4. Your expectations are unrealistic.
It’s a romantic setting, or your long-awaited vacation, or you've spent a fortune on the trip, or everyone's telling you how great your partner looks, or you’re both a little tipsy, or it’s New Year's Eve. Or you two haven’t had much sex in a while, and here's your chance to make it up with one great big, um, bang.
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Any sexual event loaded down with expectations—birthday, anniversary, Arbor Day—is a disappointment just waiting to happen. Unlike in the movies, our bodies often respond to that kind of pressure by simply wilting. If that happens, take it with a rueful smile instead of taking it personally.
5. You really want some touching or soothing. The whole holiday thing—travel, family, disruptions, drinking, eating, spending too much, a thousand little disappointments or irritations—can leave you a little frazzled, a little let down, a little emotionally needy.
When that's the case, most of us don't want sex. It's more likely that you want some touching, or soothing, or reassurance, or a sense of connection. Unfortunately, some people don't know how to ask for those things except through sex. Some people don’t know how to provide those things except through sex. If it works, that's great. But it often doesn't. It’s really a good idea to have an emotional vocabulary beyond sex.
Of course, there's always reason number six: You or your mate just aren’t in the mood. Holiday or not, that's a reason you should always take seriously.
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Dr. Marty Klein is a marriage counselor and sex therapist with 30 years experience. His latest book is SEXUAL INTELLIGENCE: What We Really Want From Sex, and How to Get It. Dr. Klein’s blog, newsletter and more at www.MartyKlein.com.