You can’t argue someone into loving you, yet in effect that’s the conflict that many no-sex or low-sex couples find themselves in on a daily basis. Chronic anger around a couple’s sexuality poisons a relationship and stresses their emotional bond. Although these pressure tactics can work in the world outside of the bedroom, power struggles in the bedroom only end in frustration and conflict.
Sexual desire discrepancy in long-term relationships isn’t an anomaly, it’s built-in to the lifestyle of cohabitation, and is pretty much guaranteed to develop at some point within the first 1-3 years of a new relationship. Desire discrepancy is normal, it’s to be expected, yet it remains one of the most painful and destabilizing challenges a couple has to face.
No matter how dry your sex life is right now, there’s a path forward for you as a couple. Just like anything in nature, change is constant. Everything has an ebb and a flow, an expansion and a contraction, a rising and a falling. So it is with intimacy and sexuality in relationships.
You see it everywhere, “How to have hotter sex now.” “Reignite the passion in your relationship.” “Get the magic back in the bedroom.” Online ads, magazine headlines, sex therapy advice, even TV shows all name the same problem. It’s pretty clear that they’re all speaking to an issue that is extremely common in relationships. Sexual dissatisfaction.
I coach people of all ages and cultures who have expressed their reluctance to include sex toys in their intimate time with a partner. They either suspect, or have been told that their partner is worried that a good vibrator will replace them in the bedroom.
If sex is not on your mind these days, don’t beat yourself up about it. Our bodies are not designed to think about sex when our brains are communicating that we may be in danger. We can’t convince our bodies that we’re safe, when in fact we’re not. When stress is dictating our lack of sexual desire, we need to find ways to regulate our stress. We may not be able to avoid stress, but we can learn to manage it.
Sensual, Tantra, Romance, Passion, Fetish and Kink are all spectrums within the wide world of human sexual expression. Where we find ourselves on that spectrum is part of our journey. Personally, it’s my belief that we narrow our sexual identity far too quickly in life, and exclude other avenues to arousal before we’ve even investigated them fully.
Consider these two statements: Men don’t want to talk about their feelings. Women don’t want to talk about sex. What an interesting conundrum. Let’s look at how this might play out.
Ask most couples about the early stages of their relationship, and they’ll remember the ease they experienced around sex and intimacy. They’ll stare off into space with memories of testosterone-driven lust and estrogen flooding seduction.
What I’ve noticed is that millennials have outgrown the notion that therapy is somehow shameful, or a secret not to be shared. It’s more likely that they will have sought out a therapist who helped guide them through challenging times. Most of these young couples show up with the awareness that coaching is not just for the broken relationships that are in their ‘last resort’ phase, but rather millennials see coaching as a tool to help create happy and fulfilling intimate relationships.