The Work for Relationships: Sex

By September 19, 2017Relationship

Questions about sex and challenges in this area are a part of every relationship for almost everyone, I believe. Whether it is fear of how we look, not wanting sex or wanting more sex or judgments about how, where and why to have sex, this is ubiquitous!

Some of us have used sex to make ourselves feel wanted, some of us have avoided sex altogether and some see sex as a beautiful expression of the gift we can experience with our beloved…the deepest expression of ourselves in unity! No matter where on the scale you fall, it’s probably true to say that sex has been challenging and may continue to be. Take a look at the video below to get an idea of some of the thoughts you may (or may not) have considered!

John Gottman on his blog speaks to many aspects of sex from a research point-of-view. Here is what the research proves both about couples who experience difficult sex lives and those who do not.

What are some causes for difficulty with sex
Fact: Couples have a bad sex life everywhere on the planet.

The Sloan Center at UCLA studied 30 dual-career heterosexual couples in Los Angeles. These couples had young children. The researchers were like anthropologists – observing, tape-recording, and interviewing these couples. They discovered that most of these young couples:

  1. Spend very little time together during a typical week
  2. Become job-centered (him) and child-centered (her)
  3. Talk mostly about their huge to-do lists
  4. Seem to make everything else a priority other than their relationship
  5. Drift apart and lead parallel lives
  6. Are unintentional about turning toward one another

One researcher on this project told me it was his impression that these couples spent only about 35 minutes together every week in conversation, and most of their talk was about errands and tasks that they had to get done.

Common behaviors of couples with fun and fulfilling sex

Dr John Gottman has identified 13 things all couples do who have an amazing sex life.

  1. They say “I love you” every day and mean it
  2. They kiss one another passionately for no reason
  3. They give surprise romantic gifts
  4. They know what turns their partners on and off erotically
  5. They are physically affectionate, even in public
  6. They keep playing and having fun together
  7. They cuddle
  8. They make sex a priority, not the last item of a long to-do list
  9. They stay good friends
  10. They can talk comfortably about their sex life
  11. They have weekly dates
  12. They take romantic vacations
  13. They are mindful about turning toward

There are some more resources from John Gottman here.