Boundaries and Limitations

It’s on to the next post about identifying a LL partner.

5. The LL person will generally have more boundaries and limitations on sexual practices. There are a slew of us on here that have partners who refuse to have oral sex with us. Some are okay with giving and more are okay with receiving, but it is almost universal that our LL partners will have some aversion to oral sex in some way. Or in any way, as in the case with my DW. The absence of variety and kinkiness may relate to the dearth of a fantasy life for LL people. 69ing is not a regular component of the menu for any of us HL CL folks.


If I had to pick one single and nearly universal hallmark of the LL, this would be it.  If I had to have only one litmus test for Low Libido, it would be this one. 


Libido is sort of a relative thing.  In every couple, someone is going to want more sex than the other.  No two people are going to like the exact same things to the exact same degree.  But the real clash occurs when the divide between what one likes and enjoys and what the other will only tolerate becomes too large.  My wife loves stroganoff.   I’m okay with it and I’ll eat it just because she likes it.  I wouldn’t probably eat it as much as she’d like but will happily do it for her pleasure.  And so, with sex a HL person will have more flexible and wider boundaries.  They’ll do and try more things because there is intimacy to be had even in those other things less preferred.


However, most LL folks have very narrow and rigid boundaries.  They simply will not endure any amount of discomfort in order to derive pleasure for the sake of their partner’s pleasure.  In fact, this may be a foreign concept to them, the idea of deriving pleasure from their partner’s sexual pleasure.  Actually this characteristic might be included as an addendum: The diminished capacity to derive pleasure from their partner’s sexual pleasure.


Everyone has some sort of limitation.  Not everyone is in to every kind of play.  However the LL person may not see sex as play at all.  To them it is more of a procedure like going to the doctor or dentist:


“Mrs. Jones, your husband will see you now for your yearly sex.”


Or maybe worse:


“I’m sorry to have to tell you this, Mrs. Jones, but your husband would like to have sex with you.  I’m dreadfully sorry.”


When the sex does occur, it is likely to be very scripted following a fairly set pattern:  Backrub, kiss, fondle, kiss, position, rub, plunge, rock hips, kiss, fondle, rock hips…repeat as necessary.  Climb off, shower, sleep.


Heaven forbid a deviation or flipping of that script.  Sex will likely stop and it may be a very long time before it happens again.  Sex is not seen as an adventure but more as something that is best done and gotten over with as quickly as possible.


This might explain why foreplay is not a major item on the menu.  Foreplay stretches the encounter out, which the LL people HATE.  It makes things last longer and may involve more senses and more arousal.  It involves relating in an ever-deepening way physically.   More sexual variety involves having a more open mind, and given the rigid thinking most LL individuals exhibit when relating sexually this means moving well outside the comfort zone and into DIScomfort.  In extreme cases, new sexual experiences may increase anxiety and even result in revulsion to the point of nausea.


Anyone who is contemplating deepening a commitment to someone with very narrow and rigid sexual boundaries should avoid doing so if they are not similarly inclined.  It is misery and disaster simply waiting to happen.  Because over time, their boundaries will become MORE narrow and rigid, not less.   


Someone will invariably point out an exception to this, where they or their spouse became less inhibited over time.  They are an exception not the rule, trust me.


Having said that, what about those of us who are stuck with the narrow, rigid LL partner?  Is there any way to lessen our suffering?  Or do we just have to be thankful when and if we get anything at all?  Is there a point where we’ve gone as far as we can in reforming ourselves and trying to bridge the gap with our partner?  Is there a point at which we might be permitted to say, “We’ve suffered enough.”?


As we’ve previously discussed, LL individuals do not like investing a lot of time, thought, energy or conversation to the topic of sex.  However, in order to bridge the libido gap those are exactly the resources that it will take to deal with the issues.  The defining characteristic of a HL person is the fact that sex is extremely important to them.  The defining characteristic of the LL person is the minimal priority they allocate towards sex.  The boundaries and limitations are simply an extension of their sexual identity or lack thereof. 


So solving this factor is daunting and challenging to say the least.  Instilling the desire to solve it would be considered the first, biggest and most important step making it work.  Once the LL person exhibits a desire to deal with this aspect of the relationship, half the battle is already won.  Getting to that point may take a crisis event like the imminent dissolution of the marriage or relationship.


I’m going to say again, if you are not married and see rigid and narrow boundaries, I would back off and consider other options.  Marriage will only worsen the libido gap if there already is one beforehand.





