Why You And Your Partner Need To Negotiate Sex

This is a big one. How important is sex in a marriage? So important, according to Dr. Phil, that it should actually be a topic that’s on the table and actively negotiated between two partners. How often you get busy can be a point of contention, but it’s a good idea to try to work on a compromise for the sake of your relationship and your sex life. When a couple has different sexual frequency preferences, or different sexual styles—conventional vs. experimental, for example—it’s often necessary to strike a compromise. That means occasionally having sex when you aren’t 100 percent in the mood or trying something new like role play or unusual positions.

When you define sex, you have to think about it much more broadly than most people do. It involves all forms of physical contact; it involves the emotional aspects and elements. In other words, the emotional and physical aspects of a relationship are intertwined, and there will inevitably be pain if your needs are not being met. It’s not something to be shy and bashful about. It’s something that you should talk about openly and candidly. It is what sets that relationship apart from all others. It is important that you discuss this rather than just build resentment or feel neglected.

If your partner doesn’t like sex nearly as often as you do — or if they like sex a lot more often than you do — what can you do about it? Here is a few options:

1. Scheduling sex. Scheduling sex isn’t just a solution for tired or stressed or over-scheduled couples. It can also be a solution for couples with mismatched libidos. Oftentimes, the partner who wants sex more frequently will feel rejected and unwanted. If you’re the one who always makes the first move, and if you’re getting shot down more often than not, it can be very demoralizing. And the partner who wants sex less frequently can often feel pressured and inadequate. (All of which can lead to some nasty vicious circles/ self-fulfilling prophecies: nothing kills a libido faster than feeling like sex is an obligation.) But if you schedule at least some of your sex life ahead of time, instead of relying on spur- of- the- moment impulses and advances, it can cut through a lot of these unfortunate dynamics. Sex becomes something you’re planning together, something you’re partnering in… rather than something one person is always asking for and the other is either accepting or shooting down. It also makes some of the other solutions below a whole lot more feasible.

2. Redefining sex. If one of you likes sex more often than the other, maybe you could redefine what you think of as “sex”… in a way that both of you would be happier with. What about mutual masturbation? Or one partner masturbating while the other one holds and caresses them? One partner masturbating while simply looking at the other partner while they dance, or pose in erotic positions, or simply lounge and let themselves be admired? What about phone sex? Sharing fantasies? Reading each other dirty stories? What about using sex toys together, instead of having intercourse or other more direct flesh- on- flesh kinds of sex? In other words: There are lots of different ways to have sex that can make one partner feel, not only orgasmically satisfied, but romantically and erotically connected with their partner… but that aren’t as sexually demanding for the partner who’s not as libidinous. And incorporating these kinds of sex into a sex life can go a long way towards bridging the gap in a libidinously mixed relationship.

3. Rethinking the circumstances in which you have sex. Are there times of the day, or days of the week, when the less- sexually- interested party is even less interested than usual? As a couple, do you tend to have sex at the end of the day, when the less- interested partner is tired or stressed? Do you tend to have sex after parties or other social events — events that instill some of us, even the highly libidinous among us, with a profound need for a little alone time? (Introverts of the world, unite!) Do you tend to have sex after you’ve been drinking — an activity that makes some people feel friskier, but makes other people just feel groggy and out of it? If so — try mixing it up. Look at the times and the circumstances when you’ve been having sex… and then look at the times and the circumstances when you want to have sex, when you think about sex, when sex pops into your mind of its own accord. And then try to tailor your sex life around the times and situations when you’re feeling frisky… instead of trying to shoehorn your frisky feelings into convenient times and situations for your sex life.

4. Compromising. If you like sex twice a week, and your partner likes twice a month… maybe you can compromise. Have sex every week so. It won’t be perfect for either of you… but being involved with someone who’s unhappy about sex is pretty darned far from perfect, too. Having sex somewhat less often than you’d really like — or somewhat more often — may not be what you’d pick if you could pick your perfect sex life. But presumably, if you love someone, you want them to be happy too, and you want them to have a sex life that’s good for them. Almost as much as you want a sex life that’s good for you. And even from a purely selfish perspective, being involved with a sad, disgruntled, sexually frustrated partner is ten pounds of suck in a five pound bag. So while a compromise, by definition, isn’t going to be perfect, it may well be a whole better than a dissatisfying sex life. For both of you.

 

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