Why it's so hard to get to sex, even when you want to

“It’s fun when we have it.  It’s just… GETTING THERE is tough!”  Why is it so tough to get to sex?  It’s not like changing out the furnace filters, right?  

You both want to, at least in theory.  So what stops you?

There are 3 broad categories of why people don’t “get to it.”  

I’m going to list them below.  

A quick warning before I do:  If you take this list like it’s a quiz in Cosmopolitan magazine or something, tallying up your “score,” you might start to feel like you’re in a black hole of turn-off and despair.  So please don’t do that!  Instead, see which example seems like “yep” I’m thinking that” (or your partner is) and yet seems relatively easy to address.  I love a quick win...and so will you!

With that, here we go:

The obstacle of desire

There’s not enough desire to help you get to sex.

This obstacle shows up a couple of ways, for one or both of you:

“I’m just not that sexual a person”:  You’re not that connected to your own desires in general, or your desire for erotic pleasure

“I don’t know what I want”:  You know you want more pleasure, but you don’t know what acts or kinds of touch or other experiences would feel that way

“What I want is not on this menu”:  You know that you desire and what you desire, but the pleasure you want doesn’t seem like something that’s going to happen with your partner.  Their skills, their presence, their preferences, or the time and space the two of you have together don’t meet what you yearn for.

“What I want isn’t available to someone like me”:  Your own anxieties, conditioned beliefs, or negative body image stop you from feeling like you are capable of or deserve the pleasure you desire… or any sex at all… or stop you from feeling like what you want is okay for you to have.

The obstacle of energy

There’s not enough energy or time for you to get to sex.

Here’s what this obstacle might sound like, for one or both of you:

“By the time we have a chance, all I want is sleep”

“My partner seems so tired and ‘meh’, I lose interest myself”

“We muster the time and energy to have so-so sex, but I’d need more time or a different time of day for it to really satisfy me.”

“It’s so hard for me to shift gears from my day into a more sensual mode.”

The obstacle of connection

Given the connection in your relationship, sex doesn’t appeal enough and/or doesn’t work well enough for you to get to it.

If this one’s getting in the way, one or both of you will say or think:

“Yeah, I want sex, but I’m too annoyed about what happened earlier to go there, now, with you!”

“I’d like to talk more about our desires, but when we get a minute, we have this backlog of logistical conversations: situations to handle, decisions we need to make together, details we’re not updating each other on.”

“It’s a bummer we don't have more sex, but frankly, that’s a ways down the list of challenges between us.”

“The way my partner ______ (initiates sex / shifts from distant to come-hither / chooses the time to initiate / reacts to the amount of connection time I need to warm up for sex / parents / is handling or not handling a big life issue / ...or something else) just pushes me further from wanting to go there”

How do you remove these obstacles, then?  

There are a few things that I know help with all of them because they cultivate desire, expand energy, and deepen connection.  That’s precisely why those things are my Top 5 Habits for cultivating more love and pleasure in your busy life.  Those habits are sort of strategic moves.  Or you can go tactical.  Whatever example speaks most to you, you can look at ways to knock that obstacle out of your way.  Here are some places to start:

 

REMOVING THE OBSTACLE OF DESIRE:   

What permission can you grant yourself to access more desire?

What space or support could you give yourself to discern what you desire?

What request of your partner could create more of the kind of pleasure you desire?

REMOVING THE OBSTACLE OF ENERGY: 

Working backward from the time you have to get up, what time do you have to be asleep to get your body’s optimal amount of sleep each night?  What, if you changed it, would allow you to get to sleep by that time most nights?

What do you need to be able to have a conversation about your desire and how it relates to your partner’s energy?

What factors contribute to your energy and what are the shortest paths to having more?  For example: Food?  Hydration?  Stress management?  Mindfulness?  Boundaries?  Receiving care?  Laughter?  Creative expression?  Movement?

REMOVING THE OBSTACLE OF CONNECTION:    

What would you need to forgive and/or make amends for, to open up the connection?

What one conversation topic would break down the obstacle of connection most between you?

What new recurring logistical conversation would make the biggest difference in your relationship?


These ideas are just a small part of a new course we’re rolling out.  The #1 challenge couples tell me about: it’s hard to get to to sex, even if you both want to.  That’s what this course helps with.  I’ll share more as we build out the course.... and if there's a question you're really itchin' for me to answer in the course or a future blog post, don't be shy about letting me know!