It should go without saying; sex matters in relationships. Of course it’s not everything, but it does have a significant impact on a couple’s bonding and attraction. When sexual problems arise, it can be uncomfortable to address the issue. From lack of desire to mismatched libidos and problems “down there”, sexual needs are not a one-size-fits-all situation. Here are a few pointers for approaching the touchy subject of sex.
First, See If The Issue Resolves Itself
Before you breach the subject, see if the issue works itself out. It’s normal to have lulls and times where things aren’t going perfect sexually in a relationship. Especially in long term relationships. Life, work, and stress can often get in the way of performance and desire, so before you panic and assume something is wrong, give the issue some time to see if it resolves itself. In other words, don’t put a spotlight on a situation that hasn’t become a problem yet, otherwise it could actually become a problem. A couple bad sex sessions is not indicative of an issue, but if it continues repetivitively , then it’s time to talk.
Never Belittle or Pressure
It can be frustrating when sex is not going the way you want. Perhaps your partner is having performance issues or you have a higher libido, but the worse way to handle this is to pressure or belittle your partner. This will only make the issue worse. Especially in the case of erectile dysfunction, which is often exacerbated by psychosomatic symptoms and feeling inadequate. Which brings us to…
Focus On The Solution, Not the Problem
Instead of getting annoyed and frustrated by the problem, instill confidence in your partner and let them know how attractive you find them. Focus on making them feel sexy, not on how they’re not performing the way you want. Let them know what you enjoy, too. Sometimes your partner may need a little direction on how to please you. By taking the focus off the problem, and moving toward the solution, you remove the pressure and create positive association instead of negative feelings and anxiety.
So, there’s been multiple times of the same issue, and you’ve now established there is indeed a problem. Your partner is probably aware as well, and it’s time to have a more in depth conversation. However, now is not the time to air your frustrations, rather it’s an opportunity to approach and listen to your partner. Something along the lines of, “I’ve noticed things have been a little off with us in bed, and I wanted to see if everything is ok.” Then let your partner talk. Perhaps they’ve been stressed at work or have just not been in the mood. Or it could be the worse case scenario; they are no longer interested in the relationship. Either way, you need to find out what’s going on. Don’t be afraid to breach the subject and definitely don’t let the issue drag out for too long. Open communication is vital in all relationships, especially when it comes to sex. Approach these conversations with tact, a calm demeanor, and emotional intelligence.
Listen First, Speak Second
This applies to confronting issues in many situations in life. If you are the one opening the conversation, listen first, speak second. This means you ask the person how they’re feeling first, listen to their response, gauge the situation, and then give your input. Avoid jumping the gun and opening the conversation with accusations or an airing of your grievances. You’ll be able to digest the situation and give a much more well-thought out response when you’ve listened to the person first.
Establish a Solution
Now that the issue is out in the open, discuss a solution with your partner. Maybe they’re feeling really stressed and need to work out more or cut back hours at work. Or perhaps sex has just become too routine, and you need to spice things up with a fun vacation or date night. Either way, the conversation should close with a solution for moving forward. If your partner brushes you off or doesn’t seem keen to come up with a solution, there are probably deeper issues that you need to address, but take this as a cue to open a conversation and find the root of the issue.