What happens in the sexual relationship when you have two different personalities? One person’s a planner and one person wants more spontaneity. Listen in as Olivia and I discuss the different personalities that she and her husband have and how to maximize her gifts to create a sexual relationship that works for the both of them.
Amanda: Welcome to the podcast, Olivia. What can I help you with today?
Olivia: Well, so I have something that I think is a personality difference, but it might be more than that.
Olivia: So my husband and I have been married for 11 years. We are in our mid forties, and I was married previously, so I have experience with a previous partner.
And what has happened is my first husband was very quick and very selfish in the bedroom. So that, you know, I have way better experience with my second marriage, however, my husband takes a long time. And I think this is why I say it might be a personality difference. I’m like a very quick, get things done, let’s move.
I can put a lot of things in my day and in my schedule. He does not like to be overscheduled. He takes his time. He’s very detail oriented. And so I’m, you know, like I would be fine with quickies more often and he likes to draw out the experience.
And then as we’ve gotten older, I’m like, he’s taking a long time to come and I’m like, okay, is this a medical issue? Is this like psychological? Is this just personality? But because it takes so long and it feels like such a major event, our frequency is very low and I think both of us are frustrated with it. Between our schedules, like we have quite an age range of kids, from young kids to older kids and so our evenings get interrupted. Like sometimes it is just scheduling, but then sometimes I’m like, okay, I know we’re not being bothered right now. We have time, but I’m like, I just don’t feel like an hour long process, you know?
So anyway, I’ve even researched like, is this a medical issue and I can’t find anything. But then I’ve also, this is, maybe I’m giving you more information, but I’ve been hesitant to bring it up too much cuz I know recently he’s been frustrated and so I’m like, okay, if it really is a medical issue, I don’t want to be like, Hey, this really bothers me because I don’t want him to feel like I’m puting pressure on him cuz of course we all know when there’s pressure, things really don’t work out the way we like them to. So anyway, feel free to ask more questions. That is the main issue.
Amanda: Okay. So let’s first talk about this delayed ejaculation. I think that will be the first thing and then we can dig into some of the other stuff. So how long has this been going on?
Olivia: I would say definitely the last three to five years. I mean, I didn’t journal about this, so I’m not exactly sure. But just overall, even like when we were first married, and that’s why I thought it was just like a personality thing. Like he liked to savor and have lots of foreplay. And, I mean, I’m sure some women are like so jealous, right?
Like, you should be enjoying this. And here I’m like…
Amanda: We’re gonna get to that, Olivia, we’re gonna get to that. But I think like, we just wanna talk about the delayed ejaculation for just a few minutes because I, that’s an important piece, um, health-wise. Right.
Amanda: So there are a lot of, um, different things that can create delayed ejaculation for men.
It can, for some men it’s lifelong, some are acquired, some it’s generalized and some it’s situational. It can come from health issues, so it can come from, um, just different things that are happening in your body. Because it’s, um, fairly new, it hasn’t always been there, then there might be some underlying health issues that have come up.
Medications can also cause it, so I don’t know if he’s been on any new medications the last three to five years.
Olivia: I will have to check. I know he is taking some medications, but he, I’m really grateful. He handles his own health and doctor’s appointments, so I should check that.
Amanda: Certain antidepressants, blood pressure medications, diuretics, antipsychotic, anti-seizure, um, those kinds of medications can create delayed ejaculation and then there can also be some psychological issues, um, depression, anxiety, or other mental health conditions. Anxiety about performance, poor body image, um, some cultural…
Olivia: Oh, that could be part of it. Both of us have gained weight in our forties, so now that you’re bringing that up, that could be part of.
Amanda: Okay. So cultural or religious stuff can be part of it. Um, differences between the reality of sex versus, um, like sexual fantasies. So there’s a myriad of reasons. Um, but you said like you didn’t wanna bring it up with him because you don’t wanna create more pressure because you can see that he might himself be feeling frustrated.
So how do you think you could bring this up with him that maybe wouldn’t create pressure?
Olivia: I probably could ask like, Hey, is it something I’m doing or something I’m not doing? Or is there, is there something I could be doing that could make it more pleasurable for you? Or, you know, along those lines.
Amanda: Okay. So I think that’s a definite possibility, but also just talking to him about what you are seeing in him, so not like, Hey, I’ve noticed you’ve been taking a long time, but…
Olivia: Yeah, that’s what I’m trying not to say.
Amanda: Right. Which is like, I get that, but also saying, I am noticing that you are frustrated with how long it’s taking you to come. Is that right? Because a lot of times we think we know, but we don’t actually know what they’re feeling or, you know, I’m seeing frustration, but I don’t know if I’m reading you correctly. Is that right? What are you feeling?
