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As a man, how do you deal with having a much lower libido than your female partner?

I’ve had a low libido in general, which has dropped even more recently because of my struggles with metal health and resultant medication. My struggle with depression has also caused some erectile disfunction and an inability to cum on occasion. My partner is kind, generous, understanding and extremely supportive but I know this is frustrating for her as she has a much higher libido than me. We have a pleasurable ohhh life with plenty of foreplay and lots of laughter and fun during ohhh. But because of my lower libido, inability to maintain an erection and feeling like I’m letting down my partner, I’m struggling with my feelings of self worth and masculinity because…well because this makes me feel like less of a man.


EDIT: appreciate all the support and advice guys. Thought I’d address a couple recurring points that have come up in the comments.

– I already have an appointment to get my testosterone checked along with some other routine blood work (thyroid, B12, vitamin D) as suggested by my doctor. The technician is coming in the next hour to collect blood samples.
– Just started very basic and minimal exercise. The depression did make it hard to exercise, but I’ve gone running twice and done yoga once in the past week so yay.
– This is a new experience for both me and my partner, so yes we do struggle to talk to each other sometimes about it. I mostly feel embarrassed whenever the topic has to be addressed but I’m trying to move past that embarrassment and talk openly. Thankfully, my partner makes me feel comfortable enough to talk about this without fear of judgement
– The low libido has been around for a while. The ED and inability to cum is more recent. Not sure if they’re linked or not, but will visit a ohhh therapist as advised by some people here and try to address that separately from the depression.
– I did have a massive porn phase right before I met my current partner (that was actually one of my %%%%boi phases and porn was just a natural part of it). But I’ve cut that down significantly since getting into a LTR. In fact, we were trying to watch a porn movie together last week to spice things up but ended up laughing and ignoring the TV coz we picked a random unrealistic video.
– We haven’t experimented with toys at all so far. I’m very keen to do so, but she isn’t coz she’s never used any except for a tiny vibrator when she’s going solo. However, buying ohhh toys in India where we live is actually a huge problem. So time to figure that out.

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  1. Do you work out? I find my libido is higher when I’m in shape. I just have more energy in the tank. Whenever I don’t work out for a while, I’m more inclined to go solo since it takes less effort.

  2. I can’t tell you much practical advice, I was always the one craving more.

    But what I can tell you is that you should try to let go of the toxic concept of being a “real man” or a “real woman”. Your manliness is as real as you are. There’s no need to prove you are a man, you just are. You can’t be more or less of a man. Because there’s no scale to measure that. Trying to build one doesn’t even make sense. You can only be more or less of you. There are other important questions you can ask yourself, like are you a good partner? Do you mostly bring good into the world?

    Or more specifically to sex: Could you imagine enjoying using you hands or your mouth to give your partner pleasure? Without using your dick if you don’t feel like it or it lets you down? Maybe a toy? Those are the things you can actually influence.

  3. Ah, man…this is a tough one. Not a male, but we struggled with his issue in my marriage for a while a few years back and maybe I can give some helpful advice: make a point of making her feel beautiful and attractive. Compliment her often, touch her, kiss her randomly, make sure you explain repeatedly that your condition has nothing to do with her. There is something very toxic about the entertainment industry portraying men as always up for sex and women rejecting them – whenever that is not the case, the man feels inadequate and the woman feels like a complete unattractive failure. Even if she may rationally understand that it is not her fault, some part of her will be insecure. So make sure you reassure her constantly and while you’re at it, try to involve her in whatever steps you are taking to fix the problem – research, medical appointments etc – keep her in the loop. This way, she will know you are working on getting better. I hope things start improving for you soon!

  4. Person who has had male partner with low libido.

    I had a way higher libido than my partner. He wasn’t taking meds or anything, he just had a lower libido. In fact he even masturbated less than me which was a surprise. I won’t lie it can be frustrating. Sometimes I feel rejected, because I’m not used to partners who don’t have high sex drives. I have felt unattractive in times where I’ve gotten dressed up or taken pictures or tried to get things going and he’s dismissed me. I guess from all that I’ll say this.

