Is sleep the only thing happening in the bedroom?
Lee’s male experience -
Sleep may be the only thing happening in the bedroom for many reasons, and people may explain their reason to be by choice or by circumstance. What I’m talking about here is unintentionally ending up in a sexless relationship. I found myself in this situation years ago with the girlfriend I’ve been in a long term relationship with. Our connection had lost its spark and sexual interaction faded away. I felt frustrated and I carried around a sense of resentment toward my partner. I made up stories in my mind that she was no longer interested in me or that she was seeing someone else and I found myself becoming very irritable. It started affecting all aspects of my life and I didn’t know what to do about it. The mutual silence around the topic was filled with confusion and fear. On rare occasions we would try to engage sexually, but it would only result in disappointment for both of us. I reached a point at which I believed taking a break in the relationship would be the best thing, so I finally broke the silence and told her that I didn’t want to be in a relationship that lacked sexual intimacy. While we were on a “break” the sex came back and it was better than it had ever been. So we did still have sexual chemistry! We eventually continued our relationship and I was feeling hopeful that we’d found what we needed...but the sex dropped off again after a while. We discussed it a couple more times on our own before agreeing that we were stuck in this loop and ready to talk sex with someone that could help us out of it. We met and began working with Gaia Morrissette who immediately made us both feel understood and properly supported. It became clear that my partner and I would be on separate journeys, clearing out a lot of what was holding us back as individuals, and acquiring new tools to really light up the sexual relationships we were having with ourselves as well as with one another. As a result of Gaia’s guidance, our teamwork, and our individual efforts, we were better able to understand one another as sexual beings and we still continue to find new ways to really explore one another in more than just the bedroom!
How we end up in sexless relationships and keep ourselves stuck there
The main reason we end up in ruts is because we get comfortable and we stop exploring. The same can be said for many sexual relationships, whether they be the ones that we share with our partner or the ones we have with ourselves. Sex can become routine with repeating patterns that we have found to work for us. As we continue to repeat our sexual patterns, there is nothing unknown or mysterious about what might happen as the clothes come off, and that can kill the motivation to initiate anything in the first place. You want the sexual connection back, but you don’t know where to begin. Openness and honesty between partners is key to getting started, but many relationships might not actually share this level of unguarded communication. Maybe you have actually talked about it and both agreed that you don’t want the sex (or lack thereof) to continue on as it is. You walk away excited for what is to come, but then after a given period of time you just find yourself in the same situation. Maybe you think “Things aren’t hot right now, but I/they will come around,” allowing yourself to believe that it will just get better on its own. These forms of wishful thinking and occasional signs of hope are part of what will keep things exactly as they are. One of my counterproductive thoughts later on in our sexless phase was “Our relationship is amazing otherwise, so I don’t really have a right to feel this way.” I’d found an excuse that made me feel better about the situation and had essentially given up my desire for change as a way to avoid any further discomfort. I knew that more sex (and better sex!) with my partner was what I really wanted, but staying where I was meant we didn’t have to risk any more pain or failure. Ultimately, if you want more action, then you need to take action!
Other causes for sexless relationships may include, but are not limited to:
Becoming a parent
Boring and unsatisfying sex
Development of body image issues
Physiological changes that come with aging
Other medical/physiological conditions
Medication affecting libido
So how do you even start toward a happy sex life again?
Every sexless relationship has its differences and as a result each one calls for a slightly different approach, but regardless of what the cause of your sexless relationship is, bringing sex back into the picture truly begins with communication. If you don’t talk about it together, you can’t determine what’s really going on and in turn can’t begin to work on the relationship. Without open dialogue, one partner might assume one thing while the other is telling themselves a different story. If you begin the conversation, regardless of how awkward or uncomfortable you think it might be, you can begin to understand what one another’s real thoughts and emotions are around the whole thing. If the one-on-one conversation doesn’t seem to be headed in the right direction, there are people that are experienced in supporting and facilitating the dialogue that you can reach out to. Attempting to bring the sexual connection back into your relationship can be overwhelming at times, so it’s important to set realistic goals for yourself that involve attainable milestones. Don’t be afraid to challenge yourself, but know that this, as well as anything in life, is about progress, not perfection. If you’re ready to really dive in and be supported in your journey, register for Dawn of a New Man - Mastery of Your Life, an 8-week online guided course that Gaia and I have co-created to support men on the path to living the life they desire!
How to Talk About the unsexy elephant in the room - by Gaia Morrissette
Step 1 - Ask your partner for sometime to talk: If you want this conversation to have a chance of being successful, then don't spring this conversation on your partner when they are busy and not able to be fully present in the moment with you. Here is how you ask: "I have something important I would like to talk about with you, when would be a good time? I am going to need at least 30mins to an hour of interrupted time."
Step 2 - Book it on the schedule/calendar: We all have super busy lives and most of our lives are scheduled, so making space and time in your calendar for this very important conversation is how successful and productive outcomes can happen. It also sets everyone up to be present and feeling like their time is being respected.
Step 3 - Shut off all tech: The world will not come to an end, I promise, during the 30min to an hour that you have set aside for your relationship and this important conversation. The reality is this is going to be a hard conversation with a lot of truth bombs, so everyone needs to bring their A game, no distractions! (Remember, your relationship is dying without the sexual connection. It will be worth it)
Step 4 - Using “I” statements: What are "I" statements? Think about it this way, if you start a statement with I feel, I think, I behave, etc. I know it can feel annoying and like a lot of extra work! However when we start a scary conversation off from a place of ownership and not blame, it makes it easier for everyone to talk about the uncomfortable topic. Trust me, sex and sexlessness in a relationship is a very uncomfortable topic for most people. Let's play nice and not blame others… This might be very hard if you are carrying around anger and resentment, so I would recommend finding and using some anger management tools eg; working out, talking with a friend, using a punching bag, or going to see a professional who will help you let go or let off the edge of that anger before you have the conversation.
Step 5 - Starting the conversation: This is usually the scariest part in my experience. Once everyone starts talking about the unsexy elephant in the room (sex) and ball is rolling...You can finally breathe because the suffocating silence is broken. Here is a good way to break the ice: “Thank you for making time in your schedule for this conversation, I truly appreciate it! I have been thinking about our sex life lately and how we don't seem to be as connected in both the sexual and intimacy departments. I would like to just talk about it, no one is to blame because the silence is concerning me. I miss you and our physical connection. I would love to hear your ideas about why you think this is happening in our relationship. I am also open to hearing about any suggestions that might help us. Would you like to go first or would you like me to?”
Step 6 - Implement whatever you agree to: NEVER agree to things you are not truly willing to do! This conversation is not just about talking and sharing, it is also about building trust within you relationship. If you agree to something to support sexy change, then follow through!! If you find you are having a hard time following through then please be honest with your partner and get some professional support!
Our guided online course “ Dawn Of A New Man- Mastery Of Your Life “ for men would be a great place to help you master difficult conversation and tools to bring sexy back! https://succulent-living.teachable.com/p/dawn-of-a-new-man-mastery-of-your-life-onlin
Until next time stay honest!
Lee Watson - Men's Empowerment Coach
Gaia Morrissette - Holistic Sexual Wellness Specialist