As a Certified Sex Therapist and Certified Sex Addiction Therapist, I help couples address a broad spectrum of sexual issues. In my experience, I believe there are three basic facts that all couples should know to help them maintain a healthy sexual relationship that is intimate and fulfilling for both partners.
1. You Have To Talk About Sex
Communication is the Foundation of Relationship and we all know how important talking to each other…really talking to each other, is to the success of any partnership. Many of the couples I help in Sex Therapy treatment and Couples Counseling have never really talked about sex. There are very valid reasons for avoiding the subject. Probably the most common reason is the fear of hurting each other’s feelings. We don’t want to hurt the person we love or embarrass them (or ourselves). Then there is the belief that you just don’t talk about sex…yes, even in today’s world children are being raised in a home and culture where talking about sex is taboo. So couples simply do not know what questions to ask or how to go about approaching the topic. Regardless of the reason for not talking about sex, every couple should be talking about it. One easy way to begin would be to make an effort to bring up the topic with your partner on your next date night by sharing something you really love about having sex with them. Also, think about purchasing a book on the topic and read it together in the evening. Both of these suggestions will most likely break the ice and help you both feel more natural discussing the topic and help you grow even closer as a couple.
2. Sexual Problems Are Very Common
Don’t ever base the quality of your sex life together on performance. There are a large number of potential sexual problems that can occur for a couple over the lifespan. As a couple, your goal should be enjoying each other sexually as a natural extension of your relationship. The goal should not be having an orgasm, or having to perform for a length of time, or a certain number of times a week you have to have sex. Every couple is unique and will most likely experience some type of sexual dilemma during their relationship over a life span. Anxiety, depression, age, disease, stress, physical illness, trauma, differing desire levels, pregnancy, hormones, biology, genes, beliefs, and surgery are just a few of the many factors that affect a couple’s sexual interaction. There is nothing to be embarrassed about, sexual issues are a part of life and are treatable. When you and your partner begin to experience sexual issues, remember you are a team and together you can address the problems with success. Be open and talk about the sexual problem, be supportive of each other, get educated on the issue you are experiencing, and if you can’t solve it on your own or with your medical doctor, then meet with a Certified Sex Therapist and they will most likely help you solve the problem.
3. A Healthy Sexual Relationship is a Collaborative Process
In order for a couple to enjoy a healthy and fulfilling sexual relationship, they must understand that it is a collaborative process. Remember you are a team, partners in every aspect of your relationship and your sexual relationship is no different than any other area. Below are the characteristics of a collaborative process that must be applied as a couple in order to successfully address sexual problems when they exist. Discuss these as a couple alone or with a Couples Therapist to help you and your partner successfully resolve sexual problems.
- Parity Within The Couple
- Mutual Goals
- Shared Responsibility for Participation
- Shared Responsibility for Decision Making
- Shared Resources
- Shared Accountability for Outcomes
- Reliability on Mutual Trust