by Dr Janet Morrison, World Association of Sex Coaches Certified Sex Coach
I believe that words subconsciously describe the severity of a situation, so when I hear “dead bedroom,” I sense the person using the term has already given up and believes that there is no hope for a sexual resurrection. The dead do not need to eat. But if your relationship is merely starving, I have an analogy that might help you out. My practice consists of predominately clients in a sexless relationship (the term I prefer to use); basically defined as sex less than once a month. The couples that reach out to me often state they have not had sex in over a year, and if they are having sporadic sex, that it is perfunctory. I often hear them complain that they are like roommates, live parallel lives, feel that their partner no longer understands them, takes them for granted but most importantly, they are bored. One, if not both, of the partners is tired of settling for a passionless relationship. These couples are desperate, knowing that “something needs to change, or else!”
It appears to be common that relationships slip into the sexless routine, in fact, it is estimated that up to 40% of committed relationship suffer from this phenomenon. There are many life situations that contribute, including stress and exhaustion from demanding jobs, small children and a growing family, and just plain getting out of the habit of seeing one’s partner in the same way they did when they revelled in new relationship energy at the beginning of their time together.
But let’s talk about the Big “B” in the bedroom… BOREDOM. When sex becomes routine, it loses its appeal. It is like being served, and eating, dry cornflakes… without milk or sugar… every morning for breakfast, day after day, year after year. Pretty soon you are skipping breakfast, and only on rare occasions you mindlessly eat the cornflakes, because, after all, the box has been sitting half empty on the counter and you will feel guilty if they spoil. It is not until the day that you become REALLY hungry from routinely skipping breakfast and find yourself tempted to step out and have an exciting omelette somewhere else that you recognize just how starved you are.
You realize it is time to start cooking again… at home. In order to do this, you have to commit your time and attention to find desirable recipes, obtain the ingredients, and make the effort to cook a delicious breakfast that makes you look forward to eating this meal again and again.
The recipe for sexual revival contains three essential ingredients: communication, connection and pleasure.
Begin with learning your partner’s communication style. How do they want to be communicated with? A problem that all but a very few couples face is that they often communicate with their partner in the way they like to be communicated with and are blind to the fact that their partner understands a completely different communication style. In other words, you may like cornflakes, but they really only enjoy omelettes.
Mix in Connection. Couples stuck in daily routines forget to truly look at and connect with their partners. We live in a connection deprived culture, and we crave being seen, heard and touched. Spend time gazing into your partner’s eyes, exchange massages, kiss – not just a peck on the cheek or lips, but REALLY kiss, cuddle, hold hands, dance together, or learn a new language together. The point is to spend quality time with your partner.
Bake on high until it is sizzling hot with a focus on pleasure. It is important to solo-test this baking process. Many couples rely on their partner to please them, and get upset when it is not done right, but when asked what they do like, they cannot tell you. It is important to first “know thyself” and then share this knowledge with your partner.
Most importantly, HAVE FUN! This is not a performance you are being judged on, this is a light experimentation guiding you to new and enjoyable sensations. Laugh, explore, find things that boost the excitement level and raise the dopamine quotient. Sex is more than the insertion of “peg A” into “slot B”. It is even more than orgasm – it is about finding all the delicious ways to experience what feels pleasurable.
If you are in need of new recipes and cooking instructions, a certified sex coach, such as myself, can help guide you through the process.