Want to know the secret to a great sex life? It's all about communication, baby!
Amy got a whiff of Jeremy as he moved passed her at the party. They had been dating for more than a month at this point, but the musky scent of sweat and light aftershave was enough to ignite an intense desire for him. Amy and Jeremy had great sex after that party, and for many nights after that until months later, when they didn't anymore. Sex became less frequent, less passionate and started to take too much energy.
Many couples start out having effortless sex. A simple scent or brush against our lover's arm can be more than enough to send us into erotic bliss. But, as we get more familiar with our partner, comfort settles in and the excitement of sexual desire begins to wane. Sex becomes expected, even an obligation. We are left to ponder the question "how is it possible to desire something that we already have?"
As we spend more time with a new lover we move from the stage of "wanting" to "having" our partner. At this critical point of the relationship, most of us let our desires succumb to comfort. Our sexual desire slides away to be replaced by flannel pajamas and a cuddle on the couch. Sure, there are promises that we will eventually put energy back into sex, saying, "when we have more time," or "when the kids are gone," or "when we are on vacation next." But, there is another option for this critical point in a relationship.
We could also choose the option to inspire life-long sexual satisfaction. The difference? Sexual satisfaction requires dedication and good communication. Learning the skills of how to bring up awkward subjects, and how to convey our desires or preferences without feeling judged or blamed, early on in a relationship can be one of the most worthwhile investments you will ever make for your relationship.
Early sexual negotiation has been linked to greater sexual satisfaction, to fewer orgasm issues, and to stronger, longer-lasting relationships overall. It sets a standard as to how you are going to prioritize your relationship. Whether you learn to negotiate from a good book or a sex therapist, the more couples learn this important skill early on in their relationships, the more they can enjoy a better outlook for their entire relationship.
Here are a few of the benefits of early sexual negotiation:
1. Building a good sexual pattern is easier than breaking a bad one.
What is a good sexual pattern? One good sexual pattern is respecting the individual nature of both partners with their own sexual turn-ons and preferences. Another one is having communication that feels easy, allowing discussion to take place before problems come up. Productive discussions or short sex therapy sessions early on in a relationship can establish a good pattern, while avoiding the lengthy and painful process of undoing old bad patterns.
2. Avoid unnecessary arguments about sex.
Sex is one of the three most common reasons for relationship breakups. There is no avoiding sexual problems altogether, but using the tools early on can stop problems from starting or growing any bigger than they need to be.
3. Have fun and sexy discussions (rather than painful and scary ones).
Healthy patterns of sexual conversation, such as knowing when to bring something up, how to bring it up, knowing which words to use, and so on, can all be useful skills to have as you navigate through your sexual lives. Learning fun and arousing ways to have the sex talk can bring a feeling of intimacy instead of fear.
4. Avoid infidelity before it happens.
A simple "what if" conversation at the beginning of a relationship can ward off a whole lot of hurt in the future. Infidelity is one of the most common reasons for breakups. The intensity of emotions and secrecy common to infidelity can break trust and even end the relationship. Understanding what your partner believes about monogamy and fidelity can help you find the relationship structure that works best for you before the hurt.
Grow together sexually as an "erotic team." Determining what satisfactory sex is requires communication skills and the knowledge of how sex changes through a relationship. If you and your partner are starting to feel the waning desire and are not sure where to start, there is help. Often, we agree more than we suspect we will, and need someone with unbiased perspective to show us the way back to each other, and then forward together.
If you want to move from "who's right?" to "we're okay," give me a call. I'd be pleased to help. Keep a good thing going!
Helpful tools to help the conversation along: Take my Sexual Arousal Type Questionnaire to see how similar your sexual desire is similar/different from you partner, or read about the Do's and Don'ts of Sexual Negotiation. Contact me for the next steps.