Are You The Low Drive Spouse?

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Are You The Low Drive Spouse?

107 women and 173 men have answered*

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* A note on the number of respondents: An additional 151 men and 21 of the women said they always want more sex than their spouse. These individuals were not included in the results below.


  • 45% of the men and 71% of the women indicated their spouse wants more sex than they do.
  • Men who want less sex are much more likely to say it’s only sometimes they want less – 55% vs 29%.
  • Women are more likely to say they always want a lot less – 51% vs 20%.


Note that all of these men and women have indicated their spouse sometimes wants sex when they do not.

  • 20% of the men and 10% of the women never say no when their spouse asks for sex.
  • Very few say no the majority of the time – only 3% of men and 6% of women.
  • 35% of men and 54% of the women say no occasionally or regularly.


  • Tiredness was the most common reason for both sexes – 70% of women and 56%.
  • I don’t feel like having sex was the second most common choice, selected by 52% of women and 32% of men.
  • 15% of both men and women say no because they are too busy.
  • 24% of women and 12% of men say no because they find sex too much work.
  • More men than women say no due to relationship problems – 17% vs 14%.
  • If I don’t want it I won’t enjoy it was given by 16% of women but only 5% of men.
  • 16% of women but only 5% of men say their spouse wants sex too often.
  • 17% of men say no due to erectile problems.
  • 15% of women and 2% of men cited pain issues.

Other Reasons Women:

  • I’m extremely prone to UTIs and therefore very specific precautions must be taken before sex and the circumstances must be right.
  • Guilt over using birth control.
  • I most of the time have to do the work myself to achieve an orgasm.
  • Not feeling well, not a serious health issue, just not up to sex. Could be a cold, first several days of period, a stomach bug.
  • I want more than preliminaries. I want to hear romantic words that will excite me more.
  • Usually it’s a timing thing. Will say not now…later.
  • Scheduling issues.
  • I almost never say no anymore but in the last year I have a couple times because it’s almost always rushed, last minute, so I’m starting to say “not until we don’t have to rush”.
  • I had no idea he was asking most of the time. Or he will get angry and hurt me before asking.
  • Emotional distance felt too strongly to engage.
  • Sometimes my mind won’t connect with my body. I just can’t get aroused though I think about sex every day. He thinks it’s sufficient to just touch but I understand and react more when he says what he wants. without the talking I respond negatively to touch. it’s hard to explain. Also I’m prone to infections even when I take the precautions and if the prospects of poor sex seem evident i prefer to say no than to have feel pain when i and scared to urinate for a week.
  • Not attracted.
  • If I’m recovering from a cold, I might say no.
  • If I am sick or have a yeast infection.
  • No desire, difficult to become aroused.

Other Reasons Men:

  • Usually it is so late at night and I get up much earlier than she does.
  • Same gender attraction issues
  • She only does it for me, and it’s always rushed.
  • It’s not that I say no. I don’t initiate sex.
  • lack of desire combined with guilt at not being there for her.
  • Sexual anorexia


  • Offering something else is rare. Only 12% of men and women often or always do something else when their spouse wants sex.
  • 60% of men and 52% of women rarely or never do something else.
  • 37% of women and 28% of men occasionally do something.


  • Women were more than twice as likely as men to say “no” – 20% to 9%. Women were slightly more likely to say yes as long as they don’t know about it – 14% to 12%.
  • Women were also slightly more likely to say they don’t want to see it – 14% to 12%
  • Men were more likely to want their spouse to masturbate in their presence – 31% to 25%.
  • 36% of men and 30% of women were okay with it as long as it was not done “too often”.
  • 2 women and one man said in the comments they would have given an unqualified yes” were it a choice.

There were interesting intersections between this question and Do you ever do something short of intercourse when your spouse wants sex and you don’t?:

  • Women who never do anything else for their husband were the most likely to be dead set against him masturbating (37%) and least willing to be part of it if he does (11%). These women were also the most likely to say they were okay with hubby masturbating as long as they didn’t know about it (22%).
  • Women who usually or always do something else were the most open to their husband masturbating with none of these women saying no. These were also the most open to their husband masturbating in their presence (67% of those who always offer something else and 44% of those who usually offer something else).
  • Men who sometimes say no were generally more open to their wife masturbating across the board. Those who often offer something else were the most likely to give a flat out no, at 25%.


  • Among men and women who sometimes want less sex than their spouse, 56% of the women and 76% of the men admit to masturbating to some degree. However, the rate of masturbation is low for most of these individuals. Only 18% of the women and 24% of the men masturbate more than once a month.
  • There is a bit of hypocrisy here. 40% of the women who don’t want their husband masturbating admit they do it, with half of those doing it at least once a month. Among men who don’t want their wife to masturbate a third are masturbating themselves, but all do it less than once a month.
  • Among both men and women those who don’t masturbate were more likely to offer their spouse something other than intercourse when the spouse wants sex and they don’t.

