What is sexual discrepancy and how do couples get back on the same page?

Don't let sexual discrepancy discourage your fun in bed—experts say there are ways to work through it

And image of couple in bed black and white looking sad ontop of a graphic designed background
(Image credit: Getty Images/ Betsie Van der Meer)

Despite expectations, sexual discrepancy is inevitable. Couples cannot possibly be romantically in sync 100% of the time.

Although there is a clear desire for passionate connections—a new study says emotional closeness is the strongest fuel for sexual desire, and recent findings from Happn reveal that Gen Z and millennials are on a quest for love in 2022—two parties will never completely agree on everything between the sheets.  

According to psychologist and author Dr. Justin Lehmiller, one in four couples are likely to experience different desires in bed at any given point in time. One partner might want to be playful much more often than the other, and that's OK. 

Before throwing in the towel and labeling your relationship as a flop, take a step back to get on the same page. If you and your S.O. are experiencing sexual discrepancy, there are ways to get over the hurdle. 

How to work on sexual discrepancy

1. Be candid

Talking about sex is the key to greater intimacy. A We-Vibe study has indicates that 85% of couples felt communication and coaching were the best ways in which to improve their bond, and you can only do so by being truthful.

2. Enjoy solo sex

Solo sex makes sex with your partner even better, according to research. (Plus it's responsible for women's most intense orgasms.)  Know what works for you and what doesn't. Then, keeping in mind bullet point #1—being candid—let your desires be known. 

3. Mix things up

If you're looking to reset your sex life, perhaps it's time to introduce something new to your routine—different types of vibrators, new activities and so on. 

Megwyn White, a clinical sexologist and director of education at sexual wellness brand Satisfyer, recommends things like baths, massages and even classes to kick things up a notch. 

4. Schedule sexy time

While marking your 2022 planners with "sexy time" may feel like anything but, a little organization can go a long way. 

“It may feel a bit forced but if there has been no sex for a while it takes a bit of planning to re-establish the pattern," psychotherapist Andre Radmall tells us. "I mention romance, as it is important to establish things like touch, flirting and quality time together.”

Danielle Valente
Digital News Writer

Need a TV show recommendation? Maybe a few decor tips? Danielle, a digital news writer at Future, has you covered. Her work appears throughout the company’s lifestyle brands, including My Imperfect Life, Real Homes, and woman&home. Mainly, her time is spent at My Imperfect Life, where she’s attuned to the latest entertainment trends and dating advice for Gen Z.

Before her time at Future, Danielle was the editor of Time Out New York Kids, where she got to experience the best of the city from the point of view of its littlest residents. Before that, she was a news editor at Elite Daily. Her work has also appeared in Domino, Chowhound, and amNewYork, to name a few. 

When Danielle’s not writing, you can find her testing out a new recipe, reading a book (suggestions always welcome), or rearranging the furniture in her apartment…again.