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Glasses of Desire

February 25, 2018

Time is an important part of sexual compatibility. You and your partner might like to do basically the same things in the same order but one of you likes it to last 10 minutes, the other likes it to last an hour. The trick is accepting what each of us wants and figuring out a way to take turns. How do you put those 2 things together? Maybe you can say, let’s do the 10 minute one this time and the hour one next time and take turns.  But is that equitable? The one who wants to have sex for 10 minutes is having sex that they don’t want for 50 minutes when it’s the turn of the hour-sex wanting person.  How does that compare to the experience of the hour-wanting person when they have sex for only 10 minutes? Is having sex for longer than you want the same amount of discord as having sex for shorter than you want?  The 10-minute wanting person has to train themselves to wear a different head during the 50 minutes when they are really feeling done. Can it work for that person to frame those 50 minutes in a different way, so that the hour-sex wanting person can get their desire met occasionally?


Frequency is also a time preference - the length of time a person prefers between sexual encounters. Maybe one person wants sex every day and the other person wants sex once a week or two. They may be compromising with having sex X number of times a month and neither of them is ever really getting what they want. 


It may be that the lower-desire partner (the LDP) in that situation is farther from their ideal than the higher-desire partner is from theirs.  I know, the HDP is only satisfied briefly, then frustrated the next day. Often in those situations there is a constant tension: the HDP applying pressure in various ways to get more sex; the LDP applying brakes to get less sex. It can create a lot of relationship coolness because the LDP will avoid affectionate intimacy out of fear that the HDP will try to turn a hug and a snuggle into sex. This will continue for some days, the pressure from one partner, the resistance of the other. If the LDP does want some sexual element to the relationship, they will at some point decide their desire level is close enough to wanting sex and they will consent to or initiate sex. Even though they are not feeling 100% desirous, their desire is close enough and they know the other partner wants it so much. It's like filling a glass: when the glass is full you are full of desire. The LDP will have sex when their glass is only half full because they know the other partner really wants it, and they figure they are close, so they will go ahead and have sex. The result is that they never get to have that full glass of desire. They are always having sex at half desire, which isn’t that great, especially long term.


So what if the other partner just stops. Just takes all pressure off. They don't attempt to get the other person to have sex for a long time.  They don't initiate, they don't ask, they don't roll their eyes, they don't do whatever signaling they do to indicate they want sex. They allow the other partner to let their glass fill all the way up. It make take a while. Longer than they thought. It might take a while for the other partner to notice that the pressure is off and to notice the sense of relief they feel. Then they will notice that the other isn't asking. And it might take a while for them to realize they have to initiate. It might take a while to realize that they do want sex in their life, they do feel full desire. Eventually they will initiate, and they will get to feel what it's like to have sex on a full glass of desire. It might be that when they have the experience of having sex on their actual time preference schedule, that they might find that their time preference can shift in the direction of the HDP's preference. Maybe it will take less to fill their glass. And then maybe they wouldn't mind trying to have sex for a while on HDP's time preference. 


But whatever each person's time preference is, they are both valid, and the ideal to shoot for is that both partners sometimes get to have sex when their desire just reaches that perfect point of almost, but not quite, overflowing. At least now and then.




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