And you know, you have your own frustrations with it, which we’re going to talk about, right. But just trying to understand him and where he is coming from and what this is creating for him. And then you can say, Because I’ve been noticing this, like I’ve been trying to do some research on it. Are you interested in hearing what I found?
Now, you said you haven’t found a whole lot in the research, but you’re getting some from me, right?
Olivia: Right. I am now.
Amanda: That there are psychological, medication issues or physical issues and there can be some things that might be worth looking into, and you know, a lot of times men are reluctant about going to the doctor to deal with ejaculation issues or whatever.
But because this could be some sort of medical issue, it’s probably worth looking into because you love him and you care about him, and you wanna make sure that there’s not something underlying that could be causing this, that could be causing him further problems.
Olivia: Yeah, I think that’s, that makes a lot of sense.
Amanda: And the truth if it is, is he may feel pressure, he may be upset that you’re talking about this, but most likely that’s coming from his own shame about it or his own frustrations about it, and we get to let him feel whatever he needs to feel. But you are coming from the best in you where you’re talking about like, I’m worried because I see what’s happening for you, and I also am worried about your health because I love you and I want you to be here and I want you to be healthy and okay.
Olivia: Yeah, and that’s why I have been, when I said I’ve been researching, it has been like these underlying issues. Is there something going on that causes this that I’m unaware? Cuz it’s certainly not talked about much.
Amanda: No, it’s really not. But so a good place for him to start, well, besides you guys talking about it, a good place for him to start would be to either see his general practitioner or a urologist.
Those would be the two things that I would recommend for him just on the physical side of this. And if it doesn’t turn out to be any sort of physical thing, it could be psychological, so he may want some coaching or to see a sex therapist, or to just see a therapist in general. Maybe there’s some anxiety there about it, and it tends to be common for a lot of men that if they have an issue once, then they have anxiety that it’s going to happen again, and it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Olivia: Oh, that actually makes a lot of sense. Yeah.
Amanda: Yeah. So, you know, it could be just him having anxiety about it happening. That’s actually creating it.
Olivia: That could very well be. Yeah.
Amanda: Okay. All right, so now let’s get into why it’s a problem for you.
Amanda: Okay. So you said that you like things, you know, you don’t wanna spend as long as he does. You don’t want things drawn out. You got, you got stuff to do.
Olivia: Right? Every once in a while would be great, but usually it’s like, yeah, if we could just all be happy and move on our merry way, that’d be fabulous.
Amanda: Okay, so tell me why it’s a problem for you to take your time for sex.
Olivia: Oh, I have not thought about that.
Um, I know sometimes it’s really cuz I’m tired. Like, okay, if this could be done in 15 minutes, that’d be fabulous, but if it’s gonna be an hour, I just wanna go to bed. I think that’s probably my biggest hangup is I wanna go to sleep. And it’s not always even at night, but then sometimes it’s even morning, right?
Like, I have a list of things to do and this was not on the list. So yeah, it’s probably…
Amanda: Why isn’t it on the list?
Olivia: Oh, uh, that. That is something I need to make more a priority. Yeah. This is good that I’m talking to you.
Amanda: Yes. This is why we do this. Right?
So I just want you to notice that it’s not something that you’ve prioritized, that you think is important enough to put on your list.
Olivia: I’m taking notes.
Amanda: Good. Notes are a good thing.
Olivia: Yeah. I don’t wanna forget this. Yeah. Make a priority for sure.
Amanda: Okay. So why isn’t it a priority for you?
Olivia: I don’t know. I think that like a lot of times I’m not in the mood, but he gets me in the mood. Right? And so then I’m. Well, that was great. That was wonderful. But why am I not there already? Why am I not looking forward to it?
Amanda: Because most likely you have responsive desire. Are you familiar with that term?
Olivia: I am not.
Amanda: Okay. So this comes from the work of Emily Nagoski in the book Come As You Are, and she talks about two different kinds of desire, spontaneous desire, which is what we typically think of with desire, where it just kind of appears out of nowhere. Okay? Now the majority of men and some women have spontaneous desire.
And for men it makes a lot of sense because they have testosterone, which is the physiological driver for sex. So they have all this testosterone coursing through our bodies. Now, women have testosterone too, but in very small amounts compared to a man about like a 10th compared to a man. So typical men have about a thousand nanograms per deciliter. Women at the age of 18 have 76. And by the time we’re 40, it’s half that.
