Couples TherapyDanica MitchellSex Therapy

Let’s Talk About Sex: When Sex Isn’t What It Used To Be

By November 4th, 2022 No Comments

When sex isn't what it used to beMany couples enter therapy because they have found that sex seems to have changed in some fundamental way “lost the spark” or sex has changed in some fundamental way. They don’t know what to do about it and are afraid of what it means for their relationship.  Is something wrong? Are they incompatible? 

There is a plethora of information and discussion about what sex “should be”. This flood starts at puberty when children are becoming sexual beings and starting their explorations. But after that hormone-supercharged period, there is much less attention paid to the nature and significance of sexual pleasure in later life. People don’t talk about what to expect from casual sex, or how sex shifts in a long-term relationship. And because people don’t talk about it, they don’t recognise normality. Sex changing over time is absolutely normal and will happen to just about everyone. As we grow and age as people all parts of our lives change, including sex. But since most people aren’t prepared for these changes, they frequently lack the skills to talk about it and develop their behavior to have the sex life they want. 

So once you realise that a changing sex life with your partner is completely normal, what do you do about it? 

It can help to identify why sex has shifted. There are a lot of possibilities here but some common ones are; 

  • you held an unconscious belief that sex was doomed in marriage or bound to get boring in monogamy
  • you now view your partner as a fully-complex person rather than just a sexual fantasy
  • your life schedule has changed and sex is more difficult to fit in
  • you are no longer using sex as a tool to bond with or entice someone new
  • you hold an unconscious belief that sex and emotional intimacy are mutually exclusive 
  • sex no longer is an active priority the way it was in dating

Once you’ve got an idea of what might be tied to the change in your sex life,  it’s time to talk to your partner about it. You cannot improve your sex life unless you discuss it openly. It would help if you heard your partner’s side to fully understand what is going on so you can work through it together.

Beyond discussing what has caused sex to shift, it is important to assess what you want your sex life to look like now. That might be reconnecting with parts of intimacy that have been lost, but it also might involve new things. There are two related aspects you need to consider: what sex acts you like, and how you want them delivered. This sort of exploration can be fun and stimulating for you and your partner. For example, try exploring online resources like the erotic blueprint quiz or the BDSM test. These can give some insight into your preferences or may stimulate new ones. With these ideas identified and clarified you can discuss the kind of sexual experience you want with your partner, and make a plan to make it happen. 

Instead of trying to reclaim a sex life that is unchanged, focus on co-creating something new that you both want today. By doing this you can make your sex life even more exciting and dynamic than when it began. And remember that a sex therapist can be an invaluable guide to support your exploration. Why not contact us today?