Are you facing a sex life crisis? You are not alone! This year, more than ever, couples may find themselves with more time together. With a global pandemic causing quarantines, social distancing, and working from home, you’d think it would be the perfect opportunity to reconnect.
However, with all this comes extra stress and anxiety, which is not always conducive to a good time. Some people are dealing with a sex life crisis on top of all the other added worries to their everyday lives.
One of the biggest mistakes you can make is thinking it’s always a ‘bad’ thing when sex tails off. We are misled into believing that potent, powerful or personable sex should be at the forefront of our minds. The truth is very different. For some couples, deeply satisfying relationships can flourish in other ways also.
But where sex has been important in a relationship, its loss can be keenly felt. This can happen at any age or stage. When either partner goes off sex in a long or short-term relationship this usually means something has changed and it needs talking about.
Common Causes of a Sex Life Crisis
Often, it’s related to how one or both people feel about the relationship or themselves. Health issues, body image issues, the demands of childcare and everyday life can easily intrude on sex lives. It’s important to recognize what’s happening and deal with it early on.
Sometimes, years go by with one or both partners feeling resentful and upset that sex isn’t happening or at least not happening as much as they would like. We can all get a bit complacent or just plain worried about naming what feels wrong. But communication is key.
Gently sharing a concern about what you’ve noticed usually goes down better than a critical comment while actually doing it. It’s not about what you say but how you say it. Though it may seem counter-intuitive, talking about your sex life crisis in the bedroom is actually not the way to go.
How Much Sex is the Right Amount?
How much sex you have and how you do it tends to vary as relationships change and mature. For some people, having kids move on with their own lives sometimes frees up commitments and space, and allows them to create a more relaxed approach to sex.
Tastes and needs change over time and keeping up to date with what a partner needs sexually means you’re more likely to be in tune with each other. Older couples sometimes talk about having a much better understanding of what is wanted now there’s time to devote to sex and their experience with each other.
Communication really is fundamental. The sooner you’re comfortable in your relationship talking about your wants, needs, and desires, the easier it becomes to build the kind of physical relationship you desire.
Sex doesn’t have to mean intercourse. Age and time sometimes mean that a previously adventurous sex life needs to be a little calmer, but a relationship doesn’t have to be any less intimate.
Most people want to feel close to a partner whatever kind of sex they’re having. Sometimes it’s the closeness rather than the quality of the sex that makes the difference.
How to Approach a Sex Life Crisis
- Don’t keep quiet about what’s happening
Think carefully about how and when to share your concern. In the middle of an argument is not the time to bring it up. This is also not the time to lay blame. Going into the conversation with a positive mentality will work wonders.
- Listen to what your partner has to say
They may have been having similar thoughts so try not to be defensive. Work out together what needs to change and take small steps to achieve it. We have two ears and one mouth, so we should listen twice as much as we speak.
- Be patient, it takes time
Don’t expect miracles immediately. You will probably need to practice getting into the swing of things again, depending on what’s causing your sex life crisis.
- Don’t think sex automatically means intercourse
This bit might need to come later once you’re both feeling comfortable and at ease with each other. Try stroking, touching and kissing to start with but don’t put pressure on yourself or your partner to go further until it feels right.
You may find that your partner has felt a lack of intimacy, which can translate to foregoing sex for some people. Try introducing more romance to your relationship and see what happens.
- Don’t worry if things start slipping again
Everyone has off days or weeks. Sometimes life gets in the way, especially in these trying times. It’s the little things, oftentimes, that mean the most. Bring back dating and wooing one another to your relationship as a way to reconnect.
If you find that your partner just isn’t into sex right now, masturbation is a wonderful form of self-care to indulge in until things feel right again.
- Don’t feel things have to be the same as when you first got together
You may have changed. Your partner may have changed and most likely your sexual needs may have changed. Don’t make assumptions about what worked before. Spend time finding out what you both need now.
As we age, certain factors required to have a healthy sex life change. Our hormones decrease, which can lead to a lack of interest in sex. If you feel this is affecting you, talk with your doctor.
- Focus on connection first and foremost
Sex usually works best when you and your partner feel connected in other ways too. Taking a general interest in the things that are important to a partner usually helps to make them feel valued and important – always a good start to a healthy sex life!
If your partner usually makes dinner each night, take over a couple of days a week. Give each other the space you need in order to recharge and revitalize yourselves.
The Bottom Line
There’s no magic answer to fixing a sex life crisis, but there’s a very simple one: stay close, keep talking and don’t be afraid to seek support. When we take the time to communicate from a positive point of view and open ourselves up to being vulnerable with our partners, we can achieve anything. Including re-igniting the spark!