Sex and intimacy are vital to your relationship. Read below to find out more about keeping the sexual connection healthy. Benefits from sharing a healthy sex life with your partner:
- Ease tension and stress
- Release “feel good” chemicals called endorphins
- Release “bonding hormones” called Vasopressin and Oxytocin
- Slow down aging
- Slow the loss of vaginal lubrication
- Decrease prostate issues
The problem is that fitting long-term intimacy, arousal, and sexuality in a relationship is difficult.
- Be aware! There are certain times during most long-term relationships when couples are at a high risk for losing their sexual bond: before or after the birth of a child, when adolescents are in the home, when someone is in poor health, and during menopause.
- Passionate sex often only lasts from 6 months to 2 years and may fizzle out before you’re even married. Passion tends to come and go throughout a long-term relationship. During the sexual lulls, extra effort is needed to connect with your partner. Hugging, kissing, and other forms of physical touch can enhance intimacy.
- Don’t let “Hollywood Sex” that shows super stars aroused before any contact and having multiple and mutual orgasms intimidate you! It’s not reality! Real couples don’t just walk around the house aroused and ready for sex. Real couples have kids, work, etc.
- MOST sexual encounters are NOT spontaneous. Surprised? Your best bet for having a sexual encounter is to plan it. Only about 1 out of 20 sexual encounters occur when both partners are aroused, without any planning, and are orgasmic for both. The stars only align about once a month. Enjoy when they do and plan for the rest of the time.
- Even happy, satisfied couples will have ‘not so satisfying’ sex sometimes. Sex is about more than performance or orgasms. About 5 to 15% of the time a sexual encounter will be a dud!
- Don’t assume you know what your partner likes. Ask your partner, “What do you like?” The answer may surprise you! Just as people change over time, their preferences can too.
- You deserve to have sexuality and intimacy in your relationship. Don’t let your marriage turn into an old shoe! New and different activities can help lead to sexual desire.
- Make the effort to go on dates with your partner, get away, or try something new together. Work together to figure out what bridges each other to desire. Couples who feel more emotionally
connected have more frequent sex.
- Want to improve your sex life (especially if you are over 40)? Being physically healthy is a big part of a healthy sex life. For example, did you know that belly fat blocks testosterone; the hormone responsible for sex drive? Getting healthy will give you more energy for everything, including sex. Start exercising, get good sleep, eat well, etc.
- Sex is not about intercourse, but about the flow of eroticism. Sometimes it won’t flow to intercourse, and many couples struggle with an all or nothing approach. Try to think of sex as a way to share pleasure and work on becoming comfortable with erotic non-intercourse.
Like driving a car, try imagining shifting from 1st to 5th gear – the car would choke. Don’t focus on getting to 5th gear. Instead, try enjoying 1st gear. If it progresses to 2nd gear, enjoy that too. Often the gears naturally progress and enjoy each gear in the process. 1st Gear of Connection: Affectionate Touch is all about getting connected with your partner.
- Hand-holding, hugging, kissing
- Clothes on
2nd Gear of Connection: Sensual Touch is all about giving and
being receptive to non-genital touch.
- Body massages, cuddling, caressing, hugging, kissing
3rd Gear of Connection: Playful Touch includes a mix of nongenital
touching and genital pleasuring.
- Showering together
- Erotic games
- Dancing (erotic or romantic)
4th Gear of Connection: Erotic Touch becomes more physically arousing.
- Manual, oral, rubbing, vibrator
- Couples younger than 45 or 50 may have more trouble with erotic touch
- Oral sex – viewed as more erotic by older couples (i.e. 55 year olds)
5th Gear of Connection: Intercourse
- Most transition when they can (3rd gear). Wait and transition to sexual intercourse when you
should (4th gear)
- Waiting to transition to a higher level of arousal is especially helpful for ensuring the bodies are
“ready” for intercourse
Although there are times you may not reach 5th gear, taking the pressure off and focusing instead on each other’s enjoyment builds a positive connection that can last.
A healthy sexual relationship is an important part of a healthy partnership. You get out of it what you put into it!