Sex over the long haul is not mastered by many. Sex in America seems to be in the extremes, people are having it a lot or not at all. I’ve talked to many women over the years that label sex as a chore that they are too tired for. Men brighten up in the therapy room when I ask about sex because they are so certain it will be ignored.
There is a real difference between estrogen & testosterone. Women can too easily flat line their energy & some miss out on their peak at 34,35,36 because they are too tired raising children. Men can get in trouble with their partners for having a roaming eye. I learned in the early 80’s from reading a study on sex in my father-in-law’s playboy that positive anticipation is crucial to enjoying sex.
Sex after pregnancy issues often goes unaddressed. Sex after menopause is not really solved with K-Y lubricant which can be too thick & interfere with sensation (Try a silicone & water based hybrid, JO makes one). One partner often hides out from the discomfort of initiating sex. Therapists avoid frank sexual discussions which role models avoidance. Why do many women refuse the pleasure of receiving oral sex?
There are many problems associated with sex. Answer honestly to yourself: Is your sex life selfish?
It is dangerous when relationships fall into one person “parenting” the other. Can you imagine Mary & Abe Lincoln having sex when they called each other mother & father? Who wants to have sex with parental energy swarming around?
It is hard for couples to address specifics of love making out loud: “Yes,that feels good. Over to the right a bit.” Conversation certainly doesn’t happen in glorious tv or movie sex, right? Letting each other know what you prefer matters.
Many years ago, I read a sex expert who said that “Foreplay begins 24 hours ahead of time for women” which I have repeated many times over the years. If a woman is upset with you 20 minutes ago they may not feel like having an intimate connection.
An article in the NYTimes on 2/6/14 proposed the question “Does a More Equal Marriage Mean Less Sex?” (which I’ve previously read in several places is true). It’s the differences that help us find each other attractive. In the article, Pepper Schwartz is quoted (AARP’s relationship expert) & she says “…that now that women do and have and are many of the things that they used to seek in their partners, a result can be something more sibling like than erotic. (My) research likewise suggests that too much similarity in egalitarian marriages leads to boredom and decreased sexual frequency. When you’re best friends with your partner, there’s less frisson,” Schwartz says. “Introducing more distance or difference, rather than connection and similarity, helps to resurrect passion in long-term, stable relationships.”
In a September 2013 workshop with David Schnarch, he made it very clear that differentiation is the key to passionate marriage. Two similar lumps of flesh are not really very interesting to each other over the long run. Too often two people become mush & forget who they are as individuals.
I was inspired to write this post in order to share this wonderful TED talk on Sex by Edith Perle: