Does sex with your mate feel like a chore? Is your partner showing less interest? Are you feeling less intimate after making love? Not interested at all? Has sexual spontaneity or excitement gone missing from your relationship? Maybe it’s time to have a talk with your sweetie.
If there have been changes in your or your mate’s desire for sex, less than satisfying intimate moments, awkward sex … don’t beat yourself or your sweetie up about it … it happens to the best of us, the strongest relationships included. Low libido can happen at certain times throughout a relationship … in new relationships, established ones, with married couples – whether you’re pushing middle age and beyond or are a member of the millennial generation.
When to Bring Up the Subject
There’s not a right or wrong time to bring up the “S” topic, naturally. It’s more like identifying a feel for when it’s the right time. Use your judgment, your intuition, your understanding of your mate. You’ll discover the appropriate moment. Just try not to keep putting it off and let the problem fester.
Try not to blindside or make it seem like you’re being critical of a recent sexual session gone bad. For example, it might not be a good idea to launch into a discussion while you’re both lying in bed in the middle of lovemaking or just after a failed or unsatisfactory session. Find a neutral time and maybe a neutral location. You’ll know when.
Ease into a discussion. Maybe a related topic is a good segue. Maybe something s/he said triggers the right moment to broach the subject. One thing can lead to another and before you know it …
When Talking Is Difficult
If you’re not used to talking about sex, start with a general discussion. Maybe talk about a hot video you both watched. Ask your partner what s/he liked about it. Tell your partner what you liked about it.
Share some reading material on the subject; a book or online article to get the discussion rolling. Just be sensitive to your mate’s reaction to ideas found in outside sources. Share your discoveries, and assure your mate you’re looking to help the relationship and want to share your findings with him/her.
Your talk might take place over several sessions. You might have short generalized discussions over time. As your talks about sex become easier, more natural, steer the discussion to a more personal level. Begin expressing your own feelings and experiences.
Maybe talking in third person would make it easier to say what’s on your mind: “I like it when you stroke my hair.” Or try a hypothetically speaking approach: “If I were to do this, what would be your reaction?”
Another way to get the ball rolling is by writing down your thoughts and feelings and then sharing it with your mate. You could invite your mate to do the same. Then you could discuss how you each feel about what the other wrote.
Don’t Avoid It
Having difficulty talking about your sex life is one thing; avoiding it is another. If your partner doesn’t want to have the discussion, ask why. Is it a bad time? Do they need to take time to think through their thoughts first? Does it make them uncomfortable?
If your partner refuses to talk about it at all, sure, it does raise a red flag. But don’t panic and jump to conclusions. Their refusal doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re involved with the wrong person and need to end the relationship. Not to minimize the situation, view it as a temporary setback, a cog in the wheel of your relationship that can be fixed. Be optimistic. Be upbeat. Show you are confident that there is a solution.
Some possible reasons why your mate doesn’t want to talk about it: past history of abuse, depression, not feeling well, work stress, overloaded schedule, recent weight gain might make them self-consciousness about their body.
Just don’t sweep problems aside. Issues need to be addressed. Running away from talking about sexual problems doesn’t fix anything. The problem won’t go away on its own. Not facing it can even make it worse.
If your mate won’t budge – even after a fair amount of hints and coaxing – you might have to kick it up a notch. Put your mate on alert that bringing up sexual problems is deeply important to you or express how it makes you feel when they refuse to discuss it. Tell them you’re concerned there might be a serious rift in the relationship if they continue refusing to talk about it.
If your sweetie seems anxious about a discussion, if you feel you’re kicking up a hornet’s nest of emotions, you might suggest getting a therapist involved to help guide the discussion in productive and non-combative ways.
How to Have the Talk
Ok. Now that you’ve got a discussion rolling, learn to express what you want and don’t want in bed. It’s so important to communicate your sexual desires to your partner.
Be understanding, not critical. Don’t blame. Don’t push your sweetie into defense mode. Try not to criticize your mate’s performance or self-berate yourself. Keep your sense of humor and levity. Be loving and informal. Try to go for a mixture of seriousness and lightheartedness.
Ask questions. Have they enjoyed sex with other partners? If yes, how was sex with other partners different? If no, ask why. Is there something you enjoy that your mate doesn’t know about? Have you considered what you like and don’t like and shared it with them?
Satisfying sex doesn’t materialize overnight – at least not after you get past the initial love-struck stage. Ironing out the sex issues often takes time. Rome wasn’t built in a day.
Leaving Things on the Table
Talking about sex and ironing out the wrinkles is an ongoing process. New issues may come up as your relationship matures or enters new stages. Encourage and keep the door open to discussing your satisfaction and dissatisfaction about sex and intimacy.
A satisfying relationship is about communicating on all fronts. Issues don’t stay self-contained; they blend together. Your sexual pleasure or displeasure can affect other aspects of your relationship.
A sex life should be mutually joyful and eagerly anticipated. Both of you should be satisfied – whatever that means to each of you. If it’s not, don’t delay in talking about it. Don’t hold back when something doesn’t feel right. Sex is the glue that holds a great relationship together. You can work together to make it stick.