Nurturing Intimacy: How to Initiate Sex in a Long-Term Relationship
The beginning of every relationship starts with the mystery and the discovery of who your partner is. So much of couples sex therapy is helping clients find a bridge between past desire and ease to the present.
Exploring what they like usually generates excitement, play, and desire. This passion fuels your relationship and stands in the place of things yet to be developed, such as trust and love.
Then, as time passes, you begin to know your partner on a deeper level and share more and more of your life with them.
This shift into a lasting relationship is where the terrible myth enters that couples who are in a long-term relationship eventually cross over an invisible line and, just like that, all of the passion that once kept them up all night vanishes.
The truth, though, is that as a relationship grows, it is not that the desire dies but rather that it changes shape.
As your relationship reaches new milestones, the way you introduce new sexual play, communicate your pleasures and displeasures, and initiate sex all require maturity.
Intimacy Then and Now
In a new relationship, intimacy feels something like landing on the tarmac of an island you’ve never been to before. What promises does the island hold? What new things will you discover there?
Sex, in those early years, centers around having fun, trying new things, and also setting boundaries. Often, the sex was spontaneous or maybe even very frequent. You might look back on that time and think it was harder to keep your hands off of each other than on.
Initiating sex after having been in a relationship for a long time is not always as simple as it was in the beginning. A busy life can make the task of finding the time seem exhausting. Tensions between you and your partner elsewhere in the relationship sometimes may also make initiating sex awkward. And children or pets may hinder your ability to be spontaneous.
In addition, you may also constantly compare or attempt to mirror your current sex life with what it was at the beginning and find yourself feeling like you’ve failed to capture the same spontaneity, uncontainable desire, or playfulness as before.
Initiating Sex In A Long-Term Relationship
It is important to remember that passion isn’t dead just because you are in a long-term relationship. Rather, you should embrace all the things your relationship has gained and shift your sexual practices to reflect those changes.
Trust, friendship, and stability are all aspects of a long-term relationship that can fuel the desire in the same way that mystery and excitement did at the start.
There are several approaches to initiating sex that can prove successful in a long-term relationship. The following tips can reignite the fire common for a new relationship while celebrating the love and trust you’ve worked towards over the years.
1. Get to talking
What turns each person on? What shuts them down? Talk openly with your partner about how each of your wants and needs has changed over the years. Knowing what gets your partner in the mood now will help you initiate sex with more ease.
2. Forget spontaneity
With busy lives and other commitments, it can be difficult to be as spontaneous as you once were. Make more of an effort in planning while still keeping it sexy by sending flirty texts throughout the day.
In addition, make sure all the house chores are done early so that no one is feeling stressed or under a time crunch. As a result, by the time you both make it to the bedroom, the spark will already be lit.
3. Start small
If you are trying to bring sex back into a relationship or change your current sex practices, you need to start small. Don’t just introduce intimacy in the bedroom, but practice it daily in small moments.
Cuddling often, holding hands, telling each other that you look sexy or desirable, all contribute to feeling more comfortable and excited in the bedroom. You’ll find that engaging in intimate moments daily will make initiating sex far more natural.
Clearly, initiating sex changes as your relationship grows. The things that once fueled your passions have evolved as you and your partner begin building a life together. Reassess your approach to intimacy for better sex and continued growth as a couple. And if you need more help, couples counseling and sex therapy are great places to get more ideas on how to nurture intimacy.