    To most people, sex is not at the top of the list, yes I have a high sex drive and enjoy sex, but i would much rather have a partner who loves me and appreciates me and treats me well on a regular basis than a person who’s down to fuck anytime I am. I can please myself pretty well and as mentioned there are toys and all kinds of gadgets to use if you aren’t standing at attention.

    You are on new meds which, if it hasn’t been mentioned, do affect you sex drive, plus the issues your are going through that led you to have to take meds. It sounds like you are transitioning and it is stressful and all of that makes it difficult to relax for sexy time.

    My shitty opinion, OP is to talk to your partner about all of it. Let her know how you feel and let her express how she’s been feeling. Start a conversation about how you can please each other. Maybe there are OTHER things besides sex you can do that will help you feel more like a man. Things she can say or activities you can take up. Also tall to your doctor about the effects of your medicine. They may need to adjust it or switch you if it is effecting you sex life as that can effect your mental health as well. Good luck!

  5. I had mild erectile dysfunction and my wife urged me to see a sex therapist and I was ok after just one session over skype. She told me that as long as you function even once in a while we’re not talking about having a problem and not wanting sex some times is natural. The advice she gave me basically was to forget about the problem and when during intercourse I felt my erection giving up I should just let it go and carry on regardless and focus on my partner , how she smells, how she looks, how she feels etc instead on focusing on my failing erection. And to generally let it go. She put it much nicer than that and it seems to have worked for me since I haven’t had a problem since.

    My advice is to try to relax about it even when it happens and if it doesn’t work seek a sex therapist just one session did wonders for me. I don’t know if my therapists sees international patients (ie if she does sessions in English) but I can look it up for you if you’re interested.

  6. I am in the exact same place as you. Issues in the bedroom connected to mental health. It feels like even if my mental health gets better, the bedroom issue won’t. My wife is understanding as well but can feel there is a lack of intimacy.

    One thing that has worked for us is to make efforts to be intimate. Intimacy does not mean having sex. It can be cuddling, snuggling with pillow talk, spending quality time one on one but not like a date.

    I find it very easy to roll over in bed and just scroll endlessly on my phone. It’s easy for me to get stressed and want to just go to sleep. Put in 15-20 minutes to give your partner attention/remind them how important they are to you.

    If you’re unable to separate your feelings of masculinity and ability to perform in bed there is ZERO shame in talking to your doctor for some prescription help. You don’t have to tell anyone. It’s not a sign that you’re not attracted to your partner. If anything it’s proof that you want to be intimate with them. It’s a solution to a chemical imbalance. If we can take medication for anxiety and depression why not for other private things?

  7. XX here but hope you don’t mind me weighing in.

    I am usually higher libido. Something that is nice in my LTRs is that it doesn’t have to be all or nothing. Sometimes we mess around without intercourse. Sometimes if one is in the mood and the other isn’t (usually I’m the one in the mood, but not always), we’ll cuddle, maybe make-out, while one of us masturbates. It feels close but no one is having sex they don’t want to have.

    Also, decenter intercourse. The erection thing isn’t a big deal if you both enjoy finger fucking, cunnillingus, playing with toys, etc.

  8. God. I had such a high sex drive when I was younger, couldn’t get a stable relationship. I’ve passed 30, and noticed my drive has noticeably gone down. I’d be happy with sex once or twice a week now. Anything more and it’d be a chore. I’m honestly quite happy filling my time with other things to do.

    Recently, with my last partner, I found it hard to communicate what was going on. Like, it can be hard to explain to a woman that you’re just not in the mood… haha! And they don’t really take it too well, either. I guess they’ve been programmed to think that men just want to fuck 24/7, and if you don’t wanna they often take it personally – like they feel they’re not attractive to you anymore, and stuff. It was honestly quite a difficult time for me, in a relationship, as I guess I was coming to realise I just wasn’t as motivated by sex anymore… and I was grappling with ideas that maybe it was the relationship, or maybe it was me. I understand now that it is me, but that’s okay. The idea that guys are built to have sex all the time is an unhealthy one, and damaging to a guys thought process when things start to change.

