These days, I don’t always like to tell people what I do because when I utter the words ‘sexologist’, the questions come flying. Don’t get me wrong, if you meet me, I am more than happy to answer, but I also have times when I wish I could clock off.
So, after my many years of talking to people about the most intimate parts of their life, I thought it might be good to put together some of the most common questions I get to help those out that don’t find me in the flesh. Instead of just answering these questions because that would be boring, I’ve decided to point out what is wrong with the question in the first place. When it comes to sex and relationships, sometimes the problems are the questions themselves.
- How do we spice things up?
I love and loathe this question at the same time. It’s not just one simple question like you think it should be. The biggest problem is sexpectations. When people say “spice things up”, what do they mean? Is it having more sex, having more orgasms, desiring each other more? And are both on the same page with what they are aiming for in the bedroom? Often when this question is asked, people are looking for a simple sex solution whether it be a product or some kinky move. But in actual act, a lot of this starts with the emotional side of the relationship.
If someone is feeling not heard or resentful about something that has happened, then it’s often those issues that are stopping someone from having frequent sex or connected sex with their partner. Sometimes when a man asks how to spice things up with his female partner, the problem is not her not wanting to have sex, but the lack of pleasure during sex when it does occur. If a woman doesn’t feel like sex is pleasurable, that it’s more of a chore and something she has to do, eventually that tap starts to get turned off. So there is much to think about first before you utter those words, “how do I spice things up?”
- I feel like we have lost the passion in our relationship, how do we get it back?
Passion often changes, not disappears and this also comes down to a problem of definitions. What is passion? What does it look like? What does it feel like? Many people base their knowledge of the term from movies and novels. People often think it’s intense passion that keeps a relationship alive. For some this might be the case, but the same amount of passion you had at the start is not always possible to have years later. Your relationships changes, not in a bad way but things change. And you shouldn’t want it to be like it was in the start. You need to celebrate where it is and where it can be now.
When you first meet someone and connect with them, the passion often comes from feelings of the relationship being new and exciting. There is uncertainty and both people are probably still on their best behaviour trying to win the other over. That’s why passion feels so different and most likely confused and mixed in with all sorts of other feelings. It’s the same as when you get something new. A new outfit or even a new car. It feels exciting to wear it or drive it, but eventually that newness wears off. You might still love that outfit and adore driving that car, but not with the same passion as when it first came into your life. I hate comparing a relationship to a car or a piece of clothing, but there is a similarity. It doesn’t’ mean the relationship is over, but it’s progressed onto a different level and that’s not a bad thing.
The relationship now might be more intimate and intimacy is vital when it comes to not only the emotional side of the relationship but for sex and pleasure too. We need intimacy more than we need passion. But it’s important to explore a new level of passion in a relationship thanks to intimacy. My biggest tips are not only understand how passion might work but also having new and exciting things in your life that makes you passionate every day. It might be a new hobby, it might be the two of you going to a new restaurant, doing a new hobby together or even just catching up with friends. Introducing new things into your relationship helps with excitement and even conversation. But if you feel the passion is not like it used to be, it doesn’t mean that something new has to be someone else (unless that’s what you both want).
- How do I get my partner to have more sex with me?
This might not be asked as straight forward as this, but versions of this is what I’m constantly faced with. So, my response…. why don’t they want to have sex with you in the first place? This comes down to sexual communication. People feel too awkward or scared to delve deep into sexual issues in their relationship and are faced asking a stranger like me. It’s not that I don’t want to help, but I’m not the right person at this point. The person to help answer this is the person who is not wanting to have sex.
I’m not a mind reader (although I feel sometimes I come close to it). There might be other issues going on in the relationship, body confidence issues, having different expectation of sex, stress, exhaustion, not feeling pleasure out of sex, a medication they are on or a multitude of others reasons. When the reason is discovered I can help to work out where to from there, but I can’t answer truly that questions without the important missing facts or without talking to the other person. I might be able to point someone in the right direction, but the biggest tip I would be giving is to have those conversations with your partner around why it’s not going on in the first place.
- How much sex should we be having each week?
One of the myths out there is that if you have a lot of sex, you must know everything about it. Whilst some experiential knowledge is gained, even those with a frequent sex life feel at times in the dark. So, we look to others to work out what we should and should not be doing instead of tapping into our own desires and what works for us. So much of our life comes down to fitting in. We want to follow trends, look a certain way, live our lives a certain way. But our sex life should not follow like this.
The amount of sex you should be having is what works for you and your partner, no matter what that is. Of course, as a Sexologist I encourage couples to have sex, but everyone has a different life and a different schedule that will work for them. But it gets even more complicated. Where do, your expectations come from with the amount of sex you are having? And what type of sex are you having? If you feel you need to have sex 4 times a week to have a healthy relationship but that sex is not great sex, is it worth it? This questions really involves someone looking at where they get their expectations from and what they want from their intimate life with their partner. Sorry I can’t give you a number, but the answer to this question is I shouldn’t be, nor should we have a number per week.
- My partner is chatting to someone online, is that cheating?
Cheating is not as simple as it once was. Is it just when someone has sex with someone else? What about touching? What about getting emotionally connected? We now even have such a thing as financial infidelity. It’s not when you give money to someone else, but when you are hiding money from your spouse. I like this term because it opens the conversation to what cheating should be. In my books, it’s when you have to hide someone from the other person or when you being deceitful about something. Why does infidelity just only have to be around sex? What about other behaviours in a relationship? If someone is having a conversation with someone online that they feel they need to hide from that partner, then it might be a case of micro cheating? They are still being deceitful but it might not have as much weight as someone who is sexual with someone else. Don’t you just love all the terms we have these days?