It should be on fire.
It should be erotic.
It should be sexy.
Mmm but you’re finding that pretty much the opposite is true.
You’ve found the love of you life (hoorah!) but when it comes to sex…you’re just not that into it.
Maybe it was different in the beginning – you felt the passion and the attraction. You felt the willingness to be vulnerable in your sexuality (or maybe love had you feeling invincible). All you remember is that you were so happy to go there with him – maybe even frequently and now…
Cue desert spells.
Cue ‘I’m too tired’ pleas.
Cue avoidance and hiding from him.
Whatever pathway your relationship has taken to this point, know that you have the power to replenish and re-direct it back into sexy terrain.
It might not be the easiest thing you ever do but can I ask:
How does looking out into the sexual desert forever feel?
Yeah, I didn’t love the view either.
So I got my butt into gear.
Here are the why’s (and the what to-do’s) when you are with the love of your life but you are not sexually interested in them…
The security and safety that comes with a long-term relationship is so warm and comforting when it’s good. That sense of being cocooned in love and rooted into the Earth feels like a nice hot bath when you have been out there dating and trudging through apps, regretful hook-ups and lots and lots of silence and sobbing.
At least in your safety, you aren’t lonely anymore – you have a buddy to ride alongside with you. You’re close, reaaaally close. Some of my clients go so far as to say: ‘my husband/partner/boyfriend is my best friend’.
And I saw awwww. ‘Cos it’s sweet and comforting.
Just that your husband or partner being your everything can come with a catch.
The catch is that we can lose eroticism and sexual chemistry when our partner comes to represent everything we need and want.
Have you ever noticed how your man is kind of your confidante, the one who helps you problem solve, the one who listens to all your gripes, the one you work out with, the one you do all your favourite stuff with, the one you spend the weekend with and maybe even the one you work with??
Woah, that’s a lot of things.
Life has changed – it used to be a lot more compartmentalised as to who fulfils what role in your life. Things are a little bit blurry now because we not only want our partner to be our everything but we expect it.
Is it possible that us modern women want a male version of ourselves?
Which is so weird because that chemistry we felt in the beginning wasn’t just about how you got on with your partner but it was about how alluring their differences are.
Think about it.
When I cast my mind back to my now husband and how our courting took place…I think of all the suspense.
There was so much ambiguity that I stayed interested in what was happening.
Not only that but it was our shared drives to an all-night servo or Harry’s Café de Wheels (Sydney-siders feel me) that highlighted how we were similar AND how we were different.
I liked that he played Water Polo and geeked out to Sci-Fi (neither of these is me) but could also hold a conversation about poetry and Ani DiFranco (oh, but these are me).
We got on because we learnt from each other and showed each other the parts of us that are unique as we played with our common interests.
If everything was exactly the same, we would get bored. Sure it might be cool at first to keep saying ‘I know! I love that too!’ but eventually, we would just shorten that down to saying ‘I know’ begrudgingly. Unsurprisingly.
There would be no mystery and nothing to keep us INTERESTED.
Could you take a moment now to think back to what it was like when you first got together?
Why were you drawn to him?
What was different about him from other men?
What were the qualities that were attractive to you at the time?
Come back to the now.
What is it that intrigues you about your partner?
Is there anything that feels elusive or do you think you know EVERYTHING about him?
I believe we need a little mystery throughout long-term relationships to keep us interested. How mundane is it listening to every aspect of someone’s day all the time? Knowing everything there is to know.
If that isn’t turning you on to sex with your partner then maybe that is a sign that you need a little space between you and them to show how you are two different people.
Because who feels sexually attracted to someone who is identical to them?
I know it is tempting to shape our partners as the relationship progresses and to keep everything moving along in the way that you see as workable. But we can’t stifle our men and their individual expression.
Beware suffocating their masculinity and then not feeling attracted to them anymore.
For sure I have gotten the shits sometimes about my husband rolling into bed after midnight exhausted from playing PS4. He’s a gamer. He’s a dreamer (yup, Pisces). So when I catch myself wanting to spill into another tirade about his gaming habits, I try and take pause.
His gaming is something he needs for him. It has nothing to do with me. It only has something to do with me when it impacts negatively on me and our relationship. Which it doesn’t.
I take it further in my mind.
Would I prefer him to be out there getting drunk?
