Trouble in life is usually found in the extremes. So people allow sex to disappear in their relationship (10 times a year or less is considered non-sexual) or have sex with other people outside the partnership. Some therapists don’t even bring up sex and explore it in session with couples. This is a huge error because therapists need to role model, making sex ordinary to share and discuss.
Men are very grounded in sex. Their whole life works better when they have an active sex life. Men feel intimate after they’ve had sex. It is ironic that women want to feel emotionally close first and then feel more open to being sexual. Too often heterosexual couples find themselves at cross purposes. Testosterone is different than estrogen. Women can flat line their sexual energy and men find it so easy for sex to be the priority. Adolescent girls don’t find it easy to masturbate and adolescent girls have retreated to a past that ignores feminism and act as if masturbation is a dirty question (“Ugh”). I respond that masturbation is a way to understand your own body and to lay claim to knowing how it works. Young girls that have given guys oral sex often don’t even know if they’ve had an orgasm (if you have any doubt then you haven’t). It’s certainly not progress to be casual about sexual talk and pictures of cleavage on My Space while not even knowing about the clitoris.
Parents need to talk to their kids about sex. When I developed the Incest program for Pittsburgh Action Against Rape in 1980, it was clear that information is power. Not knowing and curiosity can leave kids more open to predators.
Couples need to talk with each other about sex; what works and what doesn’t needs to be a normal conversation. One third of women do not orgasm through intercourse. Does your partner know if you are part of that one third or the other two thirds? The person who wants sex the least has the most power. Does your partner know what makes you shy away from having sex? Sex does not “naturally” die off because of aging. The average number of times for sex is 66 a year.
The most important key to having a good sex life is anticipating it in a positive way. Sex is fun, free and reduces stress. Don’t let the puritanical context of our country be an obstacle to conversations about sex. Sex does matter so talk about it with each other. Assumptions are lethal! Here are several book suggestions for further information.