Let’s talk about sex, baby.
Do you have a partner who almost never initiates sex?
If you do, I’m sure you’ve already read the bottomless pit of “How to Spice Up Your Sex Life” articles out there.
Perhaps you cracked open a copy of the Kamasutra, but you have very real concerns you might slip a disc if you try to bend that way.
It doesn’t need to be this hard — no pun intended.
So, what can you do to keep the flame burning?
Most relationships start off following the same path — the sex is incredible and happens with almost alarming frequency, to the point you wonder how you’re getting anything else done.
Then you both begin to get comfortable, and the fire begins to fizzle.
First of all, this is perfectly normal and extremely common.
That being said, crawling into bed and choosing a paperback to finger through doesn’t have to be the height of excitement at bedtime.
If you find yourself wanting sex more often than your partner, taking our Communication Style Quiz might reveal you to be a “Sensualist”.
As a Sensualist, you evaluate the quality of your relationships based on physical bonds, which is perfectly okay.
While sex is a significant part of all relationships, when you’re a Sensualist, it can be even more frustrating to have a partner who rarely initiates it.
Getting comfortable in your relationship doesn’t mean your sex life has to take a back seat.
What You Can Do to Jump-start Your Sex Life
Are you worried sex isn’t as exciting as it was at the beginning of your relationship?.
Well, worry not — there’s plenty you can do to stoke that fire.
While some couples manage to keep things spicy long-term, for the rest of us, it takes work.
So, how do successful couples manage to keep their sex life rip-roaring and rocking?
Having worked with many couples who manage to maintain a fabulous sex life, we found one common trait among all of them — communication about sex.
How to Talk About Sex — And Have More of It
A 70,000-participant study by sociologist Chrisanna Northrup called ‘The Normal Bar’ found that many long-serving couples are still having great sex because they talk about sex — a lot.
So, let’s take a look at the finer points of discussing this often-delicate subject.
- Talk More About Sex
Successful couples generally have more sex by talking more about sex.
This is something you can initiate during the beginning stages of the relationship.
Establishing a safe and comfortable atmosphere earlier on makes it easier to have tricky conversations later.
- Use Scaling Questions
When you’re a Sensualist, your partner may want sex less often than you do.
An excellent way to tackle this dilemma is by using scaling questions.
When you’re in the mood, try asking your partner how interested they feel on a scale of 1 to 9.
If your partner is a 4 and you’re a 9, rather than expecting them to go from a 4 to a 9, the aim should be to get them up to a 5.
By taking the pressure off, both of you can relax and start communicating honestly about sex.
- Address the Elephant in the Room
Sensualists are often more comfortable talking about sex, but not everyone shares this openness.
Talk to your partner about why they feel so uncomfortable discussing sex.
For example, if they grew up in a household where talking about sex was taboo, it may be an awkward subject for them.
- Ask for Permission
When should you first have sex? Does your partner believe in the 90-day rule?
For most Sensualists, sex on the first date is great if you both want it.
Open and honest communication about sex is essential at the start of any relationship.
Always ask for consent and make sure both of you are comfortable.
- Address Sexual Trauma and Self-esteem Issues
Your partner may have suffered sexual abuse in the past, which can affect their future relationships and make them even more vulnerable.
Give your partner a safe space to deal with their trauma.
By talking about it openly, they can finally begin to heal.
Honest and regular communication about sex makes for a happier and healthier relationship.
We have helped many couples improve their sex lives by modifying how they interact with each other. To find out how you can start talking about sex more freely, take our Communication Style Quiz.
Are you a Connector, Sensualist, Guardian, or Referee?
Sensualists find it easy to talk about sex, but all styles are capable of being more like a Sensualist when needed.
Identify your style today and learn how you can jump-start your sex life!
ABOUT SAM GARANZINI, LMFT, LPCC, and ALAPAKI YEE, LMFT
Sam Garanzini and Alapaki Yee are Certified Gottman Method Couples Therapists and the co-founders of the Gay Couples Institute – the world’s only gay and lesbian couples counseling clinic. The Gay Couples Institute has locations in Northern California and Manhattan, as well as online counseling services available.
For more information about how the Gay Couples Institute can help you, please visit: www.gaycouplesinstitute.org