The best way to make babies, how to raise kids with Erotic Integrity, the difference between sexuality, sensuality & eroticism: all on The Sill Podcast in Canada.
Talk about what sex represents for you (connection, release, a way to get to sleep, a spiritual event…). It’s ok if you have different answers – you’re different people.
Ask each other what you haven’t been saying, the stuff you’ve been afraid to tell your partner because you didn’t want to hurt their feelings. This is the time to be candid. Having difficult conversations actually has the most potential to boost intimacy and eroticism in a relationship.
Aside from the uncomfortable cramping, not to mention bloating, that comes along with menstruation, it’s no surprise if you and your partner are not interested in sex when Aunt Flo is in town. “Some folks aren’t put off by blood, but most women tend to feel inward and vulnerable during their period, preferring to curl up with a cozy blanket and a book, and aren’t in a big hurry to be penetrated,” says Claudia Six, Ph.D., sexologist and author of Erotic Integrity: How to Be True to Your Sexuality. “Plus there’s the clean-up!”
As Six puts it, resentment is not an aphrodisiac. “Resentment builds up and festers, creating distance,” she says. “It’s contradictory to be resentful of someone and want to get naked and physically close to them.” If you and your partner have been fighting more often than usual without ever feeling like you’re back on the same page, it might be worth it to consider couples counseling. Having a third party listening to your issues and unbiasedly providing suggestions might be just what you need to reconcile in and out of the bedroom.
While being ‘right’ in an argument might make you feel better in the heated moment, it won’t actually matter in a few weeks, months, or years. That’s why relationship experts warn against convincing your S.O. that he or she is wrong in a fight. “Every communication has the power to bring people closer to you or push them away, and when people are made wrong they have two choices: defend or retreat. Neither will bring them closer to you,” explains Claudia Six, Ph.D., a relationship coach. “You can convey your point or make a request without making them wrong.”
Dr. Six warns against using language starting with “you always” or “you never,” as all they do is add fuel to an already escalating fire. “This leads the other person to draw up their defense and maybe add a complaint of their own,” she says. “Rather than, ‘You always leave the toilet seat up! You’re so inconsiderate!’ try, ‘It would really help me out if you’d put the toilet seat down. Can you do that for me?'”
Initiating sex should be a two-way street, says Dr. Six. Being a passive victim and blaming your significant other for not being more romantic is the wrong move. “It could be a very long and miserable wait for both of you,” she explains. “If you make it happen, your lover will feel desired, and will then be much more likely to reciprocate, and confident that you’ll receive them. And everyone’s happy.”
If your gut reaction after a quarrel is to pour yourself a glass of wine or a shot of whiskey, you may want to rethink your priorities. “Numbing out because something isn’t working for you or you’re anxious is a cop out,” says Dr. Six. “Open your mouth to talk about what is troubling you instead of opening it to ingest an anesthetic.” Instead of avoiding the issues in your relationship, she recommends sitting down to talk. If you’re having trouble doing that, consider speaking to a couples counselor who can help you address the issues in your partnership.
If you want your partner to do something or stop doing something, the best way to see that this happens is to tell them. “Persisting in wanting your partner to read your mind is a set-up,” warns Claudia Six, Ph.D., clinical sexologist and relationship coach. “You have to open your mouth, be vulnerable and speak to your lover. Vulnerability is part of what makes sex good.”
You might be type A in your regular life, but during sex, it’s best that you let loose and go with the flow. “Being attached to things happening a certain way—having it like on your first night together (although that doesn’t always go so smoothly) or on your wedding night—is a sure way to prevent it from being perfect,” says Dr. Six. “The best sex, just like a lot of things in life, happens when you’re open and go with whatever is happening in the moment.”
There is a plethora of medications and substances out there that can cause sexual dysfunction, from antidepressants to amphetamines—even alcohol and marijuana. Additionally, some birth control varieties can cause your libido to plummet. “If you or your partner is on a medication that reduces your libido or makes it very difficult for you to orgasm, talk to your doctor about switching to one that doesn’t impact your sex life negatively,” says Dr. Six.
Allergy season is tough, and, for some, can feel like it’s year round. While you might be reliant on your allergy meds, experts recommend avoiding popping antihistamines of any kind before sex. “They dry everything out, including your lady parts,” says Claudia Six, PhD, clinical sexologist and relationship coach. You’ll want to be fully lubricated for a full romp session, however, Dr. Six points out that you don’t want to be sneezing and tearing up the whole time either. She recommends taking half an allergy pill, if you must, a few hours before you think you might have sex.
Clinical Sexologist specializing in Sexual and Intimacy issues in Marin and the San Francisco Bay Area.
PhD Clinical Sexology
MA Counseling Psychology
Board Certified Clinical Sexologist
Serving clients in Marin, Napa, Sonoma, San Francisco, San Rafael, San Anselmo, Santa Rosa, Novato, Petaluma, Berkeley, Mill Valley, Sausalito, Ross, Corte Madera, and Larkspur.