Thanks to pop culture, we may secretly believe:
- It’s easy and normal to have a great sex life
- Everyone else is having more and better sex than me
- We can joke about sex but talking about it is weird
This strange relationship with intimacy can make it a challenge to keep the sexual sparks burning. Few of us openly talk about it but our sex lives are usually a lot trickier than we let on.
What causes sexual sparks to stop
Obviously, things will vary with each couple. However, there are some universal factors.
1. Lack of time and energy
It can be basic logistics. Modern life is challenging. Kids change things. Economic factors can have us working more hours. Simply put, you can’t have sex if you don’t have the time and/or energy to do so.
2. Mismatched libidos
You can be made for each other—soul mates, even—but no two people have the same exact needs. Feeling mismatched in our sexual desires can lead to an avoidance of intimacy. Here’s where honest communication is key.
3. Porn-induced issues
The rise of internet porn has been shown to have a widespread negative impact on more sex lives than can be calculated. Rather than igniting a spark, it tends to dampen it.
4. Boredom/Roommate syndrome
What starts out as pure lust can and will evolve. Boredom can be a factor. But even more often, you and your partner bond as friends and roommates. This can confuse the whole “let’s hook up” part of your connection.
5. Underlying issues
Relationships are an ongoing process. There are plenty of rough patches. Harboring feeling like anger, resentment and unresolved issues translates into less sexual sparks. Don’t force it. Communicate and/or seek help.
6. Communication issues
Different communication styles, perceptions, expectations, lack of clear communication and a lack of communicating to a win-win outcome where two people find a balance of needs fulfilled can all add up to a disconnect emotionally and sexually.
7. Different love languages
When each partner assumes that their partners primary love language is the same as theirs, there is a disconnect and no one may feel loved or amorous.
5 Things to Do When Sexual Sparks Stop
The most underrated sex act in human history is communication. Without it, sexual sparks don’t stand a chance. Among many other things, we must communicate our:
- Clear any resentments
Positive sex requires trust. Trust begins with honest communication. It’s the best form of “foreplay”!
2. Make sex a priority
When you make your daily or weekly schedules, plan to have sex. Sure, it’s not the spontaneous lust we see portrayed in our favorite movies, but real life requires some planning. Make intimacy a priority by continuing to date your partner throughout the relationship and it can once again become a big part of your lives and secure the foundation of your relationship.
3. Turn off the porn
As mentioned above, this is fast becoming a topic of scientific study and concern. When extreme porn is accessible to us as “sex education,” our perceptions become distorted. But we can reverse the damage. Step one is turning off the porn, for good.
4. Re-imagine intimacy
When we say “have sex,” we typically refer to intercourse. To limit our perception of intimacy to one act is a recipe for less intimacy. Talk to each other. Define as individuals, and then, as a couple, what intimacy means to you.
Once you’ve learned to communicate and committed together to a new sexual awakening, you may wish to share new ideas and fantasies. Like anything else, variety is important. The key here is to make absolutely certain that both partners are fully consenting to anything that is tried.
Couples counselling can help rekindle the sexual sparks
Our culture is drenched in the idea of sex. In reality—in everyday life—things are far more interesting and complicated. But “interesting and complicated” can require help. Couples can gain understanding and tools to help them deal with the different communication styles, the different love language needs as well as a way to safely talk about any resentments that keep a couple stuck and disconnected emotionally and sexually. Committing together to weekly therapy sessions is a great start. Your couples counselling space is where you can talk openly, safely, and productively. Communication was mentioned more than a few times above. This is where it starts.