Has your sex life gone from a luscious rain forest of passion, hot sex, and romance, into a desert of deprived fulfillment? Jake’s sex life has.
When he and Amy first started dating, the sex couldn’t have been better. Her erotic nature was wild and free. He lost himself in her touch. Exploring each other’s bodies between the sheets for hours.
As the years went by, Amy stopped wanting sex. She just didn’t “feel it” anymore. Eventually, months would go by and Jake’s sexual frustration would cause Amy to offer him a mercy fuck.
Even though Amy was giving in, Jake felt disgusted.
She was completely checked out while Jake humped to the fastest and most guilt-ridden orgasm he could have.
She said she didn’t want it from him. He hated her for making him use her body to meet his sexual needs. He wanted to be wanted like he wanted her. He wanted her involvement in sex like the early days. Her movement, her moans, her wild passion.
Despite sex making him feel like gum on the bottom of a shoe, he kept asking for it. Each time, he hoped that she’d check into her erotic hotel and sex wouldn’t be so lousy.
Unfortunately, his actions taught her that he was willing to accept poor sex. That she didn’t have to offer anything more than a hole.
Whether we like it or not, the partner with the least desire for sex controls it.
This is a fact of love in good and bad relationships that no one ever mentions. We often blame desire on chemical imbalances, age, or a plethora of culturally limiting beliefs.
But most often the desire fades because partners lack the emotional strength to want each other. There is a paradox people face in relationships.
Many partners with low desire may want to be desired by their partner, but they themselves don’t want to desire their partners. Intimacy scares them. It challenges them to truly want another because wanting another person makes one vulnerable. This is the relationship paradox merry-go-round.
The closer Jake got to Amy when they did have sex, the more she wanted him. The more she wanted him, the more vulnerable she felt. The more vulnerable she felt, the more she had to find flaws to create emotional distance from her desire. Amy tried to reject Jake so she would have nothing to lose.
The more she shut down her wild erotic nature. The more she distanced, the more worried Jake became. Not wanting to want our lovers is a defensive mechanism against the past pain of wanting, caring, loving, and depending on another and not getting it.
Couples often fight over sex, because it’s far easier to fight than to want our partner. The scary truth is people who don’t want to want are unable to tolerate the vulnerability required to choose their partners.
A byproduct of a committed long-term relationship is the vulnerability of increasing the importance of our partner. Creating distance leads to sexual boredom and low desire. This is driven by two deeply ingrained fears.
Losing Your Partner’s Acceptance
No one desires to be rejected by the person they value and cherish most. Far too often spouses become “too important” for experimenting in the bedroom.
One cannot cultivate sexual novelty or explore our erotic nature when we fear disapproval. When we place our partner’s acceptance over our integrity, we limit our eroticism to ways that we know will receive acceptance.
As a result, couples experience boredom and low desire. Exploring new areas of our sexuality and hidden eroticism is far easier to try in a one-night-stand or an affair than in a committed relationship.
There’s no history of who you’ve been in the past that, in your head, castrates you from showing your partner who you want to become sexually in the future. The need for acceptance limits us to the safety of our well-known sexuality.
Marriage often provides the stability many of us demand, but when we get it, we complain that things are the same. This belief comes from the greater challenge to our sense of self to change when we’re with our spouse.
Losing the boldness to risk disinhibiting our ever-evolving erotic nature is not the benefit we desire for being important to each other.
When we place our partner’s importance above our relationship with ourselves, we have three choices:
1. Withdraw emotionally
2. Control our partner (or allow our partner to control us)
3. Allow ourselves to grow
The first two options avoid wanting our partner. They reduce the vulnerability of wanting rather than increasing our capacity for wanting. The last one requires us to assert our desires — to accept them — to open our naughty book of erotic desires and read it out loud to the one we care about most.
A relationship is the single biggest tool for self-growth there is. But growing requires facing the fear that as we lose our current sense of self, we may lose our partner too.
Losing Your Partner Forever
As your relationship becomes better over time, the more you have to lose if you want something important your partner doesn’t. The problem doesn’t come from dependence on one another; it comes from your partner’s unwillingness to tolerate interdependence.
To accept realistic differences and vulnerabilities that all long-term relationships give birth to takes a conscious effort. To stand in the threshold between the life you’ve grown to love, and the sexually passionate love life you want.
Some people fear this so much that they never actually pick their partner because they don’t want to want. I have best friends who have married someone who wanted them, but whom they didn’t really want.
Wanting is scary. Wanting your partner gives your partner unique importance and leverage in your life. It requires you to give your time to him or her. It requires you to show more and more of your flaws, inadequacies, and be loved for them.
Low sexual desire offers security from the uncomfortable chance of loss. Many times partners accept low sexual desire because they know that their personal growth will cause a change in the relationship.
A change in yourself profoundly affects a change in both your partner and the relationship. When change within us starts, our partners may rebel. They may try to return things to how they were. But if we value our personal integrity over the relationship, then the other partner will be faced with a major dilemma; to grow with us or to leave the relationship.
Society holds paradoxical views on committed relationships. We believe it creates passion and sexual boredom. The irony? It actually does.
Sexual boredom in the short-term is inevitable. Partners fall into patterns and stay there unless they have the courage to grow separately and together. To stop taking it in the same positions. It takes courage to straddle our partner and grind our bodies together in new ways. To look into each other’s eyes during orgasm and feel the most intense intimacy we’ve ever felt.
Long-term sexual boredom is not forever. Overcoming boredom in bed depends on both partner’s willingness to tolerate pain for personal growth in bed and out.
The Romance Reboot
Often when couples hit dry patches, they seek a romance reboot. They take a vacation, buy sexy lingerie, or invest in some new toys. Vacation is an easy way to increase our sexual passion because it removes the things within our lives that define our identities.
When our sense of self is unknown in an unknown environment, we are much more willing to explore the unknown sides of our eroticism. The ability to truly “get it on” at home reflects deep personal growth rather than a change of scenery.
Low sexual desire cannot be cured with naughty lingerie or sex toys.
If you want to keep desire and intimacy passionate in your relationship, your self-growth must keep pace with your partner’s increasing importance.
While low sexual desire is not fun, it has a purpose. It’s a signal to both partners that the relationship is on the tipping point of growth for both partners. It’s a loud calling in the silence of sex that’s asking, “Are you bold enough to want your partner? Are you courageous enough to explore the hidden world of your uncharted erotic map with the one who means the most to you?”
Low sexual desire is screaming for you to stretch yourself and your relationship. Whether you hear the call to change yourself from within, or simply “dress up” for an evening is your choice.
Note: In this article I use the cultural narrative that the woman has a lower desire than a man. This is not always the case. Many men have a lower desire as well. Sometimes it is for the very fear of intimacy as I pointed out in this article. Sometimes hormones or age impact sex. While many see this as a time to give up, I see it as an opportunity to find new ways of being intimate. Sex is only one city in the world of intimacy. Become a tourist of your partner’s mind, body and soul.