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Still Having Sex After All These Years

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Someone asked me recently how I manage to still have great sex with my partner; after all, we’ve been together for twenty-four years. She thought there was something wrong with her relationship when, after five years, she no longer had desire for her partner.


My answer surprised her. I hardly ever start out with a great desire to have sex with my partner. I know that regular, satisfying sex is important to the health of relationships. I get horny regularly, but rarely am I dying to have sex with him. The horniness is more like a bodily function, not directed at anyone in particular. But I know from experience that once I get into it, I’ll have a great time. Even if I’m not horny to begin with, I get caught up in the act and have a great time. 


I told my friend that I think there are three components to having great sex with the same person over long periods of time. Here they are, in the order in which I discovered them.


First, you have to be more creative. Nothing kills desire faster than routine (and screaming babies, but that’s another story). Experiment with different positions, role-playing, sex toys, and fantasies. And don’t forget the lube; women who use lube regularly report greater satisfaction with sex. You may have to be creative with scheduling time for sex if you have children, but just because it’s on the schedule doesn’t mean it has to be boring. I’ve written other blogs about spicing up your sex life; you can check them out here.


Second, you have to be more loving. You may have to be willing to forgive your partner so you can feel more loving toward them. Stop holding a grudge and stop keeping score; love is not a baseball game. People will treat you as you expect to be treated. When you consistently, honestly expect to be treated with love, that will become your experience. Although this concept is simple, it’s by no means easy. You may need therapy or a good life coach to help you get there. 


The more loving you can be, the more likely you are to want to have sex. And then a funny thing happens: the more you have sex, the more loving you feel toward your partner. You may be less inclined to nitpick or get upset about the little things they do imperfectly. In fact, one remedy I often give couples who’ve become disconnected is that I tell them to have sex every day for seven days in a row, whether they feel like it or not. It provides a kick-start to their connection, and they become more loving toward each other. 


The third thing you have to be is transparent. This is the most challenging of the three. Over time, little things can become big irritants. That cute snore when you were first dating becomes an ice pick in your brain and makes you seriously consider whether you could get away with murder. When you work on becoming more loving, your relationship will improve dramatically. But in order to keep things good, you have to become transparent with your emotions. That means no more pretending. It means no more allowing yourself to be treated or spoken to in ways that dishonor you. 


We are told as children, and see role models behaving in this way, that sometimes you have to ignore an unappealing trait in an otherwise wonderful person. This disrespects both us and our partners. Being transparent is like being honest, with a turbo-charge. I’ll give you an example. An honest person might say, “I don’t feel like having sex right now.” A transparent person would say, “I don’t feel like having sex right now because I feel vulnerable. I’m afraid to be honest because I don’t want to hurt your feelings, but I’ll tell you why …” Transparency is honesty, plus owning your own feelings, plus creating and maintaining emotional and physical boundaries which help you feel safe. 


When two people are transparent with each other, it creates an incredible amount of safety in the relationship. This feeling of safety makes you want to have lots of sex, even if you might think you’re not in the mood. 

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