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 (opens in new tab), 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 (opens in new tab), 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 (opens in new tab) tells us. "I mention romance, as it is important to establish things like touch, flirting and quality time together.”

Danielle is a writer for woman&home and My Imperfect Life, covering all-things news, lifestyle and entertainment. 


The heart of her time at Future has been devoted to My Imperfect Life, where she's been attuned to the cosmos and honed in on astrology coverage within the Life vertical. She's partial to writing pieces about the next big TV obsession—anyone else impatiently waiting for "Conversations with Friends"—and keeping you up to date on new trends like the latest must-have from Zara. 


Before her time at Future, Danielle was the editor of Time Out New York Kids and a news editor at Elite Daily. Her work has also appeared in Domino, Chowhound, amNewYork and Newsday, among other outlets. 


When Danielle is not working, you can usually find her reading a new book, coffee at hand, or attempting a new recipe. (Recommendations always welcome!)