There are so many couples I have worked with who share with me that they thought they wanted more sex and they realised that what was really missing, was intimacy.
There is a very common dynamic. Early on in the relationship, sex starts off great and then for a multitude of different reasons, entering into domestic life, children, whatever your version is, sex becomes less.
When a couple are experiencing different levels of desire for sex, I will ask them – Why do you want sex? What do you love about sex? What does sex give you?
The words ‘closeness’ and ‘connection’ are often featured in the answers to these questions, sometimes they are only ones.
I ask if they are experiencing closeness and connection elsewhere in the relationship and often they’re not. There is often distance, whether physical, emotional or both. Over time intimacy has got less and less as the dynamics around sex start to become sticky.
Knowing this is ok, this is natural, there is nothing ‘wrong’ is a huge relief for the couples we work with. This relief creates space to explore what is actually happening from a place of kindness not judgement.
We then explore what great intimacy would look like in the relationship and what it would look like to spend more time together.
This can be everything from hang out time together that doesn’t involve the TV, having some fun, going on some adventures, walking the dog together for some time away from the kids, having touch that doesn’t have to go anywhere, conversations where they can be honest and vulnerable.
We live in a culture which is increasingly starved of intimacy. The last few years especially have put a spotlight on that and the importance of quality intimacy for our health and wellbeing.
I worked with a couple recently and she really wanted to be held by her partner but felt she couldn’t ask him for that. Another couple I worked with, the man wanted what he described as ‘comforting touch’ and felt he couldn’t ask his partner for that. There are reasons why and also isn’t that crazy? ‘Isn’t that crazy’ is exactly what one of these clients shared. Through our work together – they got to be held, they got the touch they craved and it was so moving, they were in tears!
As we start to explore and undo the knots and the tangles that stop intimacy, both partners feel SO much more fulfilled as they begin to fill up with something they didn’t even know they needed – intimacy.
A whole new dimension of their relationship opens up that nourishes them both in profound ways. They then explore sex from a very different place, from an ocean of intimacy.
And yes, sometimes you just want sex.