“We haven’t had sex in months. This is not what I signed up for, when we got together five years ago.”
These words from a past client, ring in my head now and then, when I think about couples who are dissatisfied with their sex lives.
You can feel in this sentiment, the utter frustration he felt when it came to his unmet expectations.
Over those five years, his experience of their sex life changed, or more than likely, the conversation about sexual compatibility never occurred. This is often the case in new relationships when things are novel and exciting.
He wasn’t experiencing what was important to him, or in other words he and his partner didn’t share the same sex and intimacy values.
I asked him, “Have you and your partner ever explicitly discussed what’s important to each of you when it comes to sex and intimacy? What do you both value in your experience together?”
Have YOU ever talked with your partner about what’s important to you in your sexual and intimate life together?
When you know the answer to these questions, you can explore how to get your values met.
If your values differ (which many do), how do you accommodate those differences?
Talking about sex is one of the most difficult conversations a couple can have. I’d like to offer you a framework you can use to guide your exploration, and hopefully make it a little bit easier.
1 – Identify Your Sex and Intimacy Values
Below are just some of the values that could be part of your preferred experience of sex and intimacy. I’m sure you could add to it (feel free to add any additional values that are important to you).
Which ones stand out to you?
Maybe you want them all (I do 😉), but for this exercise, choose your top 5 and write them down.
Physical Affection – Cuddling, hugging, PDA, hand holding etc.
Presence (present moment attentiveness, listening with interest, )
Passion (letting go into desire, taking and being taken)
Sensuality (touching for pleasure, massage, sensation exploration)
Spontaneity (unplanned sexy time, initiating through surprise or opportunity)
Planned sex (setting a day and time, putting it on the schedule, prioritizing sex)
Playfulness ( humor, laughter, lightness, games, letting your inner child out to play)
I love my couples. They reach out for sex coaching, wanting to create a fulfilling sexual and intimate life. The number one obstacle to achieving their goals is sometimes an unhealthy relationship dynamic. For most of us, opening ourselves to sexuality with our partners requires trust, connection and a sense of emotional safety. If our relationships are being impacted by unhealthy dynamics that leave us triggered and harboring conscious or unconscious resentment, sexuality will be impacted or, at worst no longer exist.
Sexual Trauma and PTSD keep painful memories from our past alive and present in our day to day lives. Hypnotherapy uses the power of your own mind to unlock the hold these memories have on you, by helping your brain process them in a gentle and effective way. If you suffer from trauma, you’re well aware that some memories trigger feelings of present-time fear, keeping you anxious, and on high alert, even though consciously you know you’re no longer in danger. If some of those memories have created Post Traumatic Stress Disorder that means your brain is ‘matching’ those past memories to present day experiences, or what is referred to as ‘pattern matching’ in Hypnotherapy.
When two people get together to form a relationship, there are two sets of wounds merging and intertwining, our partner’s and our own. We know when our old wounds are being dragged into a conflict because our pain and defensiveness will suddenly spike. If our partner is speaking the same words as our inner abuser, the armor will go up, and disagreements will escalate into shouting, tearful battles.
When I hear a woman make such a resounding statement as ‘I’m done with sex’, I imagine a long road of frustration, obligation, unmet desires and unspoken words, leading up to that absolute declaration. Sex is not about obligation, although women have been told it was their obligation for eons of time. Relatively speaking, it wasn’t all that long ago that women were considered the property of a man, and their role in life was having a family and pleasing her husband. (and in many parts of the world still are).