I want to share today some thoughts about the most common mistakes that couples make when it comes to their sex life.
Not so long ago, love had almost nothing to do with marriage.
Nowadays it’s a very different story. Both love and sexual pleasure play a huge part in having a successful marriage. Women became liberated by contraception, thus sex became separated from it’s reproductive role. So, sexuality today is not about marital duties or having children, it’s about desire. And this is where things become really interesting because love and sexuality have very different needs.
According to internationally renowned family therapist Esther Perel, love is about having and desire is about wanting. Desire needs tension, insecurity, breaks and repairs to generate erotic energy in relationships. On the other hand, love needs intimacy, closeness and trust. Desire needs novelty, surprise and distance.
Take sexual threat for example: it is most definitely not good for love, yet knowing that your partner is sexually attractive to others increases your desire.
“Fire needs air, and many couples don’t have enough air.”
Perel argues that too much closeness kills desire and passion. Love seeks closeness but desire needs space just like fire needs air. To heighten the passion you have to learn to cultivate mystery and train yourself to tolerate short separation periods.
The key elements that can revive passion in a long-term relationship are absence, longing for the other, anticipation and fantasy.
That being said, it’s time to see 5 of the most common mistakes that couples make when it comes to their sex life:
Mistake no. 1: No date nights
In the beginning of a relationship, going on dates is something special. Planning ahead, dressing up and going out is so romantic. The problems arrive when we start settling into familiar routines that run our lives. You need to make dating a priority even if you have children. Go out on a date, just the 2 of you, at least once a week. Just plan a date night and stick to it.
Mistake no. 2: Lack of mystery
“Though flatulence is a normal bodily function, breaking wind, burping or picking your nose in the presence of your lover is not sexy. Too much familiarity kills sexual desire.” Dr. Bea Jeffrey
Think about it like this: Lingerie is sexy for what it conceals not for what it reveals.
Mistake no. 3: Not enough sex
This is one of the most frequent complaint that therapists and couches that work with couples here. Men tend to bring this up more often than women but some women complain about this as well. Research shows that happy couples have sex at least once per week. And the more sex the couple has, the more marital satisfaction there is.
Mistake no. 4: Just parents
A common assumption is that parents usually have low libidos because they are too tired or too stressed for sex. Yet the very same people were tired or stressed when single and more sex despite all that. So what’s really going on? It seems that parents tend to center their lives on the child and put their needs second. Thus, the need to connect with the spouse diminishes.
“For the adult couple, intimacy, sexuality and communication are crucial. They need to set boundaries, to take their time, to lock the bedroom door, to keep the spark alive.” Ester Perel
Mistake no. 5: No sex
After being married for a few years and especially if you have children, you need to plan having sex in advance. I know many people object to this, arguing that sex needs to be spontaineous, but here’s the truth: it’s better to have planed sex that no sex at all.
“ Sex is important in the relationship because it strengthens the bond between the spouses. Sex is the glue that holds it together” Dr. Bea Jeffrey
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Links Mentioned in this Episode:
Esther Perel http://www.estherperel.com