“How often do you do it?” I can’t even count the number of times I’ve been asked that question. Of course, the questions behind the question are, “What’s normal?” and, “Are we OK?”
What I hear most is women worrying about their flagging sexual appetite and men, well, worrying about their wives’ flagging sexual appetite. And therein lies the Grand Canyon of chasms — for men sex is the road to intimacy and for women it is the product of intimacy.
The short answer is this: There is no normal and, therefore, there is no abnormal. As long as you and your partner are content with your sex life, there is no problem. It doesn’t matter that the neighbours do it every night, or that your university roommate is beating your record for most number of cocktail-party-powder-room quickies.
And if you and your mate aren’t content? Here are some strategies.
For the guys…
Rev up the romance. Understand that while for you sex builds an instant bridge between you and your partner, it may be different for her. For your wife, physical intimacy is a byproduct of emotional intimacy. So hold her hand, listen to her dreams, express your love non-physically and allow her the time she needs to warm up.
For the girls…
Initiate. There is no greater gift you can give your guy than to show him you desire him. You don’t have to do it every day, but once in awhile, surprise your guy by initiating sex. Give him the sly wink, lead him up the stairs and show him you care about his needs.
For both of you…
- Compromise. Just as sex is about giving and taking, so is the management of your sex life. If he wants to do it every night and you’re only in the mood once a month, meet in the middle. And if you think that kind of crude accounting sounds unromantic, consider that there is nothing less sexy than sleeping on the couch.
- Don’t take it personally. Her seemingly insatiable appetite, his routine rejections—these aren’t indications that your partner isn’t into you, or that he/she prefers someone else. Assuming personal insult adds unnecessary injury to your sex life.
- Be creative. Sexy times don’t have to culminate in sex. Flirt, fool around, talk or text dirty. Keep the love alive between your sexual “dates.”
- Give. Remember, in a marriage, lovemaking is about love. It’s a gift shared between people who care about each other. So if your partner wants sex, give it to him. And if your partner is too tired, give her a break.
Join relationship columnist Liza Finlay each week as she dishes on ways to keep you and your partner close through the rocky terrain that is marriage with kids.
Do you have an issue you’d like Liza to explore in a future column? Drop her a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave your comment below.