There are so many things in our daily life that distract us from what is pure and true and good within us. Making space for pleasure within our busy daily lives… this is where the magic is found. And this is SO much easier said than done.
Most of us are pulled in a million directions everyday with our worldly duties. We need to eat (so often! And so many dang dishes). We need to care for our family, our home, and our work duties. All this is pretty necessary—and it can also be a lot. Atop that, technology, television, news, driven by consumerism, actively tells us we need to look outside of ourselves for entertainment and nourishment. And now your favorite sex coach is telling you to make time for PLEASURE, too!? It can feel like too much, I know.
And yet, we each choose what we prioritize each day after the worldly duties. You have the opportunity to prioritize pleasure in your life: some days this will be easier than others, for sure. Making space for pleasure—and there are lots of ways to understand that word—is important for everyone, and especially important for couples. Some relationships don’t need sex; if all people involved agree to a no-sex relationship, GREAT. But most of us don’t set up our relationship that way, and therefore, we need to prioritize conversations around sex, find time for sexy playtime, and practice openness around sex so that we can tell our partners that, “Yes, sex matters to me, and it’s important enough to prioritize it in our relationship.”
Talk about Sex Like it’s Important
I know it’s hard to start and have these conversations. We don’t have a lot of models for talking about or thinking about our sexual and romantic relationships—just terrible romantic comedies that tell us that if we love someone, sex should just be natural, easy, and we certainly should not need to talk about it. And yet, research (and experience) shows us that this is simply not true.
Having sex—especially good sex—takes effort. Sometimes we don’t know what good sex is, we don’t know what we crave, and we don’t yet know how to create Sex Worth Having.* But that’s why sex coaches and sex therapists exist! We can help with these conversations. If having a dynamic and interesting sex life is important to you and your partner, the first thing to do is set aside time to have the important conversations about your sex life.
How to Make Time for Sex
After prioritizing these conversations, the next step is to make sure to set aside the time to actually have the sex you want. Sex worth having is about building your own skillset and toolkit so that you and your partner know what each other wants, and how to give it, so that each person is fulfilled, satisfied, seen, heard, and feels like they got what they need out of sex. Getting back into your sex life, or starting afresh with a new partner, does take effort. And if the outcome is more clear needs, boundaries, desires, and requests, then you’re more likely to have the sex that you want, which will make you WANT MORE!
How to make time? Add it to your calendar (yes, really). This is especially good for us responsive desire types: it gives us something to think about, plan for, and build excitement around. Send sexy or flirty text messages leading up to your sex date.
If you’re partnered, make moments for intimacy in your daily life that do not lead to sex. Building a practice of non-sexual intimacy can be really helpful for keeping the erotic thread alive in between the moments when you can’t connect sexually, and building connection together.
“I want to want it more!” or, How to be More Open to Sexy Time
This is hard work, and we’ve been sold lies about how our bodies and our libido works. Just because you don’t feel it now doesn’t mean you’re broken, or that your relationship is damaged. Do the work on yourself to figure out your own hesitations, challenges and desires. Hire a therapist or a sex coach to help you along this path so that you can have a neutral, supportive third party to help you work though when you get stuck. Unwind stories about shame, stigma, sexual expression, and maybe socio-cultural messaging about what sex is, and can be, for you.
And practice with yourself! Whether you’re single or partnered, pleasure is a practice, and like any skill or habit worth mastering, it takes time and dedication to find your path to pleasure.
And yes, it might seem like a lot of work! But if you want a thriving relationship, and an interesting dynamic sex life that features the sex you really want—the sex worth having—it’s worth the time.
Finally, this work is deep and vast and this is a short article about some ways to approach this. It is not, and cannot be, a substitute for a robust coaching or therapy session, workshops, webinars, and books that address this wide ranging topic.
Big thanks to sex therapist and author Cyndi Darnell for this chapter title, and kickoff point for this article.