Maintaining a sex life with your monogamous partner can be hard….. or, well…. soft. And sometimes very very dry.
(insert desert and cactus emojis here)
Maybe you have been living together for a while, or married for a bit, but regardless of your situation, you might have found that your sex life isn’t what it used to be, or what it could be. This is a topic that is covered in movies, books, blogs and podcasts, but they have done it in a way that I don’t think hits the mark.
Their solutions generally are: A) buy some new lingerie or try some kinkier stuff, or B) buy flowers, chocolate and jewelry.
And if that works for you, then stop reading.
For me though, this kind of advice leaves me unsettled. First of all, these solutions seem a bit outdated. In the good-ol-50s, the men liked sex and the women didn’t. Sex was for procreation for women, and pleasure for men. So men were told that if they bought their little lady some flowers, then she would have to “repay the favor” by putting out. I hate this. I hate it, I hate it, I hate it for lots of reasons, but I’m going to try and not go into all of that in this post.
In my relationship, and after discussing it with a plethora of other couples - of all ages and all stages in their relationships, a decrease in sex seems to be the product of complacency.
Maybe the two of you have gotten a little settled in your relationship. You moved in together, and things were still exciting and new and you discovered what it was like to literally bump into each other in the bathroom, and figured out who was going to do which house task. Then you get your routine down - handing your Significant Other toilet paper as they take a shit and you brush your teeth. You stop “performing” for each other (which I honestly love) and you get a bit squidgy around the edges.
Let’s take a minute to pause and think about how great this is. None of this is bad or wrong. You’ve found someone that you can be 100% open, honest and probably dirty around (My husband graciously stays quiet when I don’t shower for 4-5 days – Dry shampoo works for day 2 and maybe 3, but then the weekend hits and I am not taking the time and effort to bathe). THIS IS A WONDERFUL STAGE IN LIFE.
But, we all do get stuck in routines (and as an individual with hardcore anxiety and OCD, I love my routine) that, in a sense, breed complacency. In our house, we get stuck in a routine of me getting home from work, slapping dinner together and plopping on the couch (yes, I mean plop). After a few hours (and hours and hours) of bad TV and video games, I head to bed and the hubby starts his work. He comes to bed in the wee hours of the morning, we sleep in the same bed for 2ish hours, and then I'm off to work, and the cycle starts again. It's only the two of us (and our pups) so technically we are spending time together in the evenings, but our routine takes away any allure, romance, games, and, to be completely honest, lust and sexual feelings.
The physical attributes that I found most attractive about my SO in the early days were the back of his neck (I know, I’m a weird one) and this scar that he has under his chin (okay okay, so I’m really weird). But, they are things that I forget about all of the time. In fact, it took me several minutes to even remember them when I sat down to right this post. But now that I’m thinking about them, wow… He’s damn sexy. But, I don’t really look at him anymore. He’s just my husband. He’s practically the only person that I talk to in a day, and certainly the only one that has slept in the same bed as me in several years. But I don’t look at him with admiration anymore.
I admire him completely – he’s super talented, incredibly funny, brilliant, wise, and mesmerizes people when he walks in a room. But, I don’t look at him WITH admiration anymore. So now, I’ve written sticky notes and put reminders in my phone every few days as a reminder to take the time and really look at him again and see those things that made him so attractive early on in our relationship and find new ways that he turns me on. And since our brain and our bodies are connected, I need to take the time to remember why he is my Significant Other.
For me, it isn't about finding new ways to find him attractive; it's remembering that I find that look that he makes when he thinks he's stumped me soooooooooooooooooooo hot. It's remembering that he makes me feel good when he compliments me or when he cleans my dishes for me. It's taking the time to remember that my main man is mine for a reason.
There are so many factors that might be affecting your sex life, but before you jump to too many conclusions, take a few minutes to jot down a few of the things that you find attractive in your SO. It could be completely physical, or some action that they take, or an item of clothing that they wear, or a facial tick. Whatever it is, just write down, or yell out, what you found attractive about him when the brushing of shoulders was enough to turn you on. And then look at your person, really really look at them, and let yourself get excited and delighted by them.