I bet everyone reading this right now can think of a moment when you looked at your loved one and thought, “That’s so not hot”. Am I right?!
At the beginning of a relationship, it’s hot and steamy. If you’re lucky you’re looking at the other thinking, “DAAaaaaaaMMMmmnnnNNN!” As time ticks by, the novelty wares off. The way her collar bone is revealed as she pulls her hair into a high bun doesn’t instantly give you the urge to jump over and kiss her neck. Your partner undressing has become, well, just run of the mill, day-to-day getting dressed.
It’s a challenging one! We want long-term belonging and emotional support, but we want raunchy, hot lust too! We want someone to hold us when we get bad news, but we also want that same person to pull our hair and force us down. How do we have both in the same relationship after several years have gone by?
My partner’s got to shape up!
We tend to look at our partners as being the source of our sexual spark: Does s/he turn me on?? And sometimes, let’s face it, no, your partner – sitting in sweat pants, licking their fingers after shovelling down a pizza – is just not going to get your engine running.
But your partner isn’t always in chill-out mode. Sometimes they dress up to go to a party and they look damn good. Sometimes they look hot just chilling in their jeans and a t-shirt. But, still… it’s not so easy to have sex anymore. Sex doesn’t just happen like it used to, it’s not so frequent and it’s not as exciting and explorative. Sometimes when you go to bed at night, you think, “Do I feel like having sex tonight? It feels like so much effort.”
Do I have to shape up?!
When you feel this lack of sexual appetite, can the responsibility really all be left with your partner? You might say, “But I feel sexually attracted to other people!!” Well, yeah, duh. And good for you! At least we know that you’re not sexually dead inside. But somehow, you switched yourself off towards the person you’ve chosen to share intimate sexual play with.
A lot of people argue that this is inevitable. When you’ve been with someone for long enough, they’re not going to flick you on like a light-switch, like someone new might. But my question to you is this: how are you different with your long-term partner to how you would be with someone new?
With a new partner, would you eat all the pizza and then binge on Netflix for the next 3 hours? Maybe occasionally, but not every Friday night, right? Sometimes, you’d dress up, you’d go out or you’d prepare a nutritious home-cooked meal with love.
With a new partner, would you call your parents while you’re out on a date, or would you call them later when you’re not in “I’m-about-to-have-sex-mode”?
With a new partner, would you bitch about how work sucked for 45 minutes before you really looked at them and said, “Hey, how are you?”?
You’re just a part of the furniture, baby!
When we’ve been in a relationship for a long time, we can become so comfortable that we treat the other person like an extension of ourselves. We no longer feel the need to keep them interested, we don’t worry about losing them, we feel like we practically own them. But we don’t! Our partners can choose to leave at any time!
If you want to have a more exciting sex-life, you need to become more aware of the presence you bring to your relationship.
Do you nourish your energy to keep you sexually vibrant?
Do you create an erotic space for you and your partner?
Do you know how to let go of responsibilities for a while so you can play together?
You need to foster an attitude of creating excitement in the routine. Your long-term partner is routine – they are a part of the everyday. When you interact with them like they’re mundane, they will respond to you like you’re mundane. A relationship that can be functional and practical is good, but you deserve it to be full of joy and excitement too!
You need to interrupt the pattern of treating your partner like a piece of furniture! When you decide to own responsibility for your sexual life, by acknowledging that you do not own your partner and by nourishing your own sexual energy, your partner will notice there’s a been a shift in you, and they will respond to you from this space.
Don’t be a quitter!
Remember that circumstances don’t change overnight, so if your partner doesn’t respond the first time you try to inject some excitement into your dynamic, don’t decide it’s garbage and toss it. New behaviours take at least 21 days of practice for them to really become integrated, so keep going.
Also, you’ve got to keep learning about sexual appetite and how to stay hungry. So tune into Let’s talk about sex on XFM 100.2 with Melanie Kelly, on Thursday 14th June at 9pm where we’ll discuss this further. If you can’t tune in at that time you can catch the YouTube video which will be posted after the show airs. Subscribe to our YouTube channel to be notified.
You deserve excitement!
For more on relationships.