Ok, we’re going to talk about SEX.
A few weeks ago, I jumped on a call with some clients, and when I asked where they wanted to go in the session, they blurted out: “Sex. We want to talk about sex. We’re not having enough.”
Super, super common thing. In our silos of relationship, we often think that things are only happening to us, when really, they are happening all over the place.
It’s one of the magical powers of a coach: we get to tell you that the thing you are worrying about, the thing you worry is making your relationship “deviant and weird” and DOOMED TO FAIL, is actually totally common, that it happens all the time, and that it’s OHHH-KAY.
After speaking with many, many couples about their intimate lives together, I am here to tell you that:
A) No one is having as much sex as you think.
If you are looking at those brand new couples who are all over each other and slipping off to restaurant bathrooms for quickies and trying to measure up to that, stop. That’s what the beginning is all about—pheromones, oxytocin, and that lovely state of what we call “limerence” and thankfully, it fades a little. Can you imagine if it didn’t? No one would get anything done! And if you look at the long-together folks, frequent like-bunnies sex can sadly be a myth. Factor in kids, work, running a house, running a business and the thousand other things that we are up to, and it’s easy to see why sex slips down the ol’ priority list. Many couples would like to have more of it, but would also be pretty tempted by the lure of a great night of SLEEP.
My Invitation: have some conversations with friends you trust about their experiences; take a quick survey and ask how often they are really having sex. I am willing to bet it’s less than you think.
B) You get to define what “enough” looks like.
All that said, if you are having the amount of sex that you are satisfied with, generally speaking, and your partner feels the same, then you are having “enough.” It’s that simple. If one partner is feeling short-changed in this department or feels like they are falling short of their partner’s desires, then we have something to talk about, and it’s rarely the end of the world. There is a lot of pressure from what we see in the media and on television to tell us that we are wildly undersexed, but sometimes we just aren’t.
My invitation: talk about it with your partner to see if there are any gaps in your desires you want to address; then explore what could be different together.
C) Sex waxes and wanes.
We have already talked about the racy beginning and I’ll bet that you can remember that hot-clothes-tearing-off time in your own relationship, when you couldn’t wait to inhale your partner’s scent before devouring them. This can give way to a comfortable, deeply-familiar intimacy that supports you both as you grow. At one another’s side, there may be additions to the family to which you must adjust, or times of illness, or preoccupation with big life events that occur. These can take a toll on a sexual relationship.
My invitation: keep talking about it and check in with your partner to identify what’s happening and get on the same page.
The couple in this particular session? We pulled apart some of the layers and discovered that they were both really satisfied with their level of sexual intimacy, and that they were making assumptions and unfair comparisons about what was happening around them. We ended up strategizing some intimacy-building ideas, creating opportunities for their everyday connection to escalate into some delicious nakedness, and applauding what was already going well.
So where are you in this? Do you think you’re getting “enough”? If the goal is to design your relationship so that it works for you, then maybe it’s time for a conversation about what that means for you and your partner. This is one of the things I will cover at my upcoming Super Couple Tune Up—I would love to have you join me!