When a couple is unhappy…
Why is it that couples experiencing relationship discord say that 50-70% of their distress is due to sexual problems whilst contented couples attribute only 15-20% of their happiness to a pleasing sex life? What is it that causes this obvious change in perception?
This difference is because unhappy couples will often focus on sex as the problem simply because this is the place their relationship issues become more evident, whether it is lack of libido or an inability to perform. It also seems like the solution will be simpler ie. a new technique, a little lingerie and some porn. In reality their problems start well outside of the bedroom and are more likely to be due to a lack of emotional intimacy and safety. Science is now proving what is true for babies and children is also true for adults- we have a biological need for emotional connection in order to thrive. This need is either avoided or unseen because the solution appears much harder to come by- dealing with those messy, uncontrollable emotions- yuk!
Hot sex is about the safety to be you…
Sex is about connection and really hot sex is about intimate, emotional connection and the safety for you and your lover to be yourselves- open, real, engaged with each other and gloriously in the moment. Yet we’re bombarded with messages that tell us hot sex is about novelty and excitement with mindblowing orgasm techniques, fantasies, new positions, toys, and maybe even new partners. Yet these solutions are related to our Ego’s need for more and more, an appeasement that lasts only for a time before the itch needs to be scratched once again. The reality is that hot, erotic sex is simpler than this, it just takes the courage and skill to be emotionally intimate, with ourselves as well as with our lovers.
When we’re out of connection with ourselves and each other it can be tempting to put the focus on sex and hope that it will give us the connection we desire and blame it when it goes wrong.
It depends on the way we go about it.
Sex doesn’t work when it’s:
– Physical sex based only on the mechanics-eventually all that rubbing becomes numbing
– Last thing at night sex for stress relief where it’s too hard to find the energy for anything else
– Performance sex that is purely outcome and orgasm rather than intimacy focussed
– Emotionally closed sex where little is felt due to the emotional distance (or fusion) of the lovers
– Unclear sex where there are unresolved issues or hidden agendas limiting both the pleasure and connection
– Sympathy sex where one person is trying to enjoy it whilst the other merely putting up with it
– Poorly communicated sex where no one says what they want/don’t want
It doesn’t work when you’re out of connection with yourself and not acknowledging where you’re really coming from. Take the time to get real and ask yourself if by looking to have sex you are actually seeking to:
– Relieve stress
– Be physically close but avoid intimacy
– Be needed
– Be validated
– Get Love
– Feel something
– Express anger covertly
– Act out or relieve powerlessness or shame
– Get high to avoid real life issues
Understanding yourself is the first step…
Get clear about what you’re actually doing in sex (and it does vary although we can often have a particular theme we focus on) because we unconsciously seek to get many other needs met in sex besides our sexual ones, needs which when hidden actually get in the way of both pleasure and passion. They get in the way as we behave in negative ways in our cover up story that keeps us away from our partner, or them away from us. It’s a normal thing to do so don’t beat yourself up about it. The value is in acknowledging what is happening so it becomes a pathway to sex that works rather than a block. Learn to observe how you behave when you are acting out your hidden agendas and seeing how you could choose differently.
Then sharing with your lover…
To do so requires taking a risk and being vulnerable, being real with yourself, and if you are able and have a strong enough container in your relationship, with your partner. Ironically this vulnerability creates the intimacy and heart connection that underneath our agendas we’re really looking for. We expose our bodies, minds, hearts and souls to each other for a purpose- our biological need for connection. It takes courage to reveal our intimate, emotional selves as this is the part of us that is vulnerable to the pain of shame, of not being wanted, desired or feeling good enough. It takes courage to open up to another when to do so can open up the pain of long held raw spots inside us that hurt as much, if not more than a physical beating. This is the paradox of connection, particularly long term connection- the source of equal pleasure, pain and love.
We see it over and over again in the couples we work with. Rebuild the emotional connection and safety and the passion flows, it doesn’t disappear over time as is commonly thought in long term relationships. We just need the support and the skills to access it. And the first step is acknowledging our intrinsic human need for connection as part of our biological make up rather than a weakness and understanding the ways we go about avoiding it.
If you would like support in creating more connection and safety in your relationship call us on 1800 TANTRA today!