So, you know,we don’t have nearly as much testosterone in our bodies as men do. So it makes a lot of sense why we don’t have that physiological drive and that spontaneous desire a lot. Okay. But the majority of women and some men, have responsive desire, which means it responds to stimuli.
So unless you are thinking about it or hearing things or watching things on tv, or you’re reading a book, or even using your imagination, desire’s probably not going to be there. And then on top of that, we also need to be touched. So if you’re not thinking about it and creating this desire like in your mind already and you’re not willing to be touched, how are you ever going to feel desire?
Olivia: Yeah, probably not.
Amanda: Probably not.
Amanda: But the fact that you said like, but once we get going, I actually really enjoy it. I’m like, oh, why didn’t I remember this? Right? That tells me that you probably have responsive desire because once you get going and that arousal kicks in, then with responsive desire, that desire comes after arousal, not before.
And we tend to think like it’s supposed to be desire and then arousal. Right? And for women, it’s usually opposite of that.
Olivia: I would definitely fall into that category.
Amanda: Okay. So this is just good to know, right?
Amanda: Because if you know, I have responsive desire, so I need to actually be thinking and working on my mindset around it, and then I need to be touched in order for that to kick in. And guess what? I actually like it. And so I want to do that. I want to make it a priority in my life to do these things so that I can be more sexual with my husband and actually want it more.
But there has to be that willingness, that willingness to think about it and that willingness to even try and be touched because you know that once you get going, you actually do enjoy it.
Olivia: Yes. Yeah. And sometimes I say, I’m not in the mood, but I’m in the mood to get in the mood.
Amanda: Yes. I love that. I love that. And so that’s just recognizing that in yourself, like, I need to make this a priority in my life. So that means I need to be doing what I need to do in my mind and have a willingness to be touched, because I know that I enjoy it once we get going.
Olivia: Yeah, that makes a lot of sense.
Amanda: Okay. Now, I’m guessing you would probably say that your relationship with your husband is a high priority for you.
Amanda: But what’s more important, your to-do list or connecting with him?
Olivia: Yeah. Clearly it’s connecting with him and I need to make that a higher priority.
Amanda: But that’s not what we do as women. That’s not what we do as moms. Like we have so many things to do, so many things on our mind, right. That we often put connecting with him, even though we say he’s our biggest priority, we put it further down on the list.
Olivia: Yeah. I’m so guilty of that for sure.
Amanda: Right. And this is not like, you know, let’s have a guilt session, Olivia. No, this is not what this is. Right. But this is just about bringing awareness to what’s actually happening so that you can actually create the relationship and the sexual relationship that you want and desire, and it’s gonna be fulfilling for both of you.
Olivia: Yeah. Yeah, and I do think I, I mean, yeah, I feel like we’re dealing with two different issues here. One is like the, you know, possibly medical issue or maybe it is. I do think like when you brought up anxiety, he has a lot of anxiety and so yes, that could be totally feeding itself. That, that’s like, oh, okay. That makes so much sense in what we deal with in our family. So, that’s one part. Yeah.
And the next part is me. Yes. It’s me. And that’s the part I have control over.
Amanda: Yes, and to spend the time and energy it takes to have a good sexual experience with him.
Olivia: Yeah, and like the thing is, it’s like almost always good, like very, I mean, you know, 0.05%, like ugh. But I mean, it’s just the frequency is the issue for us.
Amanda: Right, because you’re thinking, well, we just need to be quick about this and get it over with because I got things to do.
And it sounds like your husband actually has a really good perspective that he just wants to relish in the experience. He wants to spend as much time as possible in pleasure with you.
Olivia: Yes! Yeah, and it is, like I said, it is personality, but my personality can shift. I don’t have to be go-go all the time.
Amanda: Well, and there’s nothing wrong with, you know, getting things done and having a to-do list and all that kind of stuff. But when it gets in the way of having a connected experience with your spouse, I think that can cause an issue.
Olivia: Yeah, absolutely. No, I appreciate that.
Amanda: We just kinda just have to like shift our perspective on that.
And maybe you’re like a lot of women that I know. I might be one of them too. That gets a lot of validation and pride from checking off the to-do list and getting things done.
Olivia: Yeah. And then sometimes it’s just like necessary.
Amanda: Well, and yes, with a big family and kids, like there’s lots of things to do, right?
Olivia: Yes. There’s always plenty. My list is always longer than my day, so yes, I need to prioritize.
Amanda: Absolutely. Absolutely. But that’s really when we have to look at the list and go, What truly matters.
Amanda: You know, what’s most important here?
