When your partner loses interest in sex, it can be frustrating and heart wrenching. Here are some tips to clearing the air and opening up discussions to allow more connection and more physical intimacy.
Reid: Yes. My name is Reid. My name is not ReidAboutSex.
Cathy: (laughing) You could change it.
Reid: I could. I could change it. ReidAboutSex.com… that would be nice.
Cathy: So we had someone ask us, they have a relationship. They’ve been together for 30 years. They really love the person they’re with, and the wife just isn’t interested in sex anymore. So he’s feeling very powerless. He’s not getting his needs met. There’s less intimacy in their relationship. What would you suggest?
Reid: Well, for the purposes of this video, let’s not make it about husbands and wives, and wives losing interest. I know a lot of men out there who lose interest too, or whose partners don’t feel as appreciated or as exciting to their partners and spouses as they used to. So, with that idea in mind, the advice I give people when I’m coaching them is, expand what you consider to be sex or sensuality, like just erotic connection or a physical affection. The biggest challenge that we have, certainly in American culture and in other cultures as well, is the idea that there are only certain types of sex.
Cathy: Yes. Bill Clinton said it wasn’t sex.
Reid: Well…don’t get me started. (laughing) So “penis and vagina” is sex, “oral stimulation” is sex… Because if you only have four crayons, you don’t have a lot to choose from. If you expand the number of crayons you have in your sexual crayon box, then there are a lot more things that you guys can explore, play with, appreciate, engage in, that will leave you feeling nourished and connected. And often, we’ll set the snowball rolling that turns into this snowman of love. (laughing) You know, it’s the little things like taking a shower together or bathing together or…
Cathy: Holding hands during a movie.
Reid: Holding hands during a movie. You know, holding each other on the couch and reading a book to each other – little, silly things like that can increase the amount of endearment that you’re feeling toward each other.
Cathy: Mmm hmm.
Reid: And, at the same time, those things can often lead to more. When was the last time, if you have a partner – if you’re single, this might be a different answer – when was the last time you and your partner made out for twenty minutes on the couch? When I was fourteen, I lived for that! Make out in your car! When it’s parked, not when it’s driving. (laughing) When was the last time you guys did that, or give each other a foot rub or, you know, be silly and put on mud masks together and just hang out and watch silly TV?
Those kinds of things that take you out of your normal routine – let’s say that you guys love watching silly television together, but there’s a rut and a familiarity that you can kind of dust off and make new by including this other thing.
Cathy: That shifts the pattern. Because I know, when I’ve been in relationships where the other person had a goal, like “I have to get to sex to feel complete, to feel good.” there was pressure, and it was really hard for me to be as present. It wasn’t as engaging. I felt more disconnected. We weren’t in the moment, more enjoying the touch…
Reid: You were on some sort of timeline.
Cathy: Right, and you’re going toward this goal in the future, which, when it was done, it was kind of like, there wasn’t that connection. There wasn’t that “Oh my God, that was amazing.”
Reid: I’m at a loss for who shared this idea with me, but the idea of men and women – it really doesn’t matter about the gender, but certain people are very… I’m going to ruin this. Basically, the idea to have sex enters their mind, and then they’re like, “Let’s have sex!” Whereas other people, in doing other things that aren’t sexual, they kind of get revved up and arrive at a place where they’re like “Oooh!” Now the door opens and sex is a possibility, whereas for some people, they walk in through the door and like, “It’s sex time!”
Understand that you and your partner might be different, and have conversations about ways where you guys can match up. And often, you know, doing… Increasing your crayon box of options and exploring those…
Cathy: “The Five Love Languages” is a great book. If your way of receiving love is physical touch, it might be, “let’s just go have sex.” If your way of receiving love is an act of service, your partner taking the trash out can get you revved up to where you could…
Reid: Get you laid.
Reid: Are you listening? Taking the trash out could be the thing. Take it! (laughing) Or doing the dishes, or the laundry.
Cathy: Especially the laundry.
Reid: Especially the laundry. Fold your socks. (laughing) All right. I hope this was good. Let us know if this was good! Leave a comment. Send Cathy an e-mail. What’s your e-mail, by the way?
Reid: That’s “Cathy with a C.”
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