Women’s Comments:

  • High-drive versus low-drive is admittedly a confusing concept for me. My husband and I have sex pretty regularly–about 3 times per week–and I suspect he is the higher drive spouse in the sense that he feels that physical drive for sex in a way that I don’t. I do not feel a drive for sex. Ever. However, I feel as if I have a pretty healthy view of sex and God’s design for it, so I choose to have sex often and frequently am the one initiating so he knows that yes, I am indeed up for it. And I know I enjoy it, so I initiate knowing my body will catch up; it always does! At this point, I feel as if I *emotionally* need sex pretty frequently before I start to feel insecure in our relationship. If we go too long, I start to suspect that he is masturbating instead of making the effort to initiate sex; whether he does or doesn’t anymore, I don’t know. He used to, but we’ve talked about it and he agreed to stop. But I find it’s better to have sex frequently so I don’t begin to have those doubts in the first place. It isn’t necessary for him to take care of it alone; I want to be with him. I want to be enough…
  • Would you be okay with your spouse masturbating when they want sex and you don’t? (Choose all that apply) My answer to this would be a plain Yes. With no “as long as, ifs, buts, etc. Just a plain yes was not a choice.
  • If I’m just too tired for sex I usually offer a hand job. Sometimes he just masturbates to get release until I am ready.
  • I am lower drive but I acknowledge that in our relationship and make sure I only say no if there is a legitimate reason e.g. Sickness. If I’m just tired or can’t be bothered I still make an effort if I know my husband wants to make love. Usually once we get going it feels great anyway. It’s a decision to say yes, participate fully and enjoy it.
  • My husband has the higher drive, but it’s not much higher than mine. He usually doesn’t initiate sex unless I’m flirting with him during the day to show I’m interested. He never wants to “put me out” by suggesting sex when I’m not in the mood. We are now just talking about how I could be in the mood for sex as much as him (relatively), but I can’t get there on my own. In other words, explaining foreplay.
  • I fear becoming pregnant again but also feel very guilty about not trusting the Lord enough to forgo birth control.
  • You didn’t give just the option of “yes”, none of the “conditions” fit. Things have changed in our marriage because of low T, but he still is higher than I.
  • There was a time some years ago when we had some serious relationship problems that I said no often. I did not feel that he was at all connected to me and it was hard to want to give him sex. I really didn’t feel as if he cared about me at all, let alone loved me. And I didn’t know how important sex was to him and that sex was how he felt loved. It was when things really reached a very bad place that I began researching and found this website as well as some others that helped me to work through these things.
  • Porn has been a problem in the past. Definitely still has a lingering effect…
  • We often enjoy “outercourse” due to age, etc but it’s really hot!

Men’s Comments:

  • You should ask questions of initiation. As a husband I don’t ever say no, but I rarely initiate. In don’t know when she wants it and I assume she doesn’t, but she says she does. I think I struggle with rejection so I don’t bother.
  • Your question on is it ok if she master bates… Where was just plain “yes”? I did not like having to pick an exception.
  • In Q9 I just wanted to say ‘yes’ without any further condition.
  • We have had roadblocks to intimacy including a daughter moving back home resulting in a loss of privacy for us.
  • My wife doesn’t really like sex. She only does it for me. She says that an orgasm with masturbation is far better. She does that frequently, but says that’s private and will never do it with me in the room. It seems she just gives sex to me out of obligation. It must be a quickie and make it fast. That makes sex really disappointing, and hardly seems worth the bother. I’m trying to concentrate on the other parts of our relationship that probably need some help too, but at least we can enjoy our friendship. Sex just seems so depressing to me.
  • I usually only say no when it’s getting late and I’m tired or concerned that it will take too long.
  • My wife has the higher drive. I often wish my drive was higher but it isn’t. I am an every 3-4 day guy based on my drive alone. The thing that has brought us closest together is instead of asking if I want to have sex, she cuddles with me, we talk, and she lets her hands roam. Her doing this usually, jump starts my arousal, and we then have sex. I am not anti more sex, my internal drive just doesn’t help me think about it as often as her drive does. I think her biggest issue is if she “initiates” to often, then she doesn’t feel desired. I have a hard time initiating when my internal desire is not pushing me to do so.
  • Spouse and I are more balanced, “similar sex drive”, as we age. Used to be a large difference. Male now wants more, female less.
  • I don’t say no often because she doesn’t ask directly, but I know she wants it more often than I do something about it.