What If You Love Your Partner But No Longer Love Having Sex With Them?
Continued from previous page
The fact is, it’s possible to find a balance where passion and great sex can live side by side with a stable, deep connection. To find that balance we have to accept that it’s not going to be easy, be willing to work at it, and understand the issues involved. Sometimes closeness can actually backfire. Sometimes we need just the right amount of distance to keep some sparks alive. Having our own hobbies, friends, interests, and taking time apart can bring some of that mystery back, and make us once again long to bridge the physical and emotional divide between us and our lover. Sometimes we have to actively focus on our differences, not in a way that breeds conflict, but mystery and interest.
Once we are at the point where we feel that renewed desire for sex, our expectations for the sex have to change, especially if the sex is with a woman. While many men feel ready for sex quickly, even after limerence is over, women frequently need a lot more time to “simmer” before they are really in the mood. Foreplay becomes key here, but even before that, anything that keeps sex in the forefront of one’s mind can help. An open mind and willingness to experiment is crucial here: Sexting, watching porn, reading erotica, and sending sexy pictures to each other are all ways to stay/get in the mood. The sex itself also needs to be novel. The same old techniques are not going to work year after year, especially for women, but for many men too.
These are the times to try role play, anal play, spanking, blindfolds, restraints, videotaping, and anything you’ve fantasized about but never tried. For example, try creating a Tumblr account where you and your partner can discuss and even play out fantasies as strangers would on the Internet. Send each other pictures and videos. Say all the things you’d be embarrassed to say in person. Eventually, you may be comfortable bringing some of those things into the bedroom. For some couples, bringing other folks into their relationship can even work to insert some distance and restore passion.
The key is expecting that seeking out new sexual adventures together is going to be a lifelong process. If we go into relationships expecting to do that work, we can feel a sense of satisfaction when we are able to keep that passion alive, instead of blaming ourselves or our partners when everything doesn’t easily fall into place.
This story first appeared on Role/Reboot.
Lyla Cicero has a doctorate in clinical psychology, and focuses on relationships, sexual minorities, and sex therapy. Lyla is a feminist, LGBTQIAPK-affirmative, sex-positive blogger at UnderCoverintheSuburbs.com, where she writes about expanding cultural notions of identity, especially those surrounding gender, sexual orientation, motherhood, and sexuality. Follow her on Twitter @UndrCvrNSuburbs.