Recently, a common theme that has come up in my therapy practice (for some reason the issues I see tend to come in waves) is that some couples aren’t satisfied with the amount of sex they have in their relationship, or more accurately, one person in the relationship isn’t satisfied with the amount of sex they are having. Magazines racks are full of articles that say “25 ways to wow him in bed,” and then there are commercials for Cialis and other male enhancement products. Here’s the thing: It’s all crap. There is no one move that will miraculously make someone want more sex for the rest of your life just like Cialis isn’t going to be the answer to you having more sex if the desire isn’t there. Sex is more than what “naughty” things you do in the bedroom and how long a guy can keep it up. Emotional needs are foundational to a couple having sex. That’s why a new relationship is often when people are at their horniest for each other. Falling for someone gives a chemical stimulant that gives the false idea that everything is perfect and wonderful, which is why people will think their new affair partner is the answer to their unhappiness. Truth is an affair is just an inappropriate use of brain chemicals. Give it some time and that relationship will be just as dulls-ville as the marriage. A lack of bedroom romping can be affected by a number of issues, which we will look at below. I’m pointing out reasons people want less sex in order to give a starting point for what can be done. Addressing the source is always important.
Random fact from my experience: Most women have a harder time recovering from a guy having an emotional affair (i.e. “How can you open your heart to her and not me?”) whereas most men have a harder time getting over their partner having a physical affair (i.e. “Why aren’t I man enough to satisfy you?”). It’s interesting how both take it personally, but in a different way.
Top 10 Reasons People Aren’t having Enough Sex in their Relationship
- Difference in Desire: A major problem for satisfaction is the two people have a different number of times they want ‘sexual healing’ in the week (e.g. once vs five makes a big difference).
- Someone’s a Slob: Having to clean up after someone is a huge turn off.
- Nagging & Controlling: Here’s a description rarely sought after in a dating profile: (person) “My favourite thing about you is how you’re so good at making me feel inadequate.”
- Superiority Issues: When someone is cold, has an unpleasant demeanor or acts like they’re always right (i.e. passive aggressive), that’s a huge mojo killer.
- Overwhelmed: If your partner has bad anxiety or stress, their interest in sex will be greatly reduced unless you take the time to emotionally sooth them and feel safe with you, but even that’s not a guarantee because anxiety can have a crippling effect.
- Lack of Emotional Connection: If there is a lack of intimacy, emotional connection, or foreplay like massage good luck making either side interested.
- Lack of Trust, Respect, or Sense of Safety: If you can’t tell your partner something personal without fear of being attacked that’s a bad sign. If either person doesn’t feel like an equal you have something very important to work on.
- Style Clash: Does what you want in sex make your partner feel uncomfortable? Some people just don’t like 50 Shades of Grey. This isn’t an attack on you or mean the other person is a prude, and needs to be addressed very carefully in order to not make either person feel attacked or like a freak or forced into something uncomfortable. If the desire is for something like a threesome or swapping then this becomes a moral issue and typically best not even fantasized about as it can lead to affairs.
- Beggar: If your partner says no to sex, the worst thing you can do is keep bugging them for it. Annoying them in this now will mean less interest later.
- No Routine/Schedule: If you don’t schedule times for sex in your week good luck having two busy people be in the mood and to want to make time for sex. A set time means you have something to look forward to, plan for, and to make sure you’re on good behaviour. A schedule is to help prevent distraction and to keep sex the day’s priority because there’s always another job that can be done or a TV to watch. If you have to break your night’s plan you need to schedule a set rain check to prevent the other person feeling rejected and hurt.
Sex isn’t the be all and end all of a relationship, but it’s tied to so many things in a relationship that it is an important area to address and maintain.
This week may you consider what you need to do to have a healthy sex life.
Rev. Chad David, ChadDavid.ca, learning to love dumb people