If I were to sufficiently cover the topic of sexuality I would need to add 700 pages to this book.
Sexuality is an incredibly complex topic, as are all subjects pertaining to relationships. Anyone who is struggling with sexual issues in a relationship must take many actions along the lines of listening to online seminars, going to therapy, reading books, meditating, and talking with his or her partner about the issue without fighting.
A person first needs to determine who they are from a sexual standpoint. If you have sexual issues (as many do), ask yourself who you are sexually. Are you a person who feels that they need a lot of sex, or are you feeling shut off from sex?
Next, you need to ask yourself if you are usually aroused by your partner. If the answer is no and there are not issues of fighting or lack of trust involved, it could be that either you're not attracted to the person or that your sexual identity is in a holding pattern. That's often the case with women after they give birth. Virtually all of their love and attention is going towards their child, and their body is essentially saying to them, “No more babies for a while; take care of this one.”
Men and women can fall out of attraction for each other. Their bubble of romance may have been burst and reality set in when they realized that that the person that they are with is not their savior.
Sometimes, but not always, a person's sexual drive is disingenuous. We may need to love someone so badly that we think we can secure a relationship with someone by offering them our body. This serves as a very shallow, unconscious connection to the natural sexual drive.
We should be able to recognize when the sexual urge within us is elevated and why that's the case. We’ll likely feel a craving in the body—something tingling, something arousing. We may just feel lonely and be in need of love, and the only way we know how to ask for it is by engaging in sex.
Oftentimes as a relationship ages the sexuality that was present in the early stages becomes diminished to a degree. This can happen for many reasons. Anyone going through such a situation should write about their experiences. They should think deeply about their relationship, try to determine what has either accelerated or slowed down their sexuality, and write down their findings in some detail. And they should talk with their partners as they go about doing so.
Again, many circumstances will make it so that couples sex drive is diminished over time. Some couples might have more sex if they are having a lot of fights and resentments and sex might be the only love language that they have. Some people shut down sexually and in other ways when they don't feel safe. Some have traumatic experiences from youth associated with their sexuality, and that interferes with healthy sexuality with their partner.
Others may have doubts about their partner being their lifelong mate. Such doubts are not uncommon because it's our nature as human beings to analyze things. Conflicts in relationships can give rise to such questioning. This is among the reasons that communication among partners is so crucial. But many partners do not communicate openly and frequently, and it unfortunately becomes the case that communication doesn't occur until problems erupt into heated arguments.
You should talk about your sexual needs with your partner and then ask what his or her sexual needs are. At that point you need to negotiate. You may tell your partner that you need sex all the time and your partner might say he or she wants to have sex once a month. Both of you will have to compromise to some degree if this is the case.
Your partner may agree to have sex more often, but under certain circumstances. For example, if your partner is a woman, she may say, “I will have sex with you more often, but I want you to draw a bubble bath, lay out flowers, play gentle music, and go slow.” You should be willing to accede to such requests.
As you analyze your behavior, you should recognize that some of your sexual behavior is linked not only to psychological issues but also to who you are as a human being physically. Some people have a lot of sexual craving, some not as much so. Some people are very comfortable with sex, and other people are shy.
It's important to understand that sex is not the primary motivation for or primary issue in a relationship. It's one of the reasons, but the primary reason should be the desire to love another and have companionship. Relationships should exist so that the partners can build character in each other. Engaging in appropriate compromising, forgiving, sharing, and apologizing are all character-building actions that can’t be done in lonely isolation.
If you’re at odds with your partner because of poor communication, the solution is not to break up and start having sex with other partners. Instead, the solution entails sitting with your feelings, controlling your reactions, and not panicking. Doing so is a step towards effectuating change in your own life and being an example for your partner.
I used to be very hurt if a partner refused me sex. Then it occurred to me that I should improve my timing regarding when and how often I asked for it. My partner is my wife. She prefers not to be intimate with me if it's late at night and she's tired, and I honor her wishes.
My wife loves for me to gently stroke her back with my fingertips. If I do that for her early in the morning, it relaxes her and it brings up something in her that is often sexual. We have a young child sleeping in the room, so we don't always have sex in such moments. But sometimes just feeling the sexual attraction and love that is present is enough to satisfy me. At times I'll ask my wife how she's feeling sexually and she'll tell me that she's very distracted and that all of her attention, love, and passion needs to go towards our baby. I can understand and appreciate it when that’s the case.
I'm in the stage of my life now in which I can take sexual energy and I can divert it into my business. I can slow it down and make it into something that's not sexual but charges it with creative energy.
I cannot stress enough the importance of patience in a relationship. We have to be patient with our partners because sometimes their behavior is being controlled by their subconscious mind. We have to discuss things candidly and openly, and if changes are required then we must give one another time to put such changes into place.
Again, journaling is highly recommended. Perhaps you keep a journal but your partner does not. If so, it might be inappropriate to try to force them to. Rather you should just do your own writing about yourself and your own daily struggles, and perhaps have a weekly entry focused on sexual issues.
It's the case for all people in relationships that at times they will not feel like making love. They may have an illness, they may be distracted, or something else might be a temporary hindrance to their sexuality. My wife and I are not exceptions. At times I’ll want to make love but she won't be in the mood. When that's the case she’ll say to me that she doesn't feel up to it but she'll want us to hold each other while she tells me how much she loves me. Then I'll tell her how much I love her. We've built trust together, and my wife's comfort is more important to me than sexual fulfillment.
If a couple goes a long period of time without having sex, they should talk about it. They can talk about how one or the other partner has seemed to be distracted. They can talk about making time to connect. They can talk about something such as a romantic getaway that might help them get more in the mood.
Open discussions are crucial. You will often need to consider saying things that you believe your partner would like to hear. And it's also crucial to be able to control your reactions if your partner’s lack of desire causes you to feel rejection.
Rejection can be extremely difficult to deal with. Uncertainty about the relationship and insecurity about yourself can fuel feelings of rejection. When you are rejected, you must swallow your pride and guard against becoming angry about the situation. Time might heal your temporary wound, but if not it may help to talk about your feelings of rejection with a friend or close confidant.
If you’re experiencing temporary sexual rejection from your partner, you have to give the situation time, patience, and sacrificial love. You have to keep your own self-esteem intact as you go through the process of negotiating such a difficulty. And keep these things in mind:
- If you feel rejection, you need not reject yourself.
- No one can make you love yourself; it is up to you to do so.
- You must be vulnerable.
- You should not try to emotionally hide from your partner or try to keep secrets.
- Be willing to risk feeling hurt if it will move you toward better communication with your partner.
Under almost all circumstances, sexual difficulties can be worked out among loving partners. Like everything else that’s of value, though, there will be hard work required to make it happen. Always be loving, kind, and truthful to your partner, and model the behavior that you would like to see in him or her. Chances are that things will improve significantly given time.