Love is patient, love is kind, and love is really freaking frustrating sometimes. Many of us have found ourselves in happy relationships that left us head-over-heels for someone... but then discovered that we have problems in the bedroom. One of the absolute worst things we can learn when we fall in love is that no matter how hard we try, we just don't enjoy the sex. Some couples are lucky enough to be sexually compatible from the start, but for others, it might take a little (or a lot) longer... if it ever happens at all.
Two of my long-term relationships have been with men I loathed having sex with. With one guy, the issue was that his penis was so big that just the thought of it made my vagina hurt, and the problem with the other guy was simply that we had no sexual chemistry. If either of these dudes were just casual flings, it would have been super easy to cut my losses and move on. But the problem was, everything else about the relationships was fantastic. We were in love. We thoroughly enjoyed sticking each other's tongues down the other person's throat. And we were each other's best friends.
No matter what the cause is for the lack of lust in your relationship, the good news is that it doesn't have to mean the end of your love story... and it also doesn't have to make you part of the estimated 15 to 20 percent of married couples who have found themselves in a sexless marriage. Whether your problems in the bedroom stem from a simple lack of communication or something more complicated, check out these tips if everything about your relationship is perfect until the clothes come off. If you find one you like, it could end up saving your relationship... and your sex drive.
1. Attend Sex Therapy
Yep, it's a real thing. If your problems in the bedroom are seriously affecting the rest of your relationship, you and your partner might want to consider going to see a licensed sex therapist. A professional can help both of you with your issues in the sack, and even though it can get pretty expensive, it might be worth it if you really want to make your relationship work.
2. Use Toys
Not only are toys a great way to spice things up in bed, but they're also great to help your partner see exactly what you like. Bringing in a vibrator or fleshlight might not solve all the problems you have with your sex life, but it's definitely a good way to give your partner a good visual on exactly how you want them to do you.
4. Use Verbal Communication
Many sexual problems between partners could be solved in under an hour if both people would just open up and tell the other person what they want in bed. Want more oral sex? Tell her! Not a fan of that weird thrusting thing he did the other night? Tell him! So many people are scared of offending the other person, but the truth is that we're all different humans with different sexual preferences, and no one should be scared of saying that they'd like something to change when the clothes come off.
5. Do More Foreplay
Do you hate sex with your partner because you just never feel "ready?" If so, you might be rushing into things too much. Use your mouth and hands a bit more to warm each other up, and by the time you're both dying to take things to the next level, you'll not only be emotionally prepared, but physically prepared as well. If it's only the P in V sex that sucks, remember that there's nothing wrong with finishing each other off manually or orally either!
6. Find Oher Ways To Make Each Other Happy In The Relationship
Some people really don't need a lot of sex in a relationship, and as long as both people have relatively similar libidos, there's nothing wrong with that. If both of you agree that sex isn't a crucial part of your relationship, you might find that you're a lot more content amping up the romantic parts of your relationship and toning down the sexual parts. Most of us end up with lowered libidos as we age anyway, so if you're both perfectly happy being in love (but not lust) now, the same will likely be true further down the road.
7. Have More Sex
For those of us who do need regular sex to be happy, the solution might just be to spend more time in bed with each other. It might be pretty lousy at first, but the more you have sex with your partner, the more likely it is that your sexual chemistry will grow with time and experience. Plus, a recent study says it actually strengthens your relationship. You may not look forward to it at first if the sex is really that bad to begin with, but if you can stick it out for a little while, you might end up liking the payoff way more than you ever expected.
8. Consider Opening Your Relationship
I will be the first to admit that the idea of sharing my boyfriend with anyone is enough to fill me with rage, so let me preface this by saying that open relationships are not for everyone. Heck, they're not even for most people. But if literally everything else about your relationship is perfect except for the sex, and neither of you are very jealous, it might be worth at least bringing up the idea with your partner. Many things have to be taken into consideration, such as boundaries and "what if" situations, but plenty of people have found that fulfilling their sexual needs outside of their relationship (with their partner's consent, of course) has been a great way to satisfy all their needs. Just make sure to do your research first if the idea appeals to you.
9. Visit The Doctor
A number of sexual problems — including lack of libido and pain during intercourse — can have underlying medical issues. If you feel like you could pinpoint the exact problem you're having in bed, visit your physician and see if they can find a solution. And if your partner's the one going to the doctor, make sure you're there to support them the whole way. It can be uncomfortable to talk to even a licensed professional about intimate issues, so make sure you and your significant other are tackling this just as you should tackle all relationship problems: as a team.
9. Last Resort: Break Up
This is obviously a last resort, but it's still a very viable option. If you and your partner are not sexually compatible and sex is extremely important to you, then it's not shallow at all to decide that this just might be a dealbreaker for you. It might seem silly to end a loving relationship over something as "simple" as sex, but honestly, sexual compatibility is an extremely important part of any romantic relationship. If it's wreaking havoc on your happiness or causing constant fights between you and your S.O., it might be time to rip off the band-aid and find someone you have more sexual chemistry with.
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