One of the most frustrating things couples experience, and ultimately come to therapy for, is when they feel their relationship has moved into the “living with my best friend” and they are no longer intimate anymore. I need to jump up on my soapbox for just a sentence or two to emphatically state that there is a real human need to provide relationship classes in our primary education years and beyond. Either adjust the three R’s to include relationships or add a fourth R, enough said!
Many couples struggle with sustaining what each considers a happy, healthy and satisfying sexual relationship. It shouldn’t surprise anyone [although it does] that this would become an issue in long-term relationships when there has never been any kind of formal or informal ways of addressing sexual matters and concerns. One reason is that many people feel completely uncomfortable talking about what they consider to be of an extremely [possibly embarrassing] personal nature.
So if you are not talking to anyone other than your partner about what “a normal sexual relationship” is supposed to be like then where did you get your information? Zilbergeld [The New Male Sexuality – Revised Edition] wrote about a Fantasy Model of sexuality and described how many people define sex as intercourse making it all about performance, thus limiting your view of sexuality. I liked his sports car analogy to sex – the only way you can really enjoy this car [i.e. sex] is to drive [i.e. intercourse] 90 mph around really windy roads.
If you have limited your view of sex to intercourse [my Round Hole title – no pun intended] then you are missing out on so much pleasure, fun and intimacy. In other words, you and your partner need and should define sex on your terms. Rethinking frequency with satisfaction – make your square peg fit into your square opening!