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7 Signs You're In A "Sex Rut" & How To Get Out Of It

Does it feel like your sex life is in a bit of a valley? If so, this can get you back to your sexual peak.

Sex

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.

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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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)

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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

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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.

Want more stories like this? Sign up for our newsletter here and check out the related reads below:

9 Sex-Related Questions You & Your Partner Should Ask Each Other. Tonight.

Could Your Home Decor Be Totally Wrecking Your Sex Life?

10 Romantic Dates You Can Go On (In Your Own Home)

10 Things Couples Who (Consistently) Have Great Sex Do

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ACLU By ACLUSponsored

Over the past four years, we grew accustomed to a regular barrage of blatant, segregationist-style racism from the White House. Donald Trump tweeted that “the Squad," four Democratic Congresswomen who are Black, Latinx, and South Asian, should “go back" to the “corrupt" countries they came from; that same year, he called Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas," mocking her belief that she might be descended from Native American ancestors.

But as outrageous as the racist comments Trump regularly spewed were, the racially unjust governmental actions his administration took and, in the case of COVID-19, didn't take, impacted millions more — especially Black and Brown people.

To begin to heal and move toward real racial justice, we must address not only the harms of the past four years, but also the harms tracing back to this country's origins. Racism has played an active role in the creation of our systems of education, health care, ownership, and employment, and virtually every other facet of life since this nation's founding.

Our history has shown us that it's not enough to take racist policies off the books if we are going to achieve true justice. Those past policies have structured our society and created deeply-rooted patterns and practices that can only be disrupted and reformed with new policies of similar strength and efficacy. In short, a systemic problem requires a systemic solution. To combat systemic racism, we must pursue systemic equality.

What is Systemic Racism?

A system is a collection of elements that are organized for a common purpose. Racism in America is a system that combines economic, political, and social components. That system specifically disempowers and disenfranchises Black people, while maintaining and expanding implicit and explicit advantages for white people, leading to better opportunities in jobs, education, and housing, and discrimination in the criminal legal system. For example, the country's voting systems empower white voters at the expense of voters of color, resulting in an unequal system of governance in which those communities have little voice and representation, even in policies that directly impact them.

Systemic Equality is a Systemic Solution

In the years ahead, the ACLU will pursue administrative and legislative campaigns targeting the Biden-Harris administration and Congress. We will leverage legal advocacy to dismantle systemic barriers, and will work with our affiliates to change policies nearer to the communities most harmed by these legacies. The goal is to build a nation where every person can achieve their highest potential, unhampered by structural and institutional racism.

To begin, in 2021, we believe the Biden administration and Congress should take the following crucial steps to advance systemic equality:

Voting Rights

The administration must issue an executive order creating a Justice Department lead staff position on voting rights violations in every U.S. Attorney office. We are seeing a flood of unlawful restrictions on voting across the country, and at every level of state and local government. This nationwide problem requires nationwide investigatory and enforcement resources. Even if it requires new training and approval protocols, a new voting rights enforcement program with the participation of all 93 U.S. Attorney offices is the best way to help ensure nationwide enforcement of voting rights laws.

These assistant U.S. attorneys should begin by ensuring that every American in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons who is eligible to vote can vote, and monitor the Census and redistricting process to fight the dilution of voting power in communities of color.

We are also calling on Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to finally create a fair and equal national voting system, the cause for which John Lewis devoted his life.

Student Debt

Black borrowers pay more than other students for the same degrees, and graduate with an average of $7,400 more in debt than their white peers. In the years following graduation, the debt gap more than triples. Nearly half of Black borrowers will default within 12 years. In other words, for Black Americans, the American dream costs more. Last week, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, along with House Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Maxine Waters, and others, called on President Biden to cancel up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt per borrower.

We couldn't agree more. By forgiving $50,000 of student debt, President Biden can unleash pent up economic potential in Black communities, while relieving them of a burden that forestalls so many hopes and dreams. Black women in particular will benefit from this executive action, as they are proportionately the most indebted group of all Americans.

