You’re ready and willing but your partner, who used to enjoy sex as much as you, seems to increasingly prefer Netflix. It’s frustrating and it leads you to feeling less than sexy. But take heart – when your partner doesn’t seem to be feeling it – there’s actually a lot you can do. And usually most of what’s required is not in the bedroom but in your wider relationship. Working on your closeness and connection in a broader sense will likely help with your erotic connection. Find out more in this piece I wrote for Digital Romance.
Feeling you can touch your partner sexually, be physically close, feel cared for and welcomed erotically is important to individual well-being and to the health of a couple relationship. When unspoken resentments or distance build up, the desire for physical openness between partners can be the first thing to diminish. If problems are left unaddressed, it’s easy to get into a cycle of increasing distance and find that one or both of you don’t feel as passionate or excited anymore. Tiredness, stress or feeling unwell can build up and blunt passion, or sometimes there are other worries that need care.
That’s why in many cases, the first step to getting things back on track sexually happens in the emotional rather than physical arena. After all, our state of mind is at the source of whether we feel turned on, or not. Start a loving conversation by asking your partner how they’re feeling lately, what’s on their to do list and find out how you can help. Talk about how you love him or her and enjoy sex. Ask how they’re feeling about sex and the relationship lately.
Ask in a private moment, and not in bed where your questions could inadvertently come across as pressure. Focus on reassuring your partner how much you value them and your shared erotic life, not on being demanding. The idea is to strengthen closeness and help each other feel loved, secure and open, not to exacerbate any distance between you. Be sure to avoid any criticism or blaming in your conversation starters. For example, asking
“Why don’t you want to have sex like you used to?” Is less likely to be well-received and helpful than…
“I love having sex together and I’ve noticed we aren’t making as much time for it lately. Would you like to plan some special time together?”
Once you’ve explored how things are emotionally for both of you and perhaps made some time for sex, here’s a few ideas for reigniting the spark:
Imagine sex as an erotic world you visit as a couple.
You both may need a little time to change out of the less sexy roles you have daily. After work or parenting, help each other transition to the erotic world. Non-sexual touching can be a great way to make the shift to lover mode. Think massage, showering or stroking arms, hands, legs or other parts.
If you are always having sex in the same ways, change it up. Discuss putting aside all your usual ways of having sex for a time. For example, if you usually have sex in the same positions, rule those out for a couple of weeks and get creative. Or rule out penetrative sex this time, instead trying other ways. It will push you both to expand your minds and bodies and to feel different sensations.
Most importantly, make daily special efforts to feed your shared erotic life in multiple ways aside from sex.
As much as possible, remember to behave towards one another as you did in the early stages of your relationship. Behave as you did when you wanted to attract your partner at the start. You seduced them by giving them the best of you. Why would you take that away and expect things to remain as good?
The best way to keep your sex life alive is to be the most caring presence for each other 24/7. Don’t just pay attention in the big moments, but be there also in the subtlest ways.
Keep talking and just BE the love that you ARE.
To go deeper on this and other life and relationship topics, get my book Lovelands on Amazon or free on Audible with a new subscription.