Time for Sex
How often have you collapsed into bed late at night feeling just too tired for sexual encounters with your partner? Have you ever suddenly realized that days or weeks have gone by since you had a good heart-to-heart talk with your partner? Perhaps days or weeks since you shared physical intimacy?
Couples Often Feel They Don’t Have Time For Sex
Often couples find that if they don’t set aside time to be together privately, their day-to-day responsibilities and activities fill their lives, and there seems to be no time or energy left for intimacy or sex. In many couples, both partners spend their daytime hours working outside the home. This offers little opportunity for easy access to one another during the day (except perhaps on the week-ends). Some couples work different shifts, and are rarely home at the same time. Couples with children need to spread their attentions in a number of different directions. Extended family may also be living in the home, which may make private time all the more difficult to arrange. These are only a few of the examples of challenges that couples face (or don’t face, as the case may be) in creating private time for intimacy and sex.
Setting Aside Time for Sex and Intimacy
A key requirement when planning time for sex is for the couple to merely set aside time as private time for themselves. While allowing the opportunity for sexual interaction, they must be careful not to expect that it must happen. Often what people want most is to have a feeling of closeness with one another. Rather than talking about tasks and responsibilities, private time can be used for sharing feelings, affection, sex or any combination of such meaningful sharing that the couple chooses.
Individuals who are in a relationship, but are not living with their partners, usually plan dates together. However, couples who are living together often complain that they don’t want to plan time for sex because such planning spoils the spontaneity of loving. They wistfully say, “We wish our love life could be just as spontaneous as it was when we first met.” In fact, a closer look often reveals that back in “the good old days” the couple would plan a date and then look forward to it with joyful anticipation. By setting aside time for sex, you can renovate your relationship!
Talking About Sex
For many people talking to their partners about sex seems difficult. Why do people so often avoid this arena altogether? They feel awkward or embarrassed, they aren’t sure what words to use, or they are afraid they might hurt their partners’ feelings.
Meanwhile, as a result of not talking about sex, a person may make assumptions about a partner’s feelings and about what kinds of touches the partner might desire. This then gives power to the old, but still prevalent, myth that a man or woman should automatically know what his/her partner wants without having any conversation or guidance to help. People may put up with unpleasant sensations or emotions because they don’t feel comfortable talking about them.
Rather than leave it to intuition or luck, many couples have discovered the joys of verbally sharing with each other their likes, dislikes, and innermost feelings. “I would like...” and “I feel...” are key starters for improving communication about sex (as well as about many other things too). When people open up ALL the communication channels, real intimacy begins to flourish and there is an increased likelihood for greater sexual pleasure.
To overcome problems in sexual communication, “doing it” (in this instance “it” refers to talking) is a good avenue for learning. As you talk and listen, proceed gently and phrase things positively as much as possible -- sex is a sensitive, but wonderful, topic. Ask your partner for feedback. Each couple will have their own preferences about communicating, even if they are as yet unexplored.