What do you really need to have a healthy sex life? Passion? Pleasure? Desire? If you had to pick one, which would it be? Passion? A person may feel passionate about a partner but not find their mate sexually arousing.
Pleasure? Without pleasure, what’s the purpose of making love? Yet, many people have an active sex life for other reasons — power, loneliness, and boredom among them. Desire? Desire tends to ebb and flow in relationships, so can it be counted on to sustain a healthy sex life over time? Absolutely!
Here’s a secret about desire. Sexual intimacy does not always start with desire. You’re tired. He’s tired. You’re not in the mood. She’s too busy. It’s okay! Desire can be cultivated.
The secrets to maintaining a healthy sex life is a desire
What does it mean to “cultivate desire”? How does desire contribute to a healthy sex life?
Creating and maintaining desire in a long term relationship may seem paradoxical. After all, many of us are looking for stability and predictability when we seek a life partner. This may seem incompatible with the spontaneity, mystery and the intensity of eroticism.
The key to healthy sex life is to feel you deserve and want to experience desire in a relationship with your partner. It is not for her to become desirable for you, it is your responsibility to determine what turns you on, whether it’s being touched, a visualization, role play, fantasy or something else. If you really want a healthy sex life, share this with your partner, so that each of you finds ways to spark and stimulate desire in yourself and each other.
How to have better sex in marriage
Make it a practice.
The more you engage in the anticipation, pleasure, and memory of sexual intimacy, the more desirable it will become. When something feels good, we naturally want more of it. To want a vital sex life requires making the time for it and trusting that even if you are not feeling turned on in the moment, you and your partner can abandon routine temporarily and play together as an “intimate sexual team” (Metz, M., Epstein, N., & McCarthy B. (2017).
Keep in mind that on average, couples experience sexual satisfaction about 80% of the time. So, if tonight’s sex isn’t the best, try again tomorrow. Healthy sex life is not that elusive, the opposite actually.
There’s no reason to be discouraged or blaming for an encounter that ended differently than anticipated. Additionally, there may be times when sexual intimacy does not mean mutual orgasm or pleasure. It may be that one person in the couple is satisfied today, while their partner experiences pleasure at another opportunity.
Once you and your partner learn how to spark desire, keep it simmering and you will enjoy a long lasting healthy sex life.
Secrets to a happy and healthy sex life
Give each other playful, affectionate touch during the day, or say (or visually show) something that will increase your partner’s appetite for sexual intimacy.
If there is a persistent inability to maintain desire, other factors may need to be addressed; for example, a medical condition or mental health concern. Sexual deviance, or an affair, also interfere with desire. If the mutual desire is consistently lacking in your relationship in spite of efforts to ignite it, talk with your partner thoughtfully about it and determine what type of specialist would be helpful.
Enjoy a healthy sexuality
One of the tips to improve your sex life is to maintain good sexual health.
The key secrets for good sexual health are eating healthy, especially avoiding food items that are high in sodium. Such foods are often associated with hypertension and erectile dysfunction. Avoid smoking, limit your alcoholic consumption and build healthy sexual communication with your partner.
Approaching the issue of healthy sex life together is an act of intimacy in itself.
Remember, healthy sex life is not a given. Passion and pleasure may be biologically driven, but the desire is a mindset that anyone can cultivate and enjoy healthy sex life.
Want to have a happier, healthier marriage?
If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.
More by Caroline Steelberg