Much ado is being made about the movie version of the E.L. James book, “50 Shades of Grey”. It is about a sexual relationship between a guy Christian and a girl Anastasia. I started reading the book but lost interest about halfway through. I understand it has a stronger appeal to women. Good luck ladies finding a thirty-year old millionaire with a penchant for sadomasochism!
I am not intending to judge a book I haven’t read. If anything, it deserves some credit for generating discussion about the issue of female sexuality. After all, the book has sold over 100 million copies worldwide. It begs the question, “why are women so interested in reading 50 shades?”
I’m sure the fantasy aspect does have an appeal for many women. Then there is the aura of the couple simultaneously luring each other into areas of self-exploration they have not dared to enter before. Christian led Anastasia into a world of sexual exploration. Anastasia helped Christian enter the forbidden area of emotional connection.
The trending of 50 shades got me thinking about sexuality among couples. Speaking of trend, I see one occurring in couple relationships. It is common among older couples, but now I observe it in young couples. It’s disturbing. Couples are drifting away from sexual intimacy.
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The focus of this blog is not to give a list of reasons why this is happening. (I address this in a new book I’m currently writing called, “Bringing Intimacy Back: How To Reignite Romance In Your Relationship”
set to release later this year.) Instead, I prefer to offer couples ideas on how you can maintain an active sexual relationship.
Foreplay is the prelude to sexual intercourse. It includes certain sexual cues and rituals couples invent to connect sexually. Foreplay is a form of communication that requires responding together. Let me suggest some “shades of foreplay” that will aid to an active sexual relationship.
Start Foreplay in the Morning
Men are like microwave ovens. It doesn’t take much to get us turned on and it can be over in minutes! Women are like crockpots. Preparation begins in the morning and by evening she is ready to go. Preparation has to be done right.
Tune in guys. Preparation is key. How you treat your woman in the morning and throughout the day will determine how responsive she is in the evening. Foreplay here is not grabbing butt and boob. It means attending to her needs: words of appreciation, affection, help around the home, etc…
Ladies, it will also help if you flirt with your man. Guys love the hunt in sexual foreplay.
Settle Your Arguments
Unsettled arguments derails sexual activity. Why? Because it disrupts emotions that fuel sexual passion. Unresolved conflicts remain stockpiled in marriages and become the ammo for future arguments. They also contribute to an inactive sexual relationship.
If you want help in settling arguments, read my blog 5 Ways to Disarm an Argument
and My Top 7 Conflict Resolution Strategies.
Schedule Time For it
It may not sound romantic or spontaneous but it does help to maintain an active sexual relationship. Couples today are way too busy! This is one of the major contributors to a lack of sexual intimacy in marriages.
We schedule time for things that are important. Work, kids, friends, family events, etc… Personal and couple time needs to be on the schedule too. Sit down with your spouse/partner and decide what day(s) in the week work best for sexual intimacy and circle it in red! It works wonders for your relationship if you plan a romantic weekend a couple of times a year too.
Spice it Up!
Is your sexual relationship in a rut. Does it run on autopilot? Maybe it is time for some spice. Talk together about what you would like to do to liven it up. A dungeon may be 50 shades too extreme, but how about some candles, music, and exotic oil? The key here is to have a conversation. A rule of thumb: do not require your partner to participate in a sexual activity she/he is not comfortable performing.
Set Reasonable Expectations
Sometimes sexual intimacy can be hindered by unreasonable expectations about the experience. Romance novels for women and pornography for men may conjure up fantasies about sex that are beyond the norm. Partners are disappointed when their mates do not approach sex according to the novel they’ve read or the video they watched.
Perhaps you need to safeguard your relationship from over exposure to fantasy. You may set a bar too high to hurdle. Recent studies show that over exposure to pornography contributes toward difficulty in achieving erection for men when engaging in sex with their spouse.
Fantasy is best served between couples who co-create their own in the privacy of their bedroom. This requires dialog between you. As I said earlier, keep your sexual activity in the realm of mutual respect and comfort.
One final thing about expectations. Couples do life together. You work jobs, raise kids, clean the house, and pay the bills. You interact on multiple levels. You see each other at your best and worst moments. It’s not all sexy. Don’t over romanticize your expectations. A “quickie” is sometimes a reasonable expectation in a busy day!
Now its your turn!
Can I make a suggestion? If your relationship is strong, I recommend you discuss this blog with your spouse/partner. It will give you plenty to talk about. Perhaps there are one or more things you can incorporate to maintain an active sexual relationship.
If your relationship is struggling in this area, then I recommend you seek professional help to address your concerns. I do a fair amount of counseling to help couples stalled in their sexual relationship. If you would like some direction or our interested in my services, feel free to contact me on my contact page