    Don’t rag on yourself too hard about this. Get a couple of pills to take to get yourself over the hump, you’ll be right as rain. A lot of problems arise (no pun intended) from unhealthy ideas about how ready and willing you think you’re supposed to be. It can become the start of a vicious cycle of overthinking it, will cause you “performance anxiety”. I’ve been there, in my early 20’s. Relax man, and take your time.

  9. As long as you are having an awesome time and a good foreplay, you can consider using sex toys. Being there for her pleasure would be an incredible experience for her. Try giving it a shot. Penetration is important, even when it is happening through you if not by you.

  10. Physical activity man. Try being more physically active. It should bring your testosterone levels up a bit.

    I’ve been exercising more regularly during the last year and 32 year old has been able to go for 2-3 rounds a day – something I haven’t been able to do since I was 20.

  11. For me any time I notice this happening it’s due to lifestyle and I can make some changes to fix it. The big one is to stop watching porn, but then also lifting, cold showers, sleep, good diet, supplements like creatine, protein, ZMA, ashwaghanda, etc.. Once I get consistent at the gym again and stop jerking off my problems always go away. In fact this routine usually causes me to get way too horny but that’s another problem…

    Idk if this would be enough to offset the effects of your medicine OP but it’s all stuff that’s good for you anyways so it might be worth a try

  12. Don’t feel bad it happens to a lot of us for many reasons. Just have fun together, enjoy the foreplay and make sure she get’s off. Anything after that is just for fun. I doubt she is judging you.

  13. 1) take your time during foreplay, this will make the single sex encounter much better for her
    2) Get her an Industrial size battery powered adult recreational fake penis. Some companies even sell “clone your Willy” kits so you can make it to your shape and size if you do prefer

  14. One issue I haven’t seen mentioned is that many women perceive the lack of an erection as a lack of attraction. All the sex toys in the world won’t help if she’s focused on that aspect.

  15. You can take care of her needs without having desire of your own. Oral, fingers, toys whatever floats her boat. Penetrative sex is just one kind.

    You can turn it into a game/kink. Blindfold &/or tie her up, tease her and make her cum as many times as she likes.

    Alternatively you could buy one of the many toys that go in/on a woman and use that to titillate and satisfy her all day without having to be physically involved yourself.

    Basically, just because you’re not hungry doesn’t mean I can’t whip up something for her to eat.

  16. See, I hate the term “libido” because I think people use it as a roll up term for lots of things having to do with sex and desire.

    When I read your post the thing that sticks out to me is “inability to maintain an erection” and I’d like to ask a couple questions about that. I’d like to know if you feel that’s due to a lack of desire, or if it’s your body not cooperating with you. If it’s the latter, I’d want to know your age and general fitness level. If you’re younger, I’d actually recommend a trip to the doctor. Depending on your age, fitness, and amount of difficulty there I think that should be looked at as potentially being a medical problem if you haven’t ruled that out yet. It could be indicative of diabetes or other circulatory issues you should deal with. However, you did say you’ve dealt with mental health issues so I’m guessing you’re having regular appointments with a doctor, but without knowing I think all of the above is worth mentioning and thinking about.

  17. Talk to her about it. Reconcile it the issue with yourself and beyond that if she’s cool with you, she’s cool. Don’t project your frustration with yourself onto her. But also make sure she legit doesn’t have any resentments, just talk to her about it.

  18. Long story short: Unless you both dont care about sex, it wont work out.

    I was in a long relationship with only one side being interested in sex and the other basically so close to being asexual that i actually thought they were…

    For most people sex is important as a way to connect beyond just orgasm, if you dont have that but want it and the other cant or wont provide you will be fucking sad and often start to tresent your SO.

    What i can say for you specifically is, get a clear head. Problems with erections and orgasm are often closely related to mental problems.

    Its a feedback loop that intensifies itself: You couldnt get it up once and thought your partner was disappointed, next time you cant stop thinking about the possibility of this happening again and this worry causes you to not get an erection. Rinse and repeat and the cycle just increases.

    Just stop and breath. Take a break from sex, just dont try it for a while, while still spending time together to get comfortable and feel loved. Then after a few days or weeks you start slowly getting closer to sex with foreplay and such.

    It often helps if your partner says reassuring things while you are trying like that they love you or other cute and nice things.

    Then once you feel less tension it generally works itself out if its not a physical problem.

