While there is certainly no way around the fact that sexless marriages and even intimacy anorexia are very real issues in long-term relationships, if your sex life is in a lull these days, before jumping to those kinds of conclusions, it could simply be that you and yours are in a bit of a rut. Don't worry. It's something that is pretty common among most couples because, as with all things in life, sex has its peaks and its valleys. The key is not to get comfortable with things remaining in a blah or ho-hum state because, if you do, it could result in you staying there, becoming totally dissatisfied—and that could create a domino effect of other problems between you and yours.
day 30 without sex: i’ve been going to starbucks for the past three days straight just to hear somebody scream my name— mel (@mel) 1531500495
The interesting things about ruts is, even though it's pretty easy to detect when you're in one, sometimes you need some assistance when it comes to pulling yourself out. If you just read that sentence and was like, "Yes. Exactly", I've got some of the leading causes of sex ruts, along with a few suggestions on how to get out of 'em.
SEX RUT PROBLEM #1: You Don’t Make Time for Sex
Whenever I'm in a session with a married couple and they tell me that they don't have time for sex, my right eyebrow immediately goes up. For some reason, that still doesn't prepare them for the question that I then ask them—"So, did you get on social media today?" About 8 times out of 10, the response is "yes", so I follow that up with, "Then, you had time to have sex today."
Did y'all know that most of us spend, on average, 144 minutes each day, just on our social media accounts alone? Hmph. When you take time to ponder that men only need five minutes to climax and we need around 20-25…if there's time for Black Twitter and IG Lives, there is certainly time for orgasms (check out "10 Simple Ways Married Couples Can Make More Time For Sex"). A few orgasms, when you really stop to think about it.
I'm telling you, if there's one thing that sex has the ability to do, it's test the old saying that it's not about having time, it's about making time for what matters. If your sex life is truly important to you, you will sho 'nuf make the time to partake. The question is…is it?
SOLUTION: Aside from the real number that rom-coms have done on a lot of people when it comes to how they think relationships and even romance should always be, I really don't get what the big deal is about scheduling sex. Just because you have a set time to do it, that doesn't mean that it has to always be done the same way, feel me?
What a schedule is designed to do is prioritize your life. That said, if you want to have a healthy relationship, sex should definitely be a top priority.
So yeah, if you're currently having a difficult time "fitting sex in", putting it on your Google calendar could help—'cause isn't it better to have scheduled sex than none at all?
SEX RUT PROBLEM #2: You’d Honestly Rather Do Anything but…Doing It
Back in the day, there was someone in my life who used to say (pretty much all of the time) that she would rather have a hot fudge sundae over sex any day. Years later, I ran into her and she was going on and on about how good the sex she was currently having was. When I asked her about the sundae, she looked at me and said, "Girl, please. Not unless that sundae is in the bed with us." The moral to that lil' story is that if you're in a sex rut and it's because there are 10 other things that you'd rather be doing than "the do", I doubt that has to do with the other activities; sounds more to me like that has to do with the quality of sex (or the lack thereof) that you're getting or how you're feeling about your partner at the time. Anyone who's had some really good coitus before knows that the pleasure is so profound that it's pretty close to being incomparable and indescribable. If you know all of this and you'd still rather binge-watch a television series or go shopping, something tells me that it's been a while since you've "been to the mountaintop"…if you've been there at all.
SOLUTION: I'm a big fan of sex journaling; it's a great way to reflect on the likes and dislikes of your sex life—past and present. If you'd seriously rather wash your hair or do your nails than get it on and in with your partner, take out an hour or two to write down why. It can help you to figure out what's missing so that you can get back to having the kind of sex that you would pretty much push anything to the side in order to have it.
SEX RUT PROBLEM #3: No Foreplay Is Totally Fine with You
I know some people—including women—who don't feel like it should "take all of that" in order to have a great sex session. Noted. But foreplay isn't just about "warming up the engine" so to speak. It's also about enjoying your partner and connecting with them on an intimate level outside of actual and literal intercourse. Whenever a person—especially a woman since it typically takes us longer to "get there"—tells me that they would rather pass on foreplay (and afterplay, for that matter) and get right to it, oftentimes what that means is, "Yeah…I really want to get this over with as soon as possible"; if that's the sentiment, that's a problem. Why do you want to rush sex if you care about your partner and you enjoy being with them? Those are not rhetorical questions, by the way. Matter of fact, if you answer them, you just might get down to the root cause of why foreplay isn't all that big of a deal to you. Because, in my honest and humble opinion, it really should be.
SOLUTION: Foreplay, in the simplest terms, is a prelude to intercourse. It's the build up to the climax. That's essential to keep in mind because climaxes rely on build-ups. In other words, the greater (and even longer) the prelude, the more intense and mind-blowing the climax/orgasm can be. That's why, I fully believe that, if you don't make time for foreplay, you could be missing out on some of the best sex of your life. If you're still over there like "meh", at least take out a few moments to check out articles like, "These 10 Foreplay Hacks Can Take Your Sex Game To Another Level" and even "Ashley Graham & Her Husband Say Prayer Is The Ultimate Form Of Foreplay"; they might just encourage you to give foreplay more of a shot. Also, if the real reason why you don't want to engage is because you want to get sex over with as fast as possible, consider getting into couple's therapy. If this is indeed the case, there's a pretty good chance that it has less to do with the sex and more to do with some dysfunction in your relationship overall.
