Dr J's Sex Facts

Fun sex facts and accurate information from a clinical sexologist for a hotter and more fulfilling sex life.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Frequency Discrepancies, Part 3: “Where Do We Go from Here?”

“Something there is that doesn't love a wall, and wants it down"
Robert Frost

Welcome! If you’re new to this blog, please read the last two weeks’ posts for the first part of this story—or better yet, start at the introduction in the August archives to the right and then read forward to catch up.

Three weeks ago (remember when we started this whole “frequency” journey?), we discussed your wanting to share with your partner your desire to have sex more frequently. I encouraged you to make an effort not to sound like you’re nagging or whining and to think about how you can present the subject in a positive way, as an opportunity for both of you to work on your problem-solving skills. I might also add that when traveling in Personal Growth Land, it never hurts to take as much time as you need so you both learn something new about each other. I suggested your dialogue might go something like this:

The fire is lit, the wine is poured and the lights are low. Try saying: “You look so great. I can’t believe how turned on you make me feel. How do you do it?” (Always start with a compliment.) Then you might say: “I’ve been noticing that sometimes when I want sex, you’re not interested. I don’t want anything to get in the way of our happiness, and I really want to hear about your feelings so it doesn’t become a big deal.” (Be sure to use a non-confrontational approach when you bring up the subject, so that your partner doesn’t feel attacked.)

Now sit back and listen. Don’t interrupt, don’t attack and don’t defend.

So what happened? What did your partner share with you? That s/he is definitely still interested in sex with you, but something might be getting in the way? That lately, the timing just hasn’t been right? That you’ve started kissing differently—or your appearance has changed—and it’s not a turn-on? That s/he feels you’re hostile or angry? You get the idea. There could be any number of factors getting in the way.

After you get over your initial shock or hurt, now is the time to delve a little deeper for more specific information—without being defensive. This may be the most difficult part, but be courageous and hang in there with it (this can be way hard, I know). Let’s say, for instance, that one of the things you’ve just heard about is how you kiss him/her. Here’s an example of the sort of things you could say (you can use your own words):

“Wow. I hadn’t realized my kissing style had changed—or that it was bothering you. It would help me to know more about how you would like me to kiss you, so I can give it a try. Maybe that’d even be fun, too.”

OK, maybe your partner’s issue isn’t about how you kiss, but you get the picture: nothing in the above suggests defensiveness or upset. In fact, you’re being totally cooperative and curious about what your partner wants. How can s/he resist answering you? Of course, I say that knowing that I can’t actually predict how your partner will react because there are so many variables. Maybe s/he is really angry/hurt about something else and has just seized upon kissing as the tip of the iceberg. If so, I see a lot more talking to in your future.

“Dr. J, this is SOOOO hard,” you say. But if your relationship is worth it, you’ve got to invest the time and energy, and maybe risk some potential discomfort or awkwardness, etc. As I’ve said, good sex needs some fuel–and oxygen–to keep that spark alive. No couples that I know of just manage to have sex remain magically the same as it was when they first were together, at least not without making some adjustments and having some honest communication along the way. But lots of couples do manage to keep their sex lives fun, hot and interesting—with a little help from both parties.

I’d love to hear from you about how you would—or have—resolved such situations. As always, the doctor is in and welcomes your comments and questions.

With Pleasure,

Dr. J


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