    Hope it gets better for you mate.

  19. Hey, so I’m a woman, but I went through the *same exact thing* with my partner. First thing, I think you need to focus on the root of the issue. Have you spoken with a doctor about your depression? Would you consider treatment? Money was the biggest hurdle for me so if it is for you, I downloaded “K Health” app. I pay $29 a month to have unlimited access to a doctor at any time and also get medication sent right to my door. Just an option.

    Second, I would reflect on your current lifestyle: what are things you do that feed into your depression? I would work to change any habits that don’t help your mental health, even if you don’t outrightly realize it. How is your diet? Do you have some sort of sleep schedule?

    I ask all of this because after seeking treatment, I had to make changes within my own daily lifestyle to help facilitate these healthy changes. Of course, starting medication helped push me to make those changes. Treatment can do wonders, but you have to allow it the space in your life and mindset to manifest.

    *I digress*, I totally understand your feelings of inadequacy, because I constantly felt like a bad girlfriend for not wanting to have sex everyday like he did. I felt *guilty* for what my body did or didn’t want/do. Please do not underestimate your partner’s words and feelings when she expresses her understanding and support. It sounds like you have a solid relationship, and she understands that sex (or lack thereof) doesn’t define who you are as a man, partner, individual, nor represent your feelings towards her. Mental health can take a toll on all aspects of our lives. What would help at times was just laying in bed (clothed) holding each other close, no expectations, just kissing, touching, reaffirming words, being affectionate and intimate. If things stop there that’s alright, but other times it helps get things going.

    Be kind to yourself. Best of luck, friend. I hope things improve for your mental health

  20. I can relate to this. I’ve always had massive amounts of anxiety and lately given the state of the world I feel it has been turned up to 11.

    I talked to my doctor a while back about this and I have a prescription for sildenafil. I don’t need it most of the time, but when the wife and I are in bed, and I feel the mental block creeping in and I just know its gonna be a problem.. I hit pause, tell her to hold on a minute, head to the bathroom and pop a pill. We slow things down a bit.. cuddle, foreplay, talk, and before too long the anxiety is gone and we are down to business. I usually go down on her for a bit while the pill is kicking in, and sometimes I feel that just the act of hitting pause gets me over the hump.. I’m ready to go before the pill has even had time to actually start working.

    My advice is to just stop feeling like it’s something you have to power through alone, and start taking it as an opportunity to communicate and thus, be more intimate with your partner. It’s not easy for you or her, but its something you can get over together. Do what you can to reassure her it’s not ‘her problem’, but acknowledge that you understand she takes it that way. You are still a man even if you can’t get hard and cum right away. Also if you masturbate at all.. stop. It will help increase your sex drive and make it easier when you’re with your partner.

  21. You should see a doctor and ask about testosterone therapy. Low test levels can cause all those things, among other health problems. And should be treated. It may accidentally help out in the bedroom too.

  22. Dude. Hitachi Magic Wand + a “come here” finger motion at a steady pace. Your cock doesn’t have to do anything and you don’t have to be horny to pretend to be into it for her. Odds are you’ll be horny after her pussy grips your fingers when she’s cumming on them.

    That said: tell your doctor if you want your libido higher. Maybe they can suggest something.

    Also remember she is with you. All of you. Not your cock.

  23. I really don’t think your giving the medication s/e enough credit for these problems. I’m a woman and Lexapro completely made me have all the above, minus erections obviously. SSRIs are amazing and horrible at same time.

  24. I may be in the minority here, but since my libido waxes and wanes irregularly, I’ve basically given all my partners a “hall pass” (with boundaries) to get their needs met when I can’t provide sexually. [Please note: I’ve known for a long time I’ll never meet anyone’s needs fully, so this isn’t a big deal for me] When that avenue isn’t available we have to get creative. I might give my partner oral or use sex toys on them, and they’ll give me a massage or something comparable. It’s not perfect, and there’s always a lot of conversation about emotionally satisfying each other, but it keeps relationships healthy and functioning for me.

  25. I had that problem when covid hit.

    I set myself up to be as horny as possible as frequently as possible, which upped our sex life to 2-3 times a week which was enough to be sustainable. I kinda set out to improve my life in general and the libido came with.