Olivia: Well, and I, I mean, you just bringing this up makes me realize that it would feed into itself, right?
Like if I, if I’m putting him as a priority, that might lower his anxiety. You know, like it’s, it all feeds into itself.
Amanda: Yes, I’m glad you’re noticing that.
Olivia: Connecting the dots.
Amanda: Yes, yes. So one thing that you said earlier is sex feels like it’s this, um, this has to be this major event.
Olivia: Yeah. Because yeah, when I’m like, okay, can we just get this done and move on? And so I need to prioritize more. Enjoy the experience and, and he’s wonderful. He’s really good. So yeah. I’m grateful for that.
Amanda: Yes. He’s not like the quickie selfish husband, like the first one. But are you being kind of like that, where you’re like, Nope, let’s just get this over with?
Olivia: Yeah. Ooh, ouch. That hurts a little. Mm, yeah. Yeah. I don’t wanna be that way. Yeah. You know, true connection versus checking things off a list.
Amanda: Well, and when you think this is a major event, how does that make you feel?
Olivia: Um, okay, so just major event, just that in itself, major events are rare, right? They are. You have to, there’s a lot of preparation and buildup and a lot of work goes into it. You know, like if you have like a wedding that you’re, you know, if you have a child getting married, like so much work goes into something like that cuz it’s a major event and it, it shouldn’t be that way.
It should be a frequent, wonderful event.
Amanda: Okay. Okay. But I just want you, I, I want you to think about like, when you think like sex is a major event, what feeling does that bring up in you.
Olivia: Um, it’s not something I look forward to, you know, like just that phrase, so yeah. Labeling it that way.
Amanda: Well, but like, but I mean, is it reluctant? Is there some anxiety there?
Olivia: Probably reluctant and then, um oh, okay. I have the feel it, hold on. The words coming to me. Obligatory, like it’s an obligation. That’s the word. You know, like when you have to attend an event that you really don’t want to, but you know, you have to, you know, that’s, yeah. That’s the feeling that comes up.
Amanda: Okay. So when you’re thinking that sex is a major event and then it feels like it’s obligatory, like, I have to do this. How are you gonna be showing up in the bedroom?
Olivia: Obviously not excited. And, um, yeah, definitely some, some down energy, uh, you know, some, ugh.
Amanda: Yeah, probably not the way you wanna be showing up sexually in your relationship.
Olivia: No, and I feel so bad for him to have to like, pull me out of that to get me, you know, like, yeah, more work for him when if I could show up excited and looking forward to it, the whole process would be better and it would be, well, it might be faster if he’s not having to dig me out of a pit first.
Amanda: Right? Such an interesting perspective. So by you thinking like, oh, it’s this huge major event that, you know, I have to show up for and it takes all this prep and all this work and then it feels obligatory.
Olivia: Yeah. Like, that’s horrible. That’s not who I want to be. For sure.
Amanda: Well, let’s not judge what’s happening. This is just building awareness, right?
Amanda: We really don’t wanna judge it. Like this is just like, oh, this is what’s happening. And so then we can start to shift our perspective on what we want it to be and how we want to show up and what we want to be thinking and feeling about it.
That will hopefully create a better experience for both of you.
Olivia: Yeah, the awareness is key. You know? So thank you for being so honest and pointing out where I can make an effort.
Amanda: That’s my job, right? That’s my job as a coach.
Olivia: Well, and you do it in such a kind way though, you know?
Amanda: Well, I would hope so. Because you are not alone in this, Olivia, there are so many women out there who are thinking about things the same way that you are. And this is gonna help them too, build that awareness in themselves so they can start to make shifts. Because so many women do this. It is not just you.
Olivia: That is great to know. But, that’s not how I want it to be, which is why I was willing to come on like, okay, this is not going well. And so yes, if I can help anyone else through my experience, I am happy to be open about it.
Amanda: Okay, so let’s talk about maybe how you want to start shifting things. What do you wanna be thinking? What do you wanna be feeling? How do you wanna be showing up in your sexual relationship with your husband?
Olivia: Okay, so I want to be showing up, um, like excited but not, um, not like when you first get married excited, right?
Amanda: No, no. That could be fun.
Olivia: That is, but just, yeah, with a lightness. Light is the word I’m looking for. And then, um, and I know he will respond so well to that.
Amanda: I’m sure.
Olivia: And with some, you know, maybe some surprises, pull some things out that we haven’t done for a while or things I haven’t worn for a while, you know, to make it more fun.
Amanda: Can you imagine the look on his face and how he’s gonna be thinking and feeling when you show up differently?
