Finally, some help to get you in the mood.
Yes, you read that right. Sometimes women should compromise when it comes to sex.
I know this isn't what your mother told you when you were young when she didn’t want some guy taking advantage of you in the backseat of a car. Back then, it made sense: Don’t compromise your values, dignity (or safety) and have sex just to keep some guy interested.
You still don’t want to go against your values, but oftentimes the values you're working to protect need to change.
Let me explain ...
When the newness of a relationship fades, the excitement for sex can also fade for one or both partners. Some couples are fine with this, and remain emotionally and physically connected in other ways; their relationship remains strong.
But life gets busy. Family obligations take up time and mental energy. Hormones change, especially as we age and after we have children.
So when the "between the sheets time" fades in many relationships, it causes a ripple effect of problems, and these make the desire for sex plummet even further. It's a major vicious circle.
So, when the rest of your relationship is basically strong except in the sex department, then your values need to change.
It is no longer about preserving your virginity; your priority now is preserving the relationship. Not because you're obligated and "have to," but because the health and happiness of the relationship is truly important to you and deserves your best effort to make it work.
Chances are, when the sex isn’t happening, one or both of you is left feeling inadequate … and inadequacy leads to distance, irritability, blame, and lots of other ugly things that none of us want in our relationship.
So how do we compromise with sex when one person wants it and the other person isn't fully in the mood? Here are the ways to 'do it:'
1. Start with communication
Communicate with each other about the issue. This needs to be done in a careful, non-judgmental, non-blaming way. What are the reasons that desire is down? Is it finding alone time? Does your mom-brain have difficulty turning off? Is it difficult to get turned-on in the same ways that used to work like a charm?
2. Give each other options
This step is where compromise begins.
If one of you has reduced desire for sex, and the other person wants it three times per week, there needs to be a compromise. Can your partner accept once a week, if it means you can be fully engaged in it? That may not be his first choice, but feeling mentally pressured into sex can quickly build resentment and lead to less sex.
Just by relieving this expectation so your partner isn’t disappointed, you might feel more relaxed about sex and be more likely to enjoy it once it no longer feels like "one more thing to check off the to-do list." And once you're more into it, that might make it easier for your partner to tolerate not having sex as often.
3. See a professional and use a few "tricks"
What if the desire to have sex just isn’t there? First check with your doctor or integrative medical provider to make sure there is not a medical reason that your desire is low. But if that doesn’t produce any answers, then it’s time to pull out the bag of tricks!
And the compromise here is because these will require some extra effort from both of you to strike the right balance between "quality vs. quantity." What do you need to have in your bag?
- Try some essential oils. Ylang Ylang, for example, seems to quickly bring a tingle sensation to the area that you apply it (Hint: on the inner-upper thighs — NOT right on your lady parts!) to help get ladies in the mood. Dab a little on and wait for the electricity to start!
- Sip a glass of wine. For the women that have difficulty winding their mind down and turning their libido up, it's a nice trick to bring out your inner-flirt. Be mindful with this one though … depending on a substance can lead to addiction and avoidance of other issues, so you may not want to rely of this one all the time.
- Share your vulnerability. Men and women are wired differently. Men often like to have sex to feel connected, women like to feel connected and then like to have sex. Sometimes mushy talk about feelings and childhood experiences is tough for guys … but if sex is involved, they may reconsider. Try something like The Ungame: Couples Version if you need help with "what in the world do I talk about with someone I've been with for 20 years?"
- Try some good old-fashioned porn (or call it erotic reading/viewing if it makes you feel like less of a pervert). Not all porn is bad and evil. Be willing to explore and see if there is something that is not against your values, and also helps to "get the juices flowing." Women need to get over the old belief system that suggests there is something wrong by being turned up by reading or watching something erotic. You can explore this on your own, or even better with your partner, but find something that works for you.
It is important to remember that these tips are not going to fix your relationship if the true root of the problem is something deeper.
If that's the case is, you should look into working with a therapist that specializes in working with couples.
And for the feminists out there, this is not about giving him what he wants at your expense — quite the contrary. This is about giving you more of what you want: a stronger, more connected relationship (and hopefully some Big-Os for you in that effort).
If you want to learn more about healthy relationships or getting past your fears regarding sex, check out Lisa Haysmer LMSW, LLC. Lisa is a psychotherapist that combines traditional psychotherapy with some newer, non-traditional techniques to help clients heal more quickly.