“I have no drive.”
“It feels like a chore.”
“I have too much work.”
“I have no time for sex.”
These are just some of the many things clients tell me about their current sex life…or lack thereof. Often they’ve been in relationships or married for a few years and lack the drive and desire for sex that they once had. Kids, stress, laundry, and chores are just a few of the things that they deem more important than sex with their partners.
But even more of a problem for them is work. At a time when people should be settling in, relaxing, or thinking about intimacy with their significant other, they’re thinking about their boss, colleagues, deadlines, reports, customers, budgets, emails, and what they need to do the next day-all of which are entirely incompatible with sex.
For many of these people, their marriages work out fine, but they feel unfulfilled in the bedroom and are afraid to say anything or make changes. For others, they say something but don’t know what to do about it. A sexless relationship will, at best, feel unfulfilling to most people and could lead to more problems.
People who miss out on sex also miss out on the many benefits of it. For one: stress relief. As with other forms of physical activity, neurotransmitters known as endorphins, are released during sex and can lead to feelings of euphoria, reducing both stress and pain. Also, just the simple act of being intimate with someone and receiving a positive response from the person can help to increase confidence. Finally, there’s oxytocin, a hormone released during sex and other intimate gestures that helps to strengthen bonds.
If work is getting in the way, here’s how to bring the sex back into your life:
Many couples remain silent about their dissatisfaction in the bedroom. They’re afraid to address it because they fear they might hurt the other person or it might lead to a break up or divorce. Change the way you think about the issue and see talking as the first step towards improvement rather than as nagging or complaining.
2. Be positive
When addressing the issue with your partner, keep it positive. For example, you might say, “I was thinking about how good it feels when you pamper me with hot oil” rather than saying “you never massage me anymore.” Stating things in a positive way will associate your partner (at least mentally) to that time or activity that was once so hot and exciting for you and it will provide positive reinforcement to him or her and increase the likelihood of the act happening again.
3. Re-evaluate your lifestyle
So often sex gets pushed way down on peoples’ list of priorities. For many people running errands, cleaning toilets, emptying garbage, and buying groceries are actually given more importance than having sex with their partner. The same is true with work obligations. Learn how to step away from work and shut it off by a certain time every day. Take a good hard look at how your prioritize sex. If it is low on the list then move it up a few notches and make time for it. Plan it if you need to but by all means, do it.
4. Wear many hats
For many people they have a hard time being both parents and lovers. They have trouble seeing their significant other as the father or mother of their child and as a sexual person. Know that your lover wears many hats. She might be mother to your child, executive in the boardroom, and a wild passionate lover in the bedroom. Accept this notion and be comfortable seeing him or her as the person who once drove you wild.
5. Make small changes
Think about things that you can do to feel better about yourself. The better you feel about yourself, the more likely you’ll want to share it with others, and the sexier he or she will see you. Have you perhaps let your appearance slide over the years? Have you let yourself get out of shape over the past few years? Hitting the gym will restore a sense of confidence in yourself that can be quite appealing to your significant other. Further, exercise will make you feel stronger and tighter and boost endorphins that could kick start an otherwise stagnant sex drive. Caring more about how you dress, look, and smell can also have a big impact on how your partner reacts to you in the bedroom. Spend some time on making some changes in this department.
6. Mix it up and be adventurous
Over time couples often feel their sex life is boring, unimaginative, and simply predictable. Try mixing it up with positions you’ve perhaps always wanted to try but were too shy to initiate. And explore locations outside the bedroom.
7. Be partners
Remember, if you’re feeling disconnected or unfulfilled, then chances are your partner is too. Keep this in mind: you and your significant other are a team. Think about how you might problem solve an issue at your work. Implement some of those same strategies. Collaborate with him or her and find a way to trouble shoot together and bring the sex back to your sex life.
8. Have fun
Remember, sex isn’t and shouldn’t be a chore. Cleaning the bathroom is a chore — sex isn’t. Rather, it should be an act of love, fun, intimacy and affection so enjoy it!
For more tips on maintaining a healthy lifestyle and having a fulfilling sex life check out my book Be Fearless: Change Your Life in 28 Days.
Originally published at www.huffingtonpost.com