So you’re having trouble getting what you want sexually from your partner(s), huh? Or maybe the honeymoon phase has ended and you’re realizing that in order to rekindle the sex flame, you need to start talking more openly about trying something new?
I can’t tell you how many people, couples and individuals, have come into my psychotherapy office with this complaint. They worry that the excitement has fizzled out and they will never be able to obtain what they once had… and part of that is true. We are not the people we were when we first met our partner(s). As people we are ever evolving and our relationships are too. Neither you nor your partner(s) have that same palpable excitement or mystery that was once present when you first started being intimate.
When I first started working with couples, one thing was glaringly obvious: people are afraid to discuss sex. You could be completely naked, calling someone “daddy” and having hands in places you could only dream about… but when it’s all said and done, it can be really hard to look said person in the face and talk about it. If I had to guess, I’d say it’s likely cultural. Unfortunately, within many cultures providing adequate sexual education isn’t even a possibility, never mind being taught to be open and honest with your partner(s) about sex.
So What Can You Do? Communicate!
Vulnerability & Empowerment
To really connect with your partner(s) you need to become more vulnerable, which sounds really freakin’ scary, right? I get it. Vulnerability can open us up to all sorts of rejection and heartache. But unless you work on being more comfortable expressing your hopes, dreams and fears to your partner, it is going to make it that more difficult to connect on a more intimate level sexually. I mean, once you realize how far vulnerability can take you, chances are you and your partner(s) will be really empowered! And if you can bare your soul, you can have some hella good sex, y’all!
Intimacy Outside of the Bedroom
So tell me, what is your relationship like outside of the “bedroom?” Are you making time for one another? Do you touch in non-sexual ways? Many people don’t know that loving touch, in general, releases the chemical Oxytocin, which makes you feel REAL GOOD and increase one’s ability to trust. And let’s be honest, when is the last time you wanted to have sex with someone who didn’t make you feel good? Touch can be as simple as holding hands, reaching out when you’re watching T.V. or hugging until you feel one another’s muscles relax. Usually when my clients report feel unfulfilled sexually, they’ve often stopped touching one another non-sexually. My advice is to always make an effort. Go out of your way to be physical so that it becomes second nature again.
Vertical and Horizontal Talk
Now that the importance of communication has been established, let’s highlight when said conversations should be taking place. When I say vertical and horizontal talk, I’m focusing on the discussions that should be taking place “standing up” and “laying down.” So if you aren’t talking about what you want before you have sex and then debriefing after, i.e. highlighting what you liked, didn’t like and/or what you might want to try next time… you’re missing out on optimal sex communication. And how can you get more vulnerable: lying there naked, sweaty while critiquing each other’s performance.
Don’t Be Afraid to be HONEST
I find it mildly fascinating that we can scream and shout at our partners when they do something that makes us angry, but when it comes to asking them to suck a little softer or use only two fingers instead of three, we become tongue tied; instead, we “suffer” in silence, wanting something more and slowly becoming more resentful and fed up.
When you’re ready to make the communication plunge, be thoughtful about your approach: avoid saying things like, “you’re doing this wrong…” or “I hate when you do…” Instead focus on what makes you feel good… “I would really love it if you tried going a little bit slower, it definitely makes me come faster.” When you highlight how you feel, your partner(s) is/are likely to be much more receptive and will want to make you feel good. In addition, I recommend adding something along the lines of, “Is there anything I could do that might make you feel even better or that you’ve been wanting to try out?” When your communication style is less blaming and more inclusive, everyone wins!
What Are You Afraid Of?
If you’re craving better, more fulfilling sex, chances are it’s something that is really important to you. So if you’re worried that being honest with your partner will somehow end your relationship or dredge up issues you’ve been avoiding, I’d venture a guess and say that being quietly unhappy with your and your partner’s physical relationship will wear it down anyway. Take a leap. Nothing will change unless your communication does.