this first year of marriage, and so thankful for resources like this blog to help guide the way and encourage me!

  11. K

    Nice J. I think you have helped a lot of women with this and I think this will be a great help to lower drive women or any spouse on the other side of the continuum understand a little better.

  12. spicyanonymous wife

    Thank you thank you thank you for this post!! I find I was getting resentful of not being the ‘typical wife’ as the higher drive spouse, and am quite tired of advice for wives that assumes we are all lower drive and have to stop denying our husbands.
    I find that I’ve had to mentally force myself to not be aroused because 10 days (the average time in between) had me grumpy, teary, and wondering why my husband didn’t find me attractive, etc. We are newly married and I also did not expect this issue to exist so early on in our marriage.
    It is hard for me, but also hard because I don’t want to make him feel worse than he already does.
    By turning down my drive I find it’s harder to relax and harder to climax when we do have sex. This is frustrating for him, as well as me. I am frustrated I can’t just ‘turn it back on’, and worried about my response making it difficult for him.
    I would be happy with 5-7 times weekly. It is constantly in my thoughts and I also love to watch him dress/undress.
    It has helped a lot that during our discussions he realizes touches that don’t lead to sex are welcome and not a disapppointment (they are quite the oppposite, actually).
    Cuddling and non-sexual touch helps emotionally.
    I hope I am not always the higher drive spouse but it seems I may well be. Your post helped me feel less alone in this, and reinforced what I know but don’t always feel–there is nothing wrong with my drive, and I don’t need to be ashamed of it.

    1. edl

      I had to check to make sure I didn’t write this. I completely understand about feeling so stressed that you can’t climax — I can’t. We do it about every 10 days, too, and it’s just always in the back of my head that he doesn’t really want to be there. Hard to get in the mood to finish then. :-/

  13. Anonymous

    The “just hold me” squirm. When we were first married I would say. I dont want sex……. just hold me. My husband explained later that when he holds me all he can think about is having sex. I never really understood why until we had flip flopped drives and he was too tired he just wanted to be held. Something about the smell, the warmth, the feel, the heartbeat, the sighs, the closeness and all I could do was think about how much I wanted him. I couldn’t just hold him.

  14. P

    I have always been the higher drive spouse but now that physical problems have occurred, sex has to be scheduled. Even so it happens mostly when when my wife wants it. She has been ill for about 3 weeks but this morning we did it and it was truly amazing for both of us. I am so glad I married her.

  15. ErieBearie

    “It really isn’t enough for your spouse to schlep to the bedroom, drop their underpants, and oblige your urges. ”

    That is pure written gold! Makes me laugh and cringe at the same time! I am usually the “schlepper”.
    This article helped me understand hubs more. I HATE being touched all the time. His love language is
    touch. I just want to give in so he STOPS PAWING ALL OVER ME. But if we talk, pray and hang out
    before he paws me, well….that’s another story. Thanks, J for being real! 🙂

    1. J Post author

      Thanks for sharing your side of things! I’ve also been the low-drive spouse, and especially after a day of being pawed by our little ones, I didn’t want anyone to touch me. I just craved personal space! So I get it. But you’re right, if you can each meet one another’s love languages (sounds like quality time and/or words of affirmation for you?), it’s so much easier to get in sync. Even in my low-drive days, I loved cuddling with “Spock” after an evening spent together (yep, quality time is #1 for me).

  16. Lina

    I am so fortunate because my husband is a big, hairy cuddle-bug beast! I thank him all the time for being so tolerant of my hugging on him, kissing him on the neck when he’s reading, etc. He loves it and seems unaware that not everyone does like that. All this, just by chance. God has really blessed both of us.

  17. Mary

    We’ve been married 30 years. Sex for us has been a struggle I understand the pain of fealing alone. But having said that it was all worth the pian. Today we are two strong people from hanging in there and working it out. The drive is not the most important but it’s were are we driving to? Our problem was never the incompatible sex drives but our quilt fealing about sex and incomparable bodies. We needed to be realistic about sex. we only have a few positions that work. My husband and I have learned to over come and boy I wish you could see us now!!

  18. brenda

    I am getting married soon and we are waiting until our wedding night for any kind of fooling around. We have kissed but that”s it. And it has been very hard on both of us. But I am nervous that I am going to be the higher sexed spouse. He says he has a high sex drive but I would be happy 3 or 4 times a day right now with him. We are both in our early 40’s. I don’t know how to address my concerns with him.
    Thank you for your article. it was great. I have always been the higher sexed partner in my relationships,

    1. J Post author

      It’s quite possible that you marry as the higher-drive spouse, and things change. I think it’s more important to marry someone who sees the importance of godly sexual intimacy in marriage and who’s willing to work on issues together to achieve unity than having someone who matches your drive. Because most married couples will have things to work out in the sex department, and it’s the philosophy, the attitude, the communication skills that matter in the long run.

      Congratulations! I salute you both for waiting. And many blessings for your future!

      1. brenda

        Thank you. We have great communication so far. I am just always intimidated taking about sexual stuff with him. We step together once in high school when neither of us were Christians. And our lives and language was very different then.

  19. Amanda

    I am the high drive spouse . My husband ignores my passes at him. He says he is simply not turned on because of my weight. The only way to get him going is usually performing oral for him. Honestly I still look at him , but have resorted to using toys. There is only so much rejection I felt I could take. I now never ask and he never indicates ,it’s sad to me.

    1. J Post author

      Your weight? Given what you describe, I doubt that’s everything going on with him. Please don’t give up. Continue to communicate, invest in your friendship, and pursue sexual intimacy when you can. If you can get him to address his lack of drive, do so. Also, pray for him.

      And while I understand the draw of toys, just know that continued use of a stimulator like that can rewire your arousal, such that it’s more difficult to engage with your real, life husband later. Let’s face it: No guy can move like that. So while I don’t believe toys are sinful, I do think they can pose a risk to a relationship, depending on how they are used.

      Praying for your situation. I know this rejection feels personal and painful, but it may be something that rests with him. Blessings!

  20. Gianna

    LI need sex. I need it 2-3 times a week at least. Husband, once every 10 days or so.I have talked and pleaded, begged and tried various things to spark his desire. No luck.Can I do something to lessen my drive? I’m worried that I’m doing/will do damage to our marrage.Any ideas?

    1. J Post author

      If you think you’re damaging your marriage, stop doing what you’ve been doing! I’m not saying to ignore the issue. But the approach of pleading, begging, and trying to spark his desire isn’t working. So brainstorm what else you can do! For instance, it often feels in such situations that if we could only get our spouse to really LISTEN to us…but are we listening to them? Do we know what’s going on that’s causing barriers for them? Also, we can see ourselves on separate sides, instead of addressing this as a WE problem. So talk more in terms of what will benefit BOTH of you and the marriage, than your own personal needs. Try to make these conversations relationship-building rather than stomach-clenching experiences. Ask what would make him more interested in pursuing marital intimacy, and then explain why you really want to pursue it for the marriage. Maybe if you change the way you approach the situation, you two can work together for a solution. Blessings!

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