Olivia: Oh, he will be so happy. Yes, I’m sure.
Amanda: I’m sure.
Olivia: Yeah. I definitely know that we can improve our communication, but it’s not that we haven’t communicated, so I just know that if I make it a priority, he will be so just be grateful and it’ll make him feel really loved, you know?
Amanda: Yeah, yeah. Well, and when we’re showing up as our best self in this situation, it helps other people show up as their best self too, right? When you’re showing up as your best self and coming from, you know, this excited lightness in you to be there with him, like it’s gonna help him feel so good too.
Olivia: Yeah, and it might help some of that anxiety that I think is an issue, right?
Amanda: Okay. So if you wanna feel excited and have that lightness about you, what do you think you need to be thinking? If you’re thinking right now like, oh, it’s a major event.
Olivia: Yeah, no, I need to start much earlier in my day to be thinking about sex. You know, and I’ve heard that this is pretty common for women, you know.
Amanda: Yes, it is.
Olivia: We’re busy with all the stuff, but if I plan, you know, like if I plan something so that I have something to look forward to and I know he’s gonna be excited. It all starts in my head, you know, well, it can start in my head. So yes, that would be, yeah. Planning for me of how I’m gonna show up will totally make things, um, it’ll shift it for sure.
Amanda: Yeah. So a lot of people like schedule sex. Some people don’t like it. A lot of people are like, oh, I just want it to be spontaneous. Right? But if you know that you’re a planner, you can schedule it and never tell him. So he thinks it’s spontaneous, but you know that you’re planning it and you’re getting in the right frame of mind where you need to be in your head and that makes it easier for you to show up the way that you want when the time comes.
Olivia: Yeah. I like that idea that I plan it and he doesn’t know that it’s planned. I think that’s brilliant.
Amanda: Yeah. Because that fits in with your personality, right?
Amanda: But it also gives him maybe the spontaneity that he likes too.
Olivia: Yeah. He doesn’t like things on his calendar, so it. Yeah. If I put it on a calendar, it would probably be a bit of a zinger for him. Like yeah, he wouldn’t love that.
Amanda: Probably not with his personality. Sounds like it, but it works with your personality.
Olivia: Exactly. Right. I like that idea.
Amanda: It’s using those things to your advantage. Okay, well, what if he wants to throw in a morning session that’s not on your calendar? What are you gonna do then?
Olivia: Um, I need to go with it. I need to put my list aside and go with it.
Amanda: And you can totally do that. You can also say, you know what, I’ve got a really busy day and I’m not in the mental space for this, but let’s plan on tonight cuz I do want to connect with you. That’s okay.
Olivia: Yeah. And yeah, there might be times that it’s, that going with it doesn’t work out like I really have obligations or appointments that I have to handle.
Amanda: Yeah. So I think if you’re going to, you know, turn him down or you know that with where you are in your head, it’s not gonna be an experience that’s really gonna be connecting between the two of you, it’s okay to offer an alternative, you just have to actually follow through on it.
Olivia: Yes, the follow through. Yeah.
Amanda: Okay. Olivia, is there anything else you wanna discuss before we end?
Olivia: No, I really appreciate this because I was coming at it from one angle and certainly recognize that I need to work on myself or that’s really the only person I can work on. So I recognize that and I can use my energy to shift things how I show up.
Amanda: Okay. So you kind of did just a little bit, but I always like at the end for everybody to kind of just recap for themselves what they’re gonna take away from this session. Just kind of help solidify the things that we’ve talked about.
Olivia: Okay. So I will find a time when it seems, maybe a time when it’s just the two of us, but we’re not in the bedroom so that we can have a discussion about possible medical issues. But not like at the moment, because I don’t want that to be, not the time for that conversation, but then I am going to prepare myself by, you know, picking out an outfit or, I don’t know. Like, just getting in my mind, like planning basically in my mind so that I could, it’ll be a surprise to him because it’ll be planned to me and I think that will go a long way, and I need to do that often.
I need to put it on my list if even, you know, whatever the, maybe not an actual list, but I need to make sure that he’s a priority and our relationship is a priority.
Amanda: Absolutely. Well, thank you so much for being here with me today.
Olivia: Well, thank you. You are wonderful and I appreciate your knowledge and your guidance, so thank you so much.
Amanda: I wanna thank Olivia for coming on with me today, and I want you to think about how you are thinking about your sexual relationship and what emotions do those thoughts create for you, and how are you showing up in that relationship when you’re thinking and feeling those things. Those are the keys to creating a better sexual relationship.
Thanks so much for joining me today. We will be back for another episode on May 2nd.