4 Steps to Keep Your Sex Life Alive After Marriage
by Ashley Seeger, LCSW
I recently had a couple come in to see me for premarital counseling – worried and terrified. Many married friends had told them that their sex life was about to die. And that after the honeymoon the arguments about when, how often, blow job, etc would begin. “Is it true?” they asked. They have a wonderful sensual and sex life and wanted to know how to keep it alive.
It is true that every couple’s sex-life goes through stages and that the “new couple sex” stage will end. Your sex-life will change, mature, get better and have downtimes over the lifetime of your marriage. But it is also true that you can have a strong sexual, sensual and erotic relationship that is vital, exciting and fulfilling.
How? With four simple steps.
1. Married Sex is Different Than “New Couple” Sex
Great married sex is about understanding that the two of you will have a lifetime of sensual and erotic experiences together. Some will be great, most will be OK and some will be bad. The most difficult piece of work is to make the majority of your sex, the OK sex, OK. This kind of sex happens when one person has a higher level of desire and the other person goes along for the ride.
Most of the couples that I see have a deep belief that there is something totally wrong with their sex life if they have different desire levels. In fact this is totally normal – age, stress, hormones, injuries, and medications all have an impact on your sex drive and ability to orgasm. It is important to learn to navigate this OK sex with creativity, understanding and generosity.
2. Sex is More Than Just Intercourse
The goal for your sensual life together is to have a buffet of touch – intimate, erotic, intercourse, etc. And to know that just because you are touching in an erotic way does not mean that you have to have intercourse. It can be a very freeing feeling to disconnect the link between touch and sex. There may be times in your life where intercourse is not an option (broken leg, sprained back, babies, etc) but don’t let that stop you from having playful and intimate dates. Plan a date night with your spouse where you agree to a level of touch (intimate/erotic) and stay there without moving up the scale to sex.
3. Scheduled Sex
This is a great debate among couples – how can scheduled sex be sexy? I believe that when you schedule sex with your partner you are stating that your sensual life is important to you and that you want to carve time out for your partner. You are not just waiting to see if there is enough energy left at the end of the day to give him or her. It also allows for anticipation to build as you get ready, pick special clothes and imagine all the what’s and when’s. Try scheduling a few sex-dates and see if it works for your relationship.
4. Be Spontaneous
It always feels odd to counsel couples to schedule spontaneous sex – it seems impossible. But the spontaneity that I am referring to is not about when you have sex but what you do during sex. Passion and desire stem from the unknown. It is important that each month you add something new to your sex life. I am not talking about a big “new” but rather a small “new.” A slight change to the position or location, change the rhythm, turn the lights on or off, say something kinky, or keep some clothes on. These small changes invite the unknown back into your relationship and keep passions alive.
There are many octogenarian couples who report having wonderful and satisfying sex lives. Most of us throw a wish into the universe when we hear that – “I hope that can be us.” It can be. But you need to allow your definition of sex and sexy to change. And, as always, talk with your spouse about these 4 steps, about sex and about your desires and needs.
If you are having a difficult time communicating with your partner about your sexual desires please consider meeting with a couples counselor to help facilitate these important conversations. If you have any questions about this information or wish to schedule a free 20-minute consultation please contact me at 720-551-8084.