Postal Banking

In both low and high income majority-Black communities, traditional bank branches are 50 percent more likely to close than in white communities. The result is that nearly 50 percent of Black Americans are unbanked or underbanked, and many pay more than $2,000 in fees associated with subprime financial institutions. Over their lifetime, those fees can add up to as much as two years of annual income for the average Black family.

The U.S. Postal Service can and should meet this crisis by providing competitive, low-cost financial services to help advance economic equality. We call on President Biden to appoint new members to the Postal Board of Governors so that the Post Office can do the work of providing essential services to every American.

Fair Housing

Across the country, millions of people are living in communities of concentrated poverty, including 26 percent of all Black children. The Biden administration should again implement the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, which required localities that receive federal funds for housing to investigate and address barriers to fair housing and patterns or practices that promote bias. In 1980, the average Black person lived in a neighborhood that was 62 percent Black and 31 percent white. By 2010, the average Black person's neighborhood was 48 percent Black and 34 percent white. Reinstating the Obama-era Fair Housing Rule will combat this ongoing segregation and set us on a path to true integration.

Congress should also pass the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act, or a similar measure, to finally redress the legacy of redlining and break down the walls of segregation once and for all.

Broadband Access

To realize broadband's potential to benefit our democracy and connect us to one another, all people in the United States must have equal access and broadband must be made affordable for the most vulnerable. Yet today, 15 percent of American households with school-age children do not have subscriptions to any form of broadband, including one-quarter of Black households (an additional 23 percent of African Americans are “smartphone-only" internet users, meaning they lack traditional home broadband service but do own a smartphone, which is insufficient to attend class, do homework, or apply for a job). The Biden administration, Federal Communications Commission, and Congress must develop and implement plans to increase funding for broadband to expand universal access.

Enhanced, Refundable Child Tax Credits

The United States faces a crisis of child poverty. Seventeen percent of all American children are impoverished — a rate higher than not just peer nations like Canada and the U.K., but Mexico and Russia as well. Currently, more than 50 percent of Black and Latinx children in the U.S. do not qualify for the full benefit, compared to 23 percent of white children, and nearly one in five Black children do not receive any credit at all.

To combat this crisis, President Biden and Congress should enhance the child tax credit and make it fully refundable. If we enhance the child tax credit, we can cut child poverty by 40 percent and instantly lift over 50 percent of Black children out of poverty.

Reparations

We cannot repair harms that we have not fully diagnosed. We must commit to a thorough examination of the impact of the legacy of chattel slavery on racial inequality today. In 2021, Congress must pass H.R. 40, which would establish a commission to study reparations and make recommendations for Black Americans.

The Long View

For the past century, the ACLU has fought for racial justice in legislatures and in courts, including through several landmark Supreme Court cases. While the court has not always ruled in favor of racial justice, incremental wins throughout history have helped to chip away at different forms of racism such as school segregation ( Brown v. Board), racial bias in the criminal legal system (Powell v. Alabama, i.e. the Scottsboro Boys), and marriage inequality (Loving v. Virginia). While these landmark victories initiated necessary reforms, they were only a starting point.

Systemic racism continues to pervade the lives of Black people through voter suppression, lack of financial services, housing discrimination, and other areas. More than anything, doing this work has taught the ACLU that we must fight on every front in order to overcome our country's legacies of racism. That is what our Systemic Equality agenda is all about.

In the weeks ahead, we will both expand on our views of why these campaigns are crucial to systemic equality and signal the path this country must take. We will also dive into our work to build organizing, advocacy, and legal power in the South — a region with a unique history of racial oppression and violence alongside a rich history of antiracist organizing and advocacy. We are committed to four principles throughout this campaign: reconciliation, access, prosperity, and empowerment. We hope that our actions can meet our ambition to, as Dr. King said, lead this nation to live out the true meaning of its creed.

What you can do:
Take the pledge: Systemic Equality Agenda
Sign up

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