By Hannah Slattery, LPC
Just to preface, this blog is about sex, the sometimes uncomfortable, taboo subject that most people turn away from. Talking about sex can be awkward, but it doesn’t have to be. According to the American Psychological Association (2017) married couples are having sex 56 times per year; roughly speaking, this amounts to once a week. Now after reading that information I want you to think, if you’re married, how often are you having sex with your partner? Are you newly married, just having kids, close to celebrating your 25th anniversary? Regardless of where you are at in your marriage intimacy is important. Again, I want you to think of the last time you and your partner had sex, was it spontaneous, pleasurable, can you even remember because it’s been so long? There is no shame in whatever answer you have, but there can be a greater awareness and if you’re up for it, you can improve. Putting aside marriages where abuse is happening or where an agreement has been made, sex can be enjoyable.
Before we dive deep it’s important to note what potentially happened to even begin this dry spell.vHere are a few potential reasons:
Increased stress in one or both partners
Discomfort during intercourse
It’s important to talk to your partner about any of these issues/concerns as well as with a medical provider if needed. Sex doesn’t have to be shameful topic. It can be truly eye opening to be emotionally vulnerable with your parnter about what sex means to you.
First and foremost let’s think about all the before sex intimacy stuff. How often do you hold your partners hand, or give massages, do you even know what feels good for them physically? Has it been a while since you have even embraced in a long hug? Because we before we can run(sex), we gotta crawl(non-sexual physical touch). This doesn’t require loads of PDA or have to be entirely uncomfortable, but notice what you’re feeling right now even thinking about everything you’ve read so far.
Change happens in the smallest of moments, and if you would like to move forward in your intimate relationship with your partner here are a few steps you can take:
Be honest, “ I know we haven’t been intimate lately and I was wondering if we could talk about that”.
Do a check in, “ I feel like we are having less sex, does it feel that way to you?”
Don’t blame, it takes two to tango so be curious about what you can do to increase intimacy
Don’t rush, just because you started talking about sex doesn’t mean it’s just going to happen right away. It’s wonderful to start getting excited about intimacy but it won’t help if your partner feels forced or pressured.
Make time, you can use every excuse in the book and blame the kids, work, traffic etc but it won’t help your situation. Just like it took time to find each other, get married and start a life together, it will continue to take time and effort.
If you and your partner could benefit from couples therapy, call us today to schedule an appointment!