It’s so often said that sex is important in a relationship. Yet so many times being intimate with your partner takes a backseat to chores, errands and work commitments, and often leaves both of you feeling like you’ve been left out in the cold.
When you’re in a new relationship, sex is often what binds you together and brings you closer as a couple, but as that honeymoon period fades, and things become routine, you sometimes lose that drive. It’s normal for couples to go through periods of dry patches with stressful times within the family or at work, but just because you’re not having sex, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t still be intimate with kissing and touching.
Sexologist and relationship expert Dr Nikki Goldstein knows the ins and outs of sex (excuse the pun) and has a wealth of knowledge around the subjects that you’re often too afraid to ask about, so listen up!
You might be able to get by with that dry patch in your relationship, but Dr Nikki knows all too well how important sex really is.
“I think you’ve got to look at the fact that we don’t need sex just for procreation anymore. We’re looking at intimacy, a connection and a way to show love. Men who aren’t taught to communicate are given a way to show they love their partners. Connection, not necessarily penetration, so kissing and touching benefits the relationship because of the intimacy that is involved.”
Dr Nikki also knows that couples often wonder about how good their sex really is and she says that it all comes down to your expectations in the bedroom. “Being on the same page with your expectations and sexual appetite is important,” she insists.
“You need to think about your expectations and where you get them from and if you’re on the same page. If one person thinks the good sex life is about having sex everyday and the other one thinks it’s three times a week, there’s a difference in what you’re expecting.”
This comes back down to one of the key elements of a relationship; communication. Communication is key when it comes to almost anything in your partnership, whether it is about getting the right products from the grocery store or about a dwindling sex life. If you are feeling unsatisfied in the bedroom or you want to try something new, Dr Nikki doesn’t mess around.
“Ask for it,” she says. “People struggle in general communicating around sex and they struggle to communicate around it in their relationships as well. Specifically what you want can be awkward to ask for because your partner may think they’re not good enough, or you’re worried they might be offended, or they might think it’s weird.
“It’s about learning how to communicate in a way that has less consequences. Give a compliment and reassure your partner of your attraction, and you can give a suggestion – like if you wanted to try a vibrator, you can pitch it to your partner and say: ‘I’ve found this one online.’ Give them something to work towards… so that they’re involved in the process.”
It’s important to engage in intimacy with your partner to make both of you feel connected and loved. It could just mean putting that extra bit of effort in that you put into other aspects of your life, and again, looking at those sexual expectations that you have developed and listening to your partner’s as well.
“One of the things is to be realistic about what good sex is, leading from the point about your expectations,” says Dr Nikki. “What does it mean to you? Does it mean orgasms, how long it lasts, the connection? Then also look at how much effort you’re putting into your bedroom life. Most people spend so much time on spray tans, exercise, blowouts, but they don’t put as much time into their sex life.
“Putting more effort into pleasing your partner and them pleasing you back, that can pull you up from any rut.”
Images via drnikki.com.au, galleryhip.com and pinterest.com