The First 100 Days of Marriage: A User's Manual
Married Sex: Hot or Not?
You'd think married sex would be the ultimate "gimme." After all, the person you couldn't wait to hop into bed with is now, well, in your bed all the time. And therein lies one of the issues surrounding married sex: Constant access can breed boredom. Another sex buster is simply the banality and bustle of life itself getting in the way.
"The raging hormones calm down, and life intrudes. You're two people who now need to go forward, work, buy groceries, and re-integrate with friends and family," says Aline Zoldbrod, a certified sex therapist and author of Sex Talk: Uncensored Exercises for Exploring What Really Turns You On (New Harbinger, 2002). So what can you do to keep things humming in the bedroom? "You have to create a sexuality that can exist in the everydayness of modern life," says Zoldbrod. Her tips:
- Don't play the blame game. "If sex isn't happening as often, isn't as exciting, or doesn't happen as 'naturally' as it did before, don't feel as though either of you is 'defective,'" says Zoldbrod. Be open to planning times for sex, experimentation, etc.
- Learn how to resolve conflicts in other areas of your marriage -- families, money, chores -- that can get in the way of sex. Fighting can poison your sex life.
- Talk about sex -- as often as you can. "Start these conversations with positive comments about what you enjoy about your partner's lovemaking, not with problems," says Zoldbrod. And be as specific as possible about what turns you on, and under what circumstances. What used to be a surefire trigger for you early in your relationship may not work as well anymore, and make you feel like sex just won't be as pleasurable. The key is to talk honestly about what feels good now.
- Confront any mismatch in desire between the two of you. It happens, says Zoldbrod, but it need not be a sex killer. "If the desire discrepancy is sizable, know you will have to split the difference in some ways," she says. Perhaps the more amorous of the two of you will be content with some cuddling and sex play. And again, talk about the issue without assigning blame.