I received this in the Q&A and since I get asked this often, I felt like it was worth getting into in a full article.
“My partner and I haven’t had sex in several weeks. It’s been getting less and less over the past 6 months. I am just not in the mood and I feel like there may be something wrong with me. I have been so stressed out and the pressure that we aren’t having sex just adds to it. I am afraid he will go get it elsewhere and cheat on me and it will be my fault for not giving him what he needs. Help!”
Just Not into it – Waterbury Connecticut
Thanks for writing in “Just not into it” from Waterbury.
Listen…this may surprise you but you are not alone with this kind of thing that couples can go through and there is nothing wrong with you. That being said, there seems to be a lot of pressure and expectation put on couples to somehow always be interested in and on fire about sex with their partners any time, anywhere, and forever but in the real world this just isn’t the case 100% of the time. Our sexual interest and connection to our partners in some cases has a flow- like waves and our emotions. Riding these waves can also be your greatest alley in strengthening and deepening the relationship in places where you may not look or know is even there.
Many couples experience what many refer to as dry patches or low spells in their sexual activity with one another when they aren’t having as much sex as when they first met for example; and that doesn’t necessarily mean there is something wrong in ever case. When we first become intimate with someone there is newness, novelty and a certain spark that can relax and deepen with time. Some couples even experience literally years of little to no contact which raises some red flags for me in most cases because I know it means there is something deeper that needs to be addressed. However In some circles this type of little to no intimate or sexual connection suits them just fine in which case you need to know the difference between just not being interested in sex (A sexual for example) or simply avoiding sexual and intimate connection because there is a deeper thing that needs to be talked about.
There can be a whole garden variety of factors as to why you may not be in the mood.
A few things to consider right off the bat are :
Unresolved stuff. Too often we can get caught up on the daily little annoyances, pressures and nagging thoughts we keep to ourselves and away our partners that eventually become a wedge between us and them. I m talking about all the little teeny stuff (or big stuff) you choose not to verbalize but keep bottled up, let fester and stew which can turn to a build up of resentment and then effect your desire to be close, connect or be physical. This sort of stuff can get dissolved pretty quickly with clear and open communication and the willingness to be vulnerable and heard by your partner. I suggest you take the time to say what needs to be said, express what you may be hanging onto and really try to open up so that this “stuff” doesn’t build up, accumulate and eventually turn into a breakup or sexless snub fest.
Start by taking inventory. An real honest inventory.
Ask yourself if there are things bothering you in your relationship that are not being mentioned or talked about that are effecting the way you look at or treat your partner?
Everything matters! Even things like who takes out the trash, who makes the bed, and any thoughts of feeling under appreciated or acknowledged.
Share it even if it’s petty or seems insignificant.
Share it even if it is scary.
Share it even if the fact that you are sharing it scares the shit out of you and it seems petty.
Share the fact that it scares the shit out of you! Now that’s vulnerability and it will bring you closer.
2) Stress! Stressing at work, with children, with other family members, big life changes and even stress over finances can all put a big damper on your sex life because who can let go and unleash sexually with heavy stress looming over like a cloud?
Once you communicate with your partner about the stress itself, take time and relax without expectations to perform- then you can begin to feel better and open up to sex and intimacy without the “stuff” and stress on your mind. The mere act of pointing out the Stress Elephant standing in the room can help restore the juice in the bedroom.
3) Medications & Birth control: Check with your doctor (of find one who is in the know about sexual side effects) and discuss how these may be effecting you and your libido. Some doctors do not consider or mention sexual side effects when prescribing medications and contraceptives so it is a good idea to blatantly ask what the side effects are and how to not cock block yourself.
4) Diet & lifestyle: Everything that we put in our bodies can have an effect on your mood, emotions and certainly your libido. I could write a whole book on this topic alone but basically if you are consuming a lot of foods such as packaged and processed foods (check the ingredient lists) containing chemicals and additives I would recommend to begin clearing out these man made foods and replacing them with wholesome foods in their whole unprocessed state.
Some animal food products may contain hormones, so if you are not a vegetarian or vegan you may look into ways of reducing these foods or finding organic and local substitutes.
Once you have addressed any potential listed above
the next most important thing to do when you are in a dry patch is to practice communicating a little deeper with your partner.
When I coach couples they are shocked that I am giving them pointers on basic ways to communicate and talk to one another because they often tell me they aren’t use to speaking so frankly, honest and free with their partners out of fear of being rude, being judged or causing waves. The thing to remember is that it is vital to communicate even if you are embarrassed, worried or have other concerns. If you and your partner make an agreement upfront that communication and clear honesty is a priority then the two of you can start sharing and getting into “what id deeper”. and that’s where the good shit is!
It may go something like this.
“Hey Love… you know I have been really stressed out because of ____ and I am just not in the mood. Don’t take this personally- I am just having a hard time concentrating. Can we do ______ instead?”
Letting your partner know exactly what is up with you instead of just avoiding physical contact when you are not in the mood is a great place to start!
Sharing how you feel and even mentioning some of your fears and what you think it may cause them will help dramatically. Doing so will give them accurate insight into you, what’s going on with you and also give them a chance to respond instead of riding on assumptions.
addressing your earlier comment I wouldn’t automatically predict that your man is going to cheat just because you are not interested in sex- the important thing is to communicate and talk in a very microscopic manner , revealing what is really coming uo for you so the two of you know where each other stands, how you’re truly feeling inside- all free of assumptions.
It may sound something like this.
“Hey Honey….(put your hand firmly on the outside of his pants over his cock) I can see that you are needing some love. To be honest I am fucking tired and need to be up early, how bout I rub some coconut oil on you and give you a nice hand job or BJ. Then we can just cuddle?”
I don’t know a man who can or will refuse a BJ or hand job from their love! You may try taking the pressures of intercourse sex completely off the table and suggest something sexy the two of you can do instead to be close and connect intimately. This is way better than avoidance. You don’t always need to be having penetrative sex to show you care, feel loved and needed. Instead spend quality time doing other things the two of you enjoy doing together such as making dinner, soaks in the bathtub, hot and soapy shower, movie, trade off foot massages, body massage and even a little manual or oral might be fun to name a few.
With the expectation that your intimacy together is all about intercourse off the table and having to automatically be in the mood all the time, the two of you can simply talk about it and discuss other ways the two of you can connect and get your sexual needs met that are just as satisfying. One you’ve communicated openly and worked out what would work for the two of you then you can let the stress of the day melt and build on other angles of intimacy.
In relationships dry patches happen – let it be ok that there are times when you’re not desiring sex. Use this as an opportunity to get close in other ways.
What other types of intimacy outside of sex do you like to do?
Tell me below.
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