High Sex Drive Or Sexual Compulsion: Sex… | Center for Growth Therapy

High Sex Drive Or Sexual Compulsion: Sex Therapy

Alex , CAS, MSW, ACSW, LCSW — Founder & executive director

The Difference Between Sexual Compulsion and High Sex Drive: A Fine Line: Sex Therapy in Philadelphia, Ocean City, Santa Fe & Mechanicsville.

Many couples seek sex therapy because of mismatched sexual desires, sex habits, skills and needs. Common sexual complaints are:

  • My partner’s sex drive is much higher / lower than mine
  • My partner is too conservative / experimental for me
  • My partner is too inhibited/wild, if only he/she were comfortable with himself / herself sexually (or be less focused on sex), we could have a great sex life
  • My partner never thinks about sex / my partner is always thinking about sex
  • My partner only wants to have sex on vacation when they are relaxed / my partner uses sex as a form of stress release
  • When we are having regular sex my partner is much nicer to me / I worry that my partner is going to have sex with someone else if I don't have sex with them

After a thorough sexual assessment, the therapist believes that the client is struggling with an issue of mismatched sex drives the focus of sex therapy sessions will be on increasing the lower sex drive partner’s desire, fostering sexual comfort in both partners, improving sexual communication, improving sexual techniques, accepting sexual differences and compromising. If the situation is a case of mismatched sex drives than some improvement enables both clients to feel closer and more satisfied. Often the person with the higher sex drive will need to do some grief work, and grieve that they will never get the frequency that they had hoped for, and accept the effort that their partner is making towards increasing their energy on a topic that is very important to you. If the self-labeled “wilder, higher sex drive” discounts the progress and has no level of flexibility, the partner with the "higher sex drive" may be suffering from an undiagnosed sex addiction. Thus, no matter how much the partner “improves” the quantity of sex will never be good enough.

What is the difference between a high sex drive and a sexual compulsion? The primary difference between the two is the way that people feel after sex, and their actual need to be sexual. People with a high sex drive feel satisfied after sex. Though they desire frequent sex, they can tolerate a different pace. For example, if they are told “no, not tonight, I have a headache” they do not feel rejected, hopeless, angry, agitated etc. They are able to switch gears and enjoy the rest of the day because they see their desire as just that – desire, not necessity. If, on the other hand, the tolerance for difference, the flexibility, and the ability to take a sexual rebuff in stride are not present, there may be an undiagnosed sexual compulsion.

What is the difference between a low sex drive and being asexual? The primary difference is that the person with a low sex drive still wants sex, and gets pleasure from the actual sex. The person who is asexual, only derives pleasure from pleasing the other person. They are not getting anything directly from the sexual experience.

To further explore your sexuality, we strongly encourage you to speak with a sex therapist. You are welcome to self schedule an inperson or virtual sex therapy appointment. We work virtually in Florida, Georgia, New Mexico, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and in Virginia. We have physical offices in Center City Philadelphia PA, Ocean City NJ, Mechanicsville Va and Santa Fe NM.

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