SEX RUT PROBLEM #4: You and Your Partner Don’t Discuss Sex—at All
Sex is a form of communication. That's why, I am a firm believer that it is a barometer for how a relationship is going. What I mean by that is, if two people are mentally and emotionally connected, it tends to reveal itself in their sex life. Not only that but if you've been reading any of my stuff on here long enough, you know that I dig the Bible, BIG TIME. Well, the first documented sexual instruction given was for a husband and wife to be "naked and not ashamed" (Genesis 2:24-25). That's why I don't get how two people—especially two people who've seen each other naked before—can be uncomfortable about discussing sex; not in general (like with their friends or whatever) but with each other. I've had some spouses tell me that they are uncomfortable talking about their sexual needs, wants or expectations before. Meanwhile, I'm like 1) if you want to get the kind of sex that you desire, how is your partner supposed to help you out if you don't talk about it?, and 2) you're sharing your entire life with someone, why are you self-conscious about sharing your innermost sexual thoughts? A wise person once said that things don't change until we change them. If your sex rut is because there are crickets on the sexual communication tip, things aren't going to be any different until/unless you decide to speak up.
SOLUTION: If you're uncomfortable discussing sex with your partner because you're self-conscious about doing so, I'm certainly not going to make you feel even more self-conscious about it. What I will recommend is you consider approaching the topic in the form of a game. I recently checked out the article, "25 Naughty Games To Play With Your Partner When You're Bored" that offered some lighthearted approaches to copulation so that, when you do bring the topic up, things won't feel so…awkward.
SEX RUT PROBLEM #5: The Entire Act Is Extremely Predictable
I definitely think that one of the biggest causes of sex ruts is predictable sex. Predictable means "able to be foretold or declared in advance". What I like to equate this to is lazy sex. Still, I can rationalize how it can get to this point and place. When you've been with someone for a while—and you each care about getting one another off—you start to figure out what works and what doesn't. Before long, it can be really easy to gravitate towards the things that you automatically know will work so that everyone can cum and call it a day.
The problem with that is, after a while, predictable sex can get really old, really fast. You know what's coming (no pun intended) and so you find yourself just going through the motions. Even if you do climax, it's more like an automatic physical reaction rather than a heartfelt genuine response.
Yeah, predictable sex might scratch an itch, but it doesn't really get the full job done, if you know what I mean.
SOLUTION: Fantasies. Fantasies are good and everybody has them. One way to get out of the sex rut of total and utter predictableness is to create a sex bucket list with your partner. Then make the mutual commitment to knock off at least one thing on your list a month. Then put a couple of extra bucks into your sex jar (because you do have one, right?) whenever you do. It's a simple way to break out of the calculated copulation hamster wheel that you and your partner have been in all of this time while creating an incentive for doing so along the way.
SEX RUT PROBLEM #6: “Bored” Pretty Much Sums Up How You Feel (Right Now)
While on the surface, it might seem like predictable sex and being bored in the bedroom go hand in hand, I'm going to offer some pushback on that. Boredom is about being weary. Oftentimes, when someone is bored with their sex life, they are weary about their relationship overall. What are some signs that you are indeed mentally and physically exhausted, impatient with or dissatisfied by your partner? For starters, you aren't as attentive to the relationship as you used to be. Some other factors are you nitpick, you find excuses to avoid spending quality time with them, you complain more and more to others about the relationship, you aren't invested in their needs and wants and, you find ways to even gaslight or sabotage your situation. If any of this is going on, it's no wonder that you aren't "thrilled" at the thought of rolling around in the bed—or anywhere else—with your partner. It's also a sign that your relationship is in serious trouble and trying to fix it with sex ain't gonna cut it.
SOLUTION: There are people who try and convince me that a lack of sex in a long-term relationship isn't a big deal. If I can bring the Bible back into this, even Scripture says that it is (check out I Corinthians 7:1-5). If there's one thing that should set your romantic relationship apart from every other relationship that you have, sex should top the list, so yeah—so long as both of you are physically capable, you should definitely be having it. If you aren't, then it's time to get back to the basics of why the two of you came together in the first place. Go on dates. Share the things that you like and love about one another. Become fluent (again) in one another's love languages. Sometimes, being sexually disconnected (or bored) is an indication that the relationship needs some extra attention. Once the foundation (the relationship) is tended to, it's easier for everything else (including sex) to fall (back) into place.
SEX RUT PROBLEM #7: Your Partner Can Relate to at Least Two of These Points as Well
It's my personal opinion that, one of the biggest causes of sexual breakdowns in long-term couples, is ego. Pure ego. It can manifest all sorts of ways too. You might think that if there is a sexual "problem" in the relationship, it's all about your partner because you are the total bomb in bed. You might be worried that if you state your needs, your partner might want you to switch up some things too. You never ask your partner if they are sexually satisfied because you are more concerned about whether their response will hurt your feelings than if they are happy. I could go on and on. But if you want to get out of the sexual rut that you're in, you're not going to be able to do it alone; your partner is going to have to assist and support along the way. So yeah, if you can relate to even a couple of the things that I just shared and you're ready for things to get better, putting your ego aside, getting your partner in on the conversation and being open to what they have to say is necessary. Very much so.
SOLUTION: Create a date night at home. Make sure it's a romantic setting (so that they won't automatically go on the defensive). Then ask your partner how they feel about the current state of your sex life. Be intentional about making it a judge-free zone while remembering that the ultimate goal is to make things better. The mere fact that you and your partner are discussing each other's need to improve what goes on in the bedroom is a HUGE STEP towards getting out of the rut that you're in. Clear, open, honest and loving dialogue (almost) always is.
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