    Such changes included:

    Regular healthy sleep schedule.
    More than regular exercise (started small, but everyday is a must)
    Good diet.
    Cut out porn
    Regular social encounters.
    Cut out porn.
    Cut out porn.

    Just giving the jest. Can give the more detailed story if want

  26. Just dump the meds and spiral into psychological torment. I have crippling depression and crushing anxiety and I fuck like an emotionally damaged man on bath salts. Had the meds once and I got soft dick.

  27. Workout.

    Stay away from porn.

    Eat a healthy diet.

    Get checked up for any health issues.

    Make sure youre actually attracted to your SO and be completely honest for both your best interests.

    Last but not least…Take more risks. Maybe youre lacking the life experiences that trigger your deepest desires as a male.

  28. Studies have related low libido in males to low testosterone levels. Are you a father? Studies show that becoming a father leads to a sharp decline in testosterone. You can try what male lions do and eat the children.

  29. I know I’m not a man but I had this issue in a past marriage. Someone else suggested this on here and it’s a good point. Seek intimacy else where, and also play around a lot. Do you only seek orgasms through direct intercourse? Are you open to role playing where her role is to be in control and maybe you only god down on her. There are so many toys and ways for you both to have fun, get what you need, and not feel less than. There’s so many helpful videos and articles out there with people who have the same issue and have found a way around it. Good luck!

  30. Get off of SSRI’s. Switch to buproprion. It’s an anti depressant but works on different receptors than the serotonin medications. It doesn’t have any of the side effects. It doesn’t make you feel numb. It doesn’t make you gain wait (it’s also used for smoking cessation). No sexual side effects either.

    Also if you want to go online and find one of the hundreds of online doctor websites to prescribe you generic cialis (tadalafil) to get you through the ED problems. And then follow what others have said. Try to just let it go when it starts happening and focus on your partner.

  31. Female here, who had a high drive than my past partner.

    I recommend stop stressing out since that causes more problem.

    Also remember not all sex must include vaginal sex. You could just mess around and get her off, that may help you get excited watching her get off. Foreplay is a girl best friend, and most girl don’t get off from vaginal intercourse, they prefer clitoral stimulation.

    Talking to a doctor is also important.

    Just my two cent.

  32. Learn how to eat and handle pussy is about all I could do. It still kind of sucked tbh, because she wanted to fuck every night and I was like 2 times a week kinda guy. I don’t like eating pussy that much, esp when I’m not aroused. If I am and i’m down but yeah. One of my friends said she was a 3 or 4 times a day gal. I can’t imagine. She beat it in the bathrooms at school sometimes.

  33. Somehow this happens quite a lot where one partner wants way more sex than the other.

    I can’t really relate because my libido is way higher than my wife’s but I would say you both have to work on it.

    If you have a lower libido as a man it means you don’t have enough testosteron so look into ways to get more testosteron (like sports). At the moment you are just happy without sex so you don’t really feel like gaining more testosteron because why would you ? But I guess it could save your relationship in the long run + having some testosteron could be good for you.

    Maybe an unpopular way (and I probably will get some hate for this) but if she really needs sex and you want to have a good relationship you could also think about her having sex somewhere else. Obviously most men would not accept this kind of thing, it’s just a suggestion, I don’t know you.

    Anyways it seems like these erectile problems are the root of the problem, have you tried things to fix it? If you are not that old I think you should see a psychologist. Do you use drugs for you depression that alter your libido?

  34. Zinc and manganese are two supplements, esp zinc. I take Centrum Multi Gummies. This is not an ad. See a doc. They can help. Try not to fret. Your partner likely has her toys. using a vibrator on your woman is great. Watch her masturbate. Give her time to do it alone. I hope you dont watch a lot of porn because that can cause erectile dysfunction.

  35. Different take on sex.

    Oral, toys, denial play, increase in foreplay, indulge/communicate kinks better.

    Sex is way more complex then hard dicks in holes, open up about all of this with your partner and trust they’ll understand you. It helps so much.

    Also this might not work for everyone but I cut wayyyyyy down on porn/masterbation. It feels better and my mind is in a better place without it.

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