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Is your sexual connection non-existent…nil, zip, silch? Is your sex life in the bed … completely dead? Or is your sex life with your partner dwindling down faster than you had anticipated? Bed-death relationships can be brutally painful and can create a further wedge in between couples.
There are many factors to why sex dies in a relationship: It could be from the daily grind of life to too much stress; a medical condition impacting arousal to addictions taking central focus; or from the relationship bond dwindling to the personal shame of sexuality getting in the way. No matter what the reason causing a bed-death relationship, the experience of it dwindling away can be frustrating and down right agonizing.
Here are a few tips on spicing things up in the relationship and reviving your sex life:
This might sound like common sense, but date nights are a must. Have a specific time carved out for the relationship on a weekly basis, focus on each other, get out of the daily grind and get dressed up for the occasion. Give compliments and be playful with each other. Stop the “shop talk” by avoiding conversations that involve the daily grind of life, stress and responsibility. If you don’t make time for the relationship, then there won’t be time to for the bedroom. Date night is a MUST! The more time you create to connect, the more opportunities you have for sex and the more frequent you will “do it.”
“Woo” your Partner, again
Remember when you two first met? It all started with a flirt ... and sex was all the time! Conversations used to be mentally stimulating and arousing. Look back at the beginning of the relationship and examine the various ways you two would connect. Go back to the dating and courting time. Try to “woo” your partner by giving compliments, bringing flowers, asking questions. Show a desire to understand your partner and dress to impress.
Unpack your bags … let out the sexual cravings
Many gay, bisexual, and lesbian individuals suppress their sexual desires for various reasons; either becase of the non-stop messages that homosexuality is bad, negative religious messages, the deeply ingrained message that our sexual arousal is a “no-no,” sexual traumas, etc. Now in a relationship that matters, the sexual desire has dwindled away … the sexual desires are suppressed, there is a denying of intimacy, or a feeling of shame.
The sexual “baggage” can be heavy to carry around. So …. why not unpack your bags?
First, go through the files in your mind of your sexual history and write down significant issues that get in the way (such as sexual abuse, overhearing judgments of gay sex, negative messages about homosexuality from family members, religious judgments, current relationship struggles, comfort in your own skin, emotional resentments, etc). Figure out what impacts you emotionally, physically and mentally.
Next, let out your sexual cravings by writing a list of your fantasies, ways you want your partner to touch you, toys that you’d like to try, fantasies you’d like to pursue, and anything else that you have been holding back. Remember, the paper can’t judge you … so let it out! Un-suppress your sexual needs and be true to yourself. If possible, open up lines of communication about the roadblocks and the fantasies with your partner.
Sexting - text messaging sexual and flirtatious messages - can be your way to get the engine warmed up. Try sending text messages to one another (with permission, of course) with flirty messages or risqué photos. This can spice up the relationship and create a sense of arousal … on both ends. Have fun and be creative with the technology you have.
Set the Mood
The daily grind has such an influence on people’s moods and often prevents people to relax. Some people have such a challenge in flipping the switch and getting into the mood. Jump-start this process by cleaning up the house, lighting candles, playing romantic music and dimming the lights. Start the night with a nice candle-lit dinner and work your way into the bedroom for a night massage. Set the mood not only for your partner, but for yourself as well.
Stop the “I’m too tired” Excuse
We might talk ourselves into the, “I’m too tired” excuse or avoid the sexual connection. Make sure to re-energize yourself throughout the day so you won’t be too tired or burnt-out when you get home. Don’t use up all your energy at work … save some for home. Take a look at your “I’m too tired” statement and evaluate whether or not it is an excuse to avoid connecting sexually. Examine your motivation towards your relationship. If you are simply “too tired” for sex on a regular basis, find your energy reserves or schedule an appointment with your doctor to evaluate if this is a medical problem.
Open up Lines of Communication
Communication in couples not only includes verbal communication, but a large portion of it is non-verbal communication (body language). Sex isn’t simply a sexual act; it is a non-verbal way to communicate and speak to your partner. Sex is an important part of body language and when the sexual communication dies, you and your partner will need to rely on the verbal communication. Talk to your partner about their experience of the dead bed relationship. Share with one another the goods, the bads and the uglies. Rekindle the bond through the verbal communication and then look at opening up the non-verbal communication with small touches, kisses, and hugs.
Re-Create the Past
Another way to rev-up your sex engine as a couple is to share your kinkiest and most arousing sexual experience you have ever had, or wanted to have, together. Revisit the specific arousals and the excitement you two shared together. Make plans to re-create the experience and make it even better!
Jennine Estes has a couple's therapy practice dealing with all aspects of conflict, working through sexual addiction issues, and/or increasing intimacy. She is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (MFC#47653) with a private practice conveniently located in Mission Valley of San Diego. Not only does Jennine have a therapy practice focused on relationships and sexual addiction, she also provides relationship advice on her blog: Relationships In The Raw.