Incongruent desire can be one of the most painful aspects of long term relationship or even any relationship. It's when one person wants more erotic play than the other --- or a different kind of play. It can feel painful to make erotic bids for attention and not be met (because as we know making bids for erotic attention can feel incredibly vulnerable). And what is true is that if we stop making erotic bids all sexiness dies. Unmatched desire does not have to kill a lovership but it needs care and cultivation. Remember, that it can be really hard on the person that is not wanting to meet their lover in their desires (all the time) and can feel pushed or even annoyed. What is true is lovers can work with different levels of desire by using some creative techniques that can support each other and bring you even closer.
Acknowledge your partner's bid for erotic attention in a loving and if possible a sexy way. "Oh you want me, do you?" 'Let's see how we will play together". Words of reassurance and availability is helpful.
Consider holding your lover and reaching for a sexy toy. You can make a game of out if. If you are not in the same place of hotness as your partner, you can still show up for them and give them a piece of yourself without rejecting their desire.
Desire can change. You may not be in the mood to meet your partner, but sometimes if you meet them a little bit you might find that your arousal kicks in and you can meet them full on.
Offer something that does turn you on. Ropes? Watching a movie? And invite your partner into a place that turns you on.
Consider making the pleasure just for them. What fun game can you offer your partner that does not require you to bring your body fully in? Erotic massage?
There are many ideas. Lovers often feel so frustrated when sexual needs don't always align. A sexual shyness can happen for the lover who is not sure if they will be met. Ultimately this will shut down your lover which is something no one wants. So, instead of saying "NO", how about welcoming their desire and experimenting with ways to meet this person that you love --- that does not violate your boundaries and supports the next time when your desire may match perfectly. What do you think? What is helpful for you? Loving you from here, Pamela Madsen