What do you think when you read this word?
Does it make you excited? happy? disgusted? Are you one of those individuals who can’t get enough sex? Or have you, perhaps, been too overworked to care lately?
When we talk or think about sex, we all have different perceptions. These perceptions are ever changing, based on our current life stage. Now, when you throw in sexual expectations within a relationship, a simple urge or desire can get complicated.
It is probably fair to say that at the beginning of most relationships, sexual attraction and desire are usually at an all time high. You’re probably exploring new moves, new territories, talking dirty, and enjoying the hot and heavy passion as much as possible.
As time passes, however, and the relationship matures, do you still expect that same passion? Is such an expectation even realistic?
Let’s take a look at some commonly held beliefs around sex
1. Men have a stronger sex drive than women.
FALSE. Women can have strong sexual desires too, especially given the right amount of foreplay both emotionally and physically. Women like sex, we enjoy it. Yes maybe we require a little more emotional connection, but once we get going…well you get the picture. Women hit a second sexual peak in their late 30s, according to several studies and this can result in an increased desire for sex and a heightened libido.
2. You have to have an orgasm for sex to be good.
FALSE. Now this one may be hard to believe, but you and your partner can enjoy yourselves without the ever popular symphony of “OHs” and “YES.” Doctor Kristen Mark wrote,“ Focusing on engaging with your partner in satisfying sexual exploration rather than “getting off” will enhance the quality (of sex). Recent research has also found that sexual duration may be a better way to classify sex than sexual frequency.” The concern to make your partner orgasm can get in the way of enjoying the pleasurable moments.
3. Alcohol can kill the sexual experience and affect your libido
TRUE & FALSE. The key with alcohol is moderation. Too much alcohol acts as a depressant and impacts respiration, circulation, and sensitivity in nerve endings, according to Health Promotion at Brown University. Alcohol also dehydrates the body, impacting both female and male ability to perform. Excessive drinking can lead to ED for men and a lower libido for women over time, according to Mayo Clinic. A glass of wine, however, can have benefits such as lower inhibitions and can assist in confidence and comfort.
4) A new baby kills your sex life.
TRUE. Maybe not kill… perhaps a mini coma. For this one, let’s call a spade a spade. Yes, your sex life will change with a newborn in the home and so should your expectations…at least for a little while. There will be crying and feeding and diaper changes and minimal sleep; so give yourself a break and enjoy those precious moments you have with a new life in your hands. Just remember to be patient with your partner and yourself. Sex will eventually return into the equation–just give it time.
5) Great sex should resemble scenes from a porno.
FALSE. No, no, and no.
A pornographic film is fantasy, a movie, and not accurate. If this is your expectation, going into a relationship; if you expect your partner to have fully coiffed hair, perfect makeup and 6-inch heels, while doing positions that can make a Chinese contortionist say ouch, then perhaps you need to re-adjust your perception of good sex. Good sex consists of connection, communication, sensuality, respect, adventure, the occasional 6-inch heels and role play.
Too much porn can desensitize you to what may be a typical cause for arousal and can result in an increased desire for more of the lurid side of sex.
6) One is the loneliest number that you ever knew. (Input catchy melody)
FALSE. Sex can be a singles’ game too. Now, I know this is about expectations in a relationship, but masturbation within a relationship does have its benefits. According to several research studies, masturbation can reduce stress, release sexual tension, help you sleep better, improve body image, release menstrual cramps, and strengthen muscles in the pelvic and anal region. So think of sexual masturbation as practice before the big game. It promotes a better understanding of your own body and that can be quite beneficial when you come together with your partner and “communicate” your needs.
7) Everyone loves sex.
FALSE. This misconception is important to keep in mind in a relationship. Not everyone has a healthy and positive view towards sex. Some individuals may want sex, but due to a painful past experience or trauma, find it difficult to enjoy sex. In this instance it is important to be very patient, respectful, and caring. Often, in the instance of past sexual trauma, it might be beneficial to see a couples therapist or sex therapist . This will help re-build a positive connection to sex.
8) Be Aware of the Perfect Moment to introduce sex into a relationship.
TRUE/FALSE. Yes sex should be an act of mutual respect and this often occurs once you get to know your partner. However, if you have sex right away, it doesn’t doom the relationship.
LCSW Brenda Lewis states, “The important thing is to have a dialogue around what it means if you are going to be intimate early on. Real intimacy and commitment comes from time. All you do by having sex early is learn about what the sex might be like.” So don’t get hung up on timing but rather when it feels right for both of you.”
9) Sex should be spontaneous.
FALSE. Ideally, sex would be in the heat of the moment when you match eyes across the dinner table and you pounce like a hungry mountain lion. However, life does not always allow for wild passion. It is a good idea to schedule a date night or time to be intimate. This can often be a useful technique in couples therapy and gets the ball rolling again until the couple can shift back into spontaneous sex. We are all very busy with 60 hour work weeks, with cell phones constantly ringing and kids screaming for attention. Scheduling time for intimacy will not only remind you of how good sex can be, it will also help you develop a pattern of regular, enjoyable sex.
10) Sex can be transcendent.
TRUE. Sex can be transcendent. It has the power to produce endorphins and elevated feelings of ecstasy. Often, people experience a feeling of peace or euphoria after climax.
Sex has been used in the past to commune with a “higher power or energy.” Ever heard of tantric sex? According to Healthline, Tantra is ancient Sanskrit meaning “to weave energy”. In practice, tantra is about enlightenment: to transcend both the sexual and spiritual planes by engaging in deeply meditative, spontaneous, and intimate sex. Sex or sex-like activities can be almost meditative in nature with amazing benefits.
For more information about tantric sex: click here,
Always remember that sexual expectations are ever evolving in a relationship. It is important to communicate and respectfully receive the information you partner is giving you. Validate your partner’s desires and roadblocks and come to a mutual understanding of what you both want your sex life to look like.
If you need help communicating and coming together as one, we are always available. CWC provides couples’ therapy and helps refocus your energy. Call 470.296.3090 or visit www.chantelcohen.com for more information.
We help couples become one again.
At CWC Coaching, our team consists of licensed therapists, life coaches, and counselors. We assist clients with self-improvement, career development, negative self-talk, psychological pain, self-sabotaging behavior, past hurts and finding your purpose.
If you are ready to increase your self-awareness and happiness, breakthrough limiting behavior and understand your purpose in life, we’d love to help guide you on this journey.