“I have a 2 year old, that constantly tugs at us and still wakes up twice every night. She sleeps in our bed. Anita and I work an 8 to 8 job. We’ve been together for 6 years. Her body looks like a battlefield. These celebrity billboards …set the bar high. We can count the number of times we have sex in a year. When we do, it feels like a learned motion. How the hell do I navigate my sexual desires and hers – the sexual clashes that we have, and does that even matter for our satisfaction as a couple in the long run?” I told my client about an interesting 2017 review of research on human relationships by the scientist Amy Muise. It mentioned the “self-determination theory” in sexual happiness and couple well-being. Women (and men) who have sex for the sake of sex, because they enjoy being sexual or because of the pleasure derived from sharing an intimate experience are best off. Those that indulge in sexual acts for reasons that have to do with “control” such as feeling bad to withhold from a partner or feeling pressurized to have sex (for fear that the partner will seek intimacy outside of the relationship) are worse off. Being on the same page (sexually), BOTH partners enjoying the autonomy, the competence and the feeling “sexually connected” is associated with an ultimately positive sexual experience that leaves you wanting for more…
The Learning Curve
1. Understand that “Sex with no head, is like sandwich with no bread” – Its true. The neurons of the ventral tegmental area also associated with the natural reward circuitry of the brain (and orgasms) produce the neurotransmitter dopamine and pump it to several other brain areas.
2. In layman terms, you’ve both gotto be digging it. It’s not just enough that YOU feel sexy, in control and turned on. It is equally important that your partner feel the same way. Whatever works to get yourself there, “Just Do it.” That means, working on your relationship. On saying “Please, Thank you, and Sorry.”
3. Love thy body. Teach your partner to love her/his too. It requires you to filter out all that crap fed to you by the media. The body-image peddlers, the pushers. The ones that sell “clean-shaven” and “unblemished” as beautiful.
4. Start learning to be disinhibited and to express your needs to your partner. You may think you dislike the smell, taste or look of something. Unlearn these oceans of notions. If your partner enjoys something, if it’s safe and not painful, go for it.
5. Mutual consent. Remember that positive sexually-emotional experiences for BOTH, beget the need for more such escapades. If either person is even slightly reluctant or feels obliged, back-off and start from top again, from the head.