“No woman gets an orgasm from shining the kitchen floor. ”― Betty Friedan
Dear Sex Talk,
How do I fix intimacy in my relationship?
After several traumatic events in 13 years with my partner, I now feel pressured to have sex… Sometimes I enjoy it once I get out of my head. Other times I just don’t want anything to do with sex with my partner…
I love him and don’t want to separate. We have been together for 13 years; 3 kids and 4 abortions.
Sometimes, he is all over me. We start to kiss and one minute later he wants to have sex. It’s like, a quick hug and then he’s saying ‘let’s do it!’
He says that I never look for sex…but I feel like he never gives me a chance to!
I feel like I need a break and don’t want sex at the moment.
I guess my question is ultimately how are real relationship sexual dynamics in marriage??
-Uninterested in Pennsylvania
For many couples, lack of intimacy is a common problem.
The first thing I want you to understand is that marriage does not equal automatic consent. A lot of couples make the mistake thinking that marriage means daily sex or just getting what you want and that it doesn’t matter what the other person wants or rejects.
You may need to dial deep and ask yourself is it sex you are uninterested in or is it his current approach to sex that shuts you down?
My suggestion is this:
Think back to when you were dating.
What was different? Was the sex more intimate? Was the foreplay different?
How do you get back to that intimacy to reignite the spark?
What is different in your life now? What makes you feel special, loved, and sexy? Are you receiving these things in your relationship currently?
Intimacy is much more than having sex. It begins with feeling close and connected. And often that comes through conversations.
While it may feel difficult, a conversation about how you feel is really important between you and your partner. Talking about your daily needs, expectations, and what you like and don’t like to get you in the mood can really transform your sexual relationship. But this conversation needs to go deeper than sexual pleasure. True intimacy comes in the form of trust. Is there work that needs to be done there?
On the physical front, men have a “sex switch” which can make it challenging for them to understand the emotional work that it takes for women to become willing, ready, and wet. The truth is, women need connection and foreplay. Women have to get into a mindset of ease and enjoyment in order to show up for sexual intimacy. Without that, it’s a chore.