Spring clean your sex life!
Welcome to spring! Doesn?t it give you a lift to see the colours of the spring flowers, the sun starting to emerge from behind those winter clouds, the weeds popping up overnight in the garden. Perhaps you?re already out on the weekends planting flowers and pulling weeds (just remember this is also the busy season for physiotherapists).
So let me give you something to think about while you?re playing in the garden. It?s not just our gardens and cupboards that need a bit of spring cleaning. Our sex life can also do with a clean out, pruning or tarting up, as they say.
Where to start? Like all good spring cleaning, it?s time to stop and see if there?s a need for a good sweep or just a bit of a tidy up. How is your sex life looking at the moment? Satisfying? Tolerable? Passionate? Boring? Is there enough of it? Are you and your partner on the same wave-length in what you want sexually? Is the whole sex thing a messy area that you avoid because it looks too hard to sort out?
Perhaps sex has been stored away in the winter cupboard, gathering dust, because of the lack of a partner. Oops, maybe that weight you stacked on during winter has left your partner feeling totally turned off. Or, that promotion you got a few months ago has left you too tired to even say the word ?sex?.
If you?ve nodded at any of the above, then you?re like many others, I?m afraid, for whom sex could do with a good spring clean. So, let?s get going. First up – make a simple list of things you?re happy with in your sex life and things you?re unhappy with. Put the two lists side by side so you can see clearly which areas need some tidying up. Focusing on the ?unhappy? list, now write next to each item what the happy version of this would be and what you need to do to get it (hint: be realistic). For example, if you?re always too tired for sex, the happy version may be that you need to allow time on the weekends to get enough sleep and to schedule in sex when you?re feeling refreshed (or at least awake). Or it may be that you allocate two nights each week to finish work at a more reasonable hour.
Doing the lists will get you thinking about what?s happening sexually, whether you?re happy with it, and if not, where you want to be. I see a lot of people who are so busy with careers, children, buying houses, making money, visiting parents and so on that they don?t realise how out of wack their sex lives are. Either sex doesn?t happen much any more, or it?s a quick ?slam bam? event that lasts all of three minutes just before going to sleep. Perhaps having kids has got you both talking to each other as if you?re just ?mummy? and ?daddy? and the idea of being lovers disappeared with childbirth. Or, maybe that divorce left you avoiding anyone who hints at anything more intimate than a latte. And what about those gripes you have about the lack of time your partner takes to arouse you – but hey, why bring it up when it will only rock the boat.
There are many ways in which our sex lives need a little spring clean in order to become more satisfying. And, like any good spring clean, it takes a bit of effort to get the house in order. But, isn?t it nice to stand back and look at the effects when it?s all finished?
By Dr Vivienne Cass
Dr Vivienne Cass is a clinical psychologist and sexual therapist, author of The Elusive Orgasm: A woman?s guide to why she can?t and how she can orgasm (Brightfire Press) and recently produced The Illustrated Clitoris, a set of posters on the clitoral anatomy. (www.brightfire.com.au).