• Nisan 10, 2020

How to keep a desire in a long-term relationship

How to keep a desire in a long-term relationship

Emily Nagoski

An expert in the field of sex education with 20 years of experience. The author of the books “As a Woman Wants” and “Burnout”.

I am often asked if couples can have a strong sexual relationship for decades. Studies confirm that they can. All couples who succeed in doing this combine two things. I can say right away that this is not the frequency of sex and not a rabid variety in bed.

Failure to break away from each other does not guarantee that the couple will be able to maintain a strong bond and satisfaction with sexual life. It is simply a manifestation of spontaneous attraction. Illustrator of my book “How does a woman want“Depicted him as lightning striking the genitals. That is, nothing foreshadowed – and suddenly you wanted to!

But there is another, even more common type – reciprocal attraction. If spontaneous arises in anticipation of pleasure, then the response is a response to it.

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Sexologist Christine Hyde told me that she explains this to her clients using a metaphor. Imagine a friend invited you to a party. Of course, you agree, because this is your friend and party! But the day draws near, and you begin to hesitate. It will be necessary to hang around in a traffic jam, look for someone to sit with the children, dress up … However, you still dress up and come to the party. And what is going on? You have fun!

Same thing with sex: the main thing is to come to this party. You go to bed, feel how your skin touches your partner’s skin, give your body time to “wake up” and remember: “Oh, for sure! I like it. I like this man. ” This is the reciprocal desire, and it is this – the key to understanding desire in a long-term relationship.

But let us return, finally, to two features of couples with strong sexual intercourse.

Firstly, their relationship is based on strong friendship and trust.

Psychologist Sue Johnson, the author of emotionally oriented therapy, brings confidence to the question: is your partner ready to be around and be emotionally accessible to you? Emotional accessibility is the ability not to avoid complex or unpleasant emotions. If you express your own feelings (be it love or disappointment), rather than hiding them and not brushing off the feelings of a partner, then you are emotionally accessible.

Secondly, couples with strong relationships devote time to sex, because for them it is important.

There will always be children and work, relatives and friends who need attention, not to mention the desire to just watch the series or sleep. But people make a choice – to push it all aside and devote time to discovering those same feelings again: “Oh, for sure! I like it. I like this man. ”

However, when I give an example with a party and say that you need to go to bed and feel how your skin is touching your partner’s skin, many clients are scared. This happens very often – people who love each other begin to be afraid of sex.

Sexologists often offer couples to do this exercise: to stand at that distance from each other at which they will be comfortable. A less interested partner usually moves almost 5 meters away. The main difficulty is that this distance between the partners is not empty, it is jam-packed with all sorts of “You don’t listen to me!”, “I don’t know what’s wrong with me, but your criticism doesn’t help!”, “If you loved me , you would … “,” You do not support me! “.

It can have months or even years of hurt feelings and unexpressed emotions. In one book, they are metaphorically called sleeping hedgehogs, whom you look after until you find a way to let go.

The difference between couples who maintain a strong sexual relationship and who do not persist, is not in the absence of “hedgehogs”. They accumulate in any long-term relationship. Just the first with kindness and compassion turn to these hurt feelings, unspoken grievances and displeasure, to let them go and find the way back to each other.

Therefore, you need to think not “How do we support a desire?”, But “How to find a way to it again?”

Absolutely everyone has hedgehogs, even those who are engaged in sex education. For example, while working on the book “How a Woman Wants,” I thought about sex around the clock. But I was so stressed that I had absolutely no desire to do it.

Then I was traveling for several months, talking about the book and female sexuality. And when she finally returned home and tried to “go to a party”, she was so exhausted and depressed that every attempt ended in falling asleep in tears.

These months of separation from each other gave rise to fear, loneliness, frustration – a whole train of “hedgehogs”. It seemed that my best friend, the man whom I love and admire, was many kilometers away from me.

We were greatly helped by the features of couples with a strong connection: trust and a priority attitude to sex. We looked at what our relationships bring to our lives, and the “hedgehog family” that I brought into the house, and decided that it was worth it. That we are ready to do everything necessary to find the way back to each other.

Yes, we are not so used to thinking about desire. And “make time for sex” may seem cold and tortured. But it seems to me that there is nothing more romantic than choosing a partner as a priority, because your connection means a lot to you. So, if you need a short answer to the question of how to keep a desire in a long-term relationship, here it is: look into the eyes of your loved one and decide together to look for a way to each other.

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