How you can reclaim sex with your partner, whether you're a sexual pursuer or distancer.
When we're first in love, we're practically dizzy, and it feels awesome. It isn't just the act of getting off that keeps us enraptured. The chase is almost better than the catch. The smallest touch turns both of you on.
Everyone remembers this exquisite torture, and no one wants to live without it. Desire is relationship cocaine.
We commit to someone because we want to feel safe emotionally and to hoard our lover sexually. We think sex will grow in frequency and quality. Yet within two years, 20% of all marriages end up sexless (less than 10 times a year) and an additional 15% become low-sex (less than 25 times a year)*. Skipping the wedding ceremony doesn't change this outcome. One in every three committed couples is barely having sex. Why is our addiction to desire so sadly curable?
Here's what causes the change and how to reclaim sex with your partner:
In every relationship, after the initial period of having sex all the time, we start wanting to come up for air. We remind ourselves of our separateness and authority over our own bodies. We become afraid that this orgasmic swamp will bog down the direction and purpose of our own lives. Lovers may fantasize that they will only leave the bed to eat or use the bathroom, but at some point, they find they must accomplish something else for sanity's sake. After some time together, our need for merger is counterbalanced by our need for productivity and individuality. Freud said love and work are necessary for happiness, and indeed we find ourselves toggling between the demands of these two poles.
Early in the love affair, we suddenly understand our emotional vulnerability. The other person could leave us or control us. Something terrible could happen to him or her. We've jeopardized our hearts by wanting sex. Worse, our partner has seen us lose all control when we climax. Our exposure to them frightens us. Throw in a culture that esteems independence and, for some of us, childhoods where we concluded that our needs were bad because they overwhelmed our parents, and sexual desire begins to feel like weakness. Fantasizing about other potential partners or repressing out sex drives are ways we may try to dilute the power desire has over us and reduce the accompanying risk. Withdrawing makes us less dependent on our pusher. Keep Reading ...
*Source: Michael, R., Gagnon, J., Laumann, E., & Kalota, G. (1994) Sex in America - A Definitive Study. Little, Brown.
Written by Dr. Neala Peake, selected from AllThingsHealing.com.
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This article was originally published at Care2. Reprinted with permission from the author.