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Ask Izzy: Mismatched sex drives & Poly house drama

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Photo by Ketut Subiyanto Pexels
Photo by Ketut Subiyanto Pexels

Photo by Alex Quetzali @grainy.girl  

My name is Isabel Mata and ever since I was a kid, I have been using my own experiences (and traumas) as a bisexual, neurodivergent chronic over-sharer to help my friends, family, and even random strangers on the internet have stronger relationships, better sex, and healthier mindsets. I find joy in writing about all the things no one else wants to talk about. The more cringe, the better.

Using my experience and my innate ability to connect with empathy, every other week I will respond to your questions about life, love, friendships, sexuality, mental health, and whatever else is on your mind. Nothing is off limits.

Dear Izzy,

I've been with my partner for over a year, and I love her. However, our sex drives don't match up. I'm the hornier one, BY FAR. She comes from a very different background than me — I wasn't raised religious — and I think that might have something to do with it. How do we find our balance? I want it to work out SO BAD.

— Supersexed in Shoreline

Supersexed: I am curious to know more about your sex life. What happens when you are turned on and initiate sex? Do they shut you down and brush it off? What do you do then? Is masturbation an option?

For many people (including myself), sexual intimacy plays a huge role in the success of romantic relationships. It's a great way to build connections, show affection, and release stress! But only if both partners are having their needs met.

My advice is to have a conversation with your partner about how you have been feeling. Once you have shared your point of view, give your partner an opportunity to express how they feel. Are they satisfied with your sex life?

While you may have your own assumptions about how their relationship with sex was impacted by their religious upbringing, it's important to allow them to express it for themselves. Purity culture goes very deep and can sometimes take years to unpack. So don't be disappointed if their answer is unfulfilling.

The most important advice I can give you is to stay true to who you are in all your sexy goodness and know that you can't change your partner. But that doesn't mean the relationship is doomed if you are on different pages. If sex once a week is all they are comfortable with, try solo sex! Remember, masturbation is a great way to release some of that horniness, especially if your partner has a lower sex drive than you.

All it takes is a bit of open communication, love, and gentle boundary setting. You got this!

Photo by cottonbro / Pexels  

Dear Izzy,

My roommates and I are casually seeing one another. There are a lot of us across the gender spectrum. They're all cool, but I feel like there aren't enough boundaries set up and sometimes I feel pressured. Help!

— Poly Polly in the CD

Poly Polly: Wow, this living situation sounds like a lot! While I am sure it is fun at times and great for your sexual exploration, getting involved with roommates, whether sexually or romantically, is always a risky situation for all involved. And not one that I recommend.

I am a firm believer that your home space is sacred, and if clear boundaries are not set, it can become toxic very quickly. Which I worry might be happening to you already. Because I know how difficult it is to find roommates you like, I am not going to tell you to move out. I know it's not realistic, although I do think it would be the most beneficial in the long run, especially if you are already feeling like your boundaries are not being respected.

The alternative is for you to think about what kind of relationship you want to have with your roommates moving forward and reiterate your boundaries. Remember that you are allowed and encouraged to say no to your roommate's advances! And be clear: the clearer the boundary, the easier it will be for them to respect it.

One example is to just no longer date your roommates. While it might be difficult at first if you've been hooking up with any of them, it's okay to change your mind and do what is best for you.

My recommendation is to sit down and have an open conversation with your roommates about how you have been feeling and what boundaries you are going to set moving forward. If you get any pushback and no longer feel safe in your home, it might be time to start looking for a new place to live. I promise there are cool people to date that don't live in your apartment!