8 Responses to “Boundaries and Limitations”

  1. Tom Allen Says:

    I was (briefly) married to someone like this. She faked it up until just before we married, and then told me. She said that she needed to security of being married before she could be more comfortable. She either lied or was horribly fooling herself.

    Worse, she would only have sex with me (in exactly the scripted way you described) after several glasses of wine. I think that we only had sex a few times when she was sober.

    And yes, this was over 25 years (and 25 pounds) ago when I still had hair.

  2. diggerjones Says:

    “She said that she needed to security of being married before she could be more comfortable. She either lied or was horribly fooling herself.”


    This is *exactly* what she said and the way it played out with Arwyn. Except for the drinking part.

  3. FTN Says:

    Everything you write here about foreplay, boundaries, the scripted pattern… All of that could easily apply to me. And sometimes, it does. Good points, all of them.

    But I think in my case, things aren’t exactly as you describe for a couple of reasons:

    1) My wife and I truly love each other and care about the relationship, even if this one aspect of it is occasionally rocky. She cares about my feelings, even if I sometimes have to remind her how we demonstrate that properly in a physical way.
    2) I’m proactive about the situation and I have worked very hard at not letting things always be scripted and limited. I’m gaining ground on finding ways to do this without it being construed as “pressure.” I do remind her that we want our sex to be playful, fun, and (maybe someday) adventurous. I won’t let it be a doctor visit (although in the right context, that might be fun too).
    3) All of this leads up to compromise. You mentioned HL people are often more willing to compromise. For LL people, I think it goes back to #1 and #2 above. Love, communication, and effort.

  4. Desmond Jones Says:

    OK, since someone will ‘invariably’ point out an exception to this, it might as well be me. . .

    For the first 20+ years of our marriage, Molly wanted no part of oral sex. Check that – she was occasionally willing to give it, but receiving it was just out-of-bounds. I’m not sure exactly what changed (maybe it just took her 20 years to trust me enough, I don’t know), but at some point, she was willing to give it a try, and thus tried, she found that she liked it. So, it can change. In the same time frame, she’s also been willing to experiment with different positions, locations, etc (last summer we made love in the car for the first time ever), that she never showed any interest in, and whereas for years she claimed not to be all that interested in her own orgasms, in recent months, she’s much more agressive about getting them.

    Having said all that, I don’t think I would say she was ever LL. Frequency has never been an issue, and she has always been a willing and eager participant. And she has always derived a lot of her own pleasure from the pleasure she was giving me. So – boundaries? Yeah, I’ve seen that. But they haven’t been permanent, and her libido has always been just fine. . .

  5. Hazel Says:

    I’m low libido but have none of the limiting boundaries you protray as ‘innate’/more inclined for/to LL people. I give and receive oral sex, and will do most things (I can’t think of anything I’ve said no to, just to please him lol -ooops apart from anal sex). I just don’t get the pleasure from sex, no satisfaction. I have given up (almost) thinking is it him or is it me (i.e. am I just not a feeling person, or is he no good at sex?). I just don’t want to do something which gives me bugger all pleasure — and leaves me high and dry (well not particularly high or dry lol)…but you know what I mean.

  6. Hazel Says:

    sorry for the typo (well who said ‘protray’ was a word?!!) :S argh.

  7. 2amsomewhere Says:

    I don’t have a contact e-mail for you, Digger, but I’ve bestowed you with a Thinking Blogger Award. Details may be found here:


  8. 2amsomewhere Says:

    I know that with my own experiences, the ever closing range of sexual behaviors that my wife will engage in is reaching the point of intolerability for me. Case in point, consider my wife’s remark that she feels less stressed about pleasuring me with her hands as long as there is a layer of clothing between her and me.

    Having not had much of a sexual history before we started dating 15 years ago, it took a while for me to realize just how out of whack this boundary shrinkage was. Had it not been for blogs such as yours, I would probably be driving myself crazy in isolation trying to figure it out.

    I now believe that her responses to sexual behavior are because her brain registers them as violations of her integrity, and she’s at a point where she can’t hide from them any more. She’s not on antidepressants, and her hormones have been OKed by lab tests. She said her doctor recommended drinking a glass or two of wine before sex, but she hates wine.

    The self confrontation that I’ve been going through the past year has helped me to realize that I need to stop worrying about why she doesn’t want to have sex with me and ask myself why I want to have sex with her.

    If it’s going to be that disturbing for her to touch my penis with her bare hands, then I need to either just accept this bizarre arrangement or finally say, “I can’t love someone who finds me so repulsive. Buh bye.”


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