Would I prefer him to be addicted to watching sports?
Erm. Hell no.
Would I prefer him to be coming to bed without decompressing and feeling like a caged animal?
Toxicity and a lack of sexual connection in long-term relationships breeds in suffocation. If you want a good sex life, if you want intimacy and you want connection, you need to start seeing how you are different. Look at how the separate parts of you want to come together.
On a really practical level, I advise to keep the minimal phone calls and SMS’s/messaging at bay. You know those calls where you don’t really have anything to say but ‘how are you?’
Unless our partner is going through something significant, we don’t need to check-in with them all the time. Try saving up what you have to say until you see them that night or the next day. Interestingly, there will probably be some stale bits of your life that you don’t even need to mention because you realise they are kind of stale. Think of your new type of conversation as being a selection of the juiciest bits of your day instead of a rehash of all the repetitive stuff.
We don’t need to have more talks with our partners that sound like to-do lists.
We need more conversations that have heart and that are centred around our perceptions, viewpoints and feelings.
Do I want to hear all about the excel spreadsheet he chipped away at today? (Hint: not really. Honestly, not at all)
But I do want to hear about how he read something that made him laugh or a spin on what he learnt listening to a podcast he loves and how it made him excited about a future possibility.
On that note, being interested in your partner is about talking about the positive, the uplifting and the hopeful.
Dare I say so many couples engage in a bitch-fest when they get home and a ‘my day was worse that your day’ competition (yeah, guilty of that one!)
The big question is: what does all of this have to do with sexual interest?
How you connect in the day is a reflection of how you connect at night.
Unless having the shits with each other is a turn-on (angry sex/make up sex is real) then you probably need your intimate foundation to look and feel a little different from how it does now.
My take on it is – being in a long-term relationship needs to live as much as possible not too far up either end of a closeness/separation spectrum.
That middle ground of being engaged and interested in each other without living in each others pockets OR being so separated and disconnected that you are hanging by a thread.
Taking all of this into the very important discussion of your sex life, when you feel more interested in your husband or partner in general, you are probably going to be more interested in having sex with them.
You aren’t going to be interested in sex if you can’t feel where he ends and you begin.
You can’t feel the pull of attraction if you know everything about him.
You can’t be interested in sex if the sex that you do have is always the same.
When your relationship goes through a shake-up and you start to do things a little differently with novelty at the forefront of your mind, you will be given this really cool insight into him that will remind you why you first got together.
The safety and security are necessary so that you can feel safe and secure to open into sex. But too safe can spell boredom and predictability.
Now I want to ask…
Where can you inject more novelty into your relationship? Are there some habits you need to break? (Flossing in front of each other anyone?)
Where can you nurture more of your own individual identities so that you have something else to talk about?
Is it possible for the two of you to have a date per month or every 2 months where you don’t default to having dinner? Let’s be honest, we both know what eating together is like. Instead, could you try one new thing, activity or workshop that shows the two of you that you are open to new things and can step outside of comfort?
Finally, a last bit of real talk.
Your sex life with the love of your life will wax and wane over the years you are together – that is totally natural. Maybe this union is forever, maybe it isn’t.
Whatever the outcome, know that right now you have chosen to come together and stay together and that in the free world, either of you can decide to dissolve the relationship and move on.
You aren’t together because you HAVE to be together.
You are together because you WANT to be together.
You can make a choice as to how the rest of your very precious time together looks and feels.
Would you like the view of the sexual desert or the lush and juicy expanse of a rainforest that always has a new twist and turn to take you on?
I personally am more of a rainforest gal.
Feel genuinely interested in the love of your life by day to feel genuinely interested in the love of your life in the bedroom.
P.S. Need some more personalised approaches to being more sexually interested with your life partner? It's totally normal for all of this to feel too hard and too all-encompassing. What I love about 1.1 sessions is that we can tailor everything to your lifestyle and unique set of circumstances. When you have someone who is impartial tune in to what needs a tweak or two, the results are not only bang on, but they are the fastest acting (unless Dr Google comes up with a prescription for you?). I promise it is the most gentle and understanding space to step into - go straight to my sessions page for more. AND...
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This is an organisation I love to support for everything they are doing to help mamas navigate their personal experiences in safety and with kindness. If you ever needed a little bit more of a nudge to step forward, know that you helping you is helping women help women. I love that!