11 Signs You’re Not Enjoying Sex With Your Partner As Much As You Should Be
A healthy sex life is an important part of a relationship, so it can be quite the bummer if you feel like you're not enjoying sex with your partner. This can become a huge problem between you, as it's often exacerbated by expectations and stories from friends about what's "normal." So for that reason (and many others) it's an issue you'll want to address ASAP.
Recognizing that you're no longer enjoying sex is the first step. But figuring out why? Well, that can be a bit trickier. Once you've ruled out physical health issues and things like depression, which can really affect your desire to have sex, it'll be necessary to talk with your partner about some other possible explanations.
By creating an open dialogue, it can make it easier to find solutions, while also keeping you close. After all, "sex is bonding," Dr. Ben Michaelis, a clinical psychologist, tells Bustle. "When members of a couple have a strong intimate physical connection with each other, they feel closer and the relationship bond, including feelings of commitment and loyalty, are enhanced."
To make sure all of that remains a priority, read on for some signs it may be time to work on your sex life, all in the name of having a better time in bed — and a healthier relationship.
1. You Procrastinate And Always "Have Something Else To Do"
If you're not too thrilled with your current sex life situation, you might look for reasons to avoid climbing into bed. "There's always something that needs to be done — work, school, friends that seem more important than spending time with your other half," Vijayeta Sinh, PhD, a relationship expert and psychologist, tells Bustle.
While it's fine to not be in the mood, if it becomes pattern "this usually means that something's amiss about your emotional connection and/or physical connection with each other," Sinh says. And that's definitely worth looking into.
Now may be the time to address underlying issues, such as a lack of attention, hurt feelings, or other relationship issues that could be impacting your desire for sex.
2. You Almost Always Fantasize About Somebody Else
It's totally normal to fantasize during sex. If you think about a cute stranger for a few minutes, it doesn't mean you despise having sex with your partner, or wish they were somebody else. But if you need to imagine other people, take note. "This is a telltale sign that something is not working in your current relationship," Sinh says.
It may mean that, in order to enjoy yourself, you need to check out and mentally go elsewhere. Fantasies are all well and good, but it's important to be present with your partner, too. So think about why this is happening, and consider other ways to spice things up, that don't require you to glaze over.
3. You've Actually Been With Someone Else
Cheating is a complex issue. It can be a sign you've got an internal problem going on, and one that drove you to seek comfort elsewhere. Or a sign you aren't getting what you need in your relationship, and haven't let your partner know.
But a dissatisfying sex life could also contribute to it. "The classic, and accurate, sign that you may not be enjoying sex with your partner is [...] engaging in a romantic experience or different type of sexual act with someone else," Michaelis says. If that's the case, it may be time to have a chat.
Whether you admit that you cheated or not, saving the relationship will require both you and your partner to make a few changes going forward.
4. You Feel Like Sex Has Become A Chore
Sometimes part of being in a relationship is scheduling sex, all in the name of guaranteeing time with your partner. This helps you both get love and attention, no matter how busy your lives are. And it ensure that you keep your connection going.
That doesn't, however, mean sex should feel like a chore. If it does, it could be a sign that you're not enjoying sex with your partner as much as you should, Dr. Steve McGough, director of R&D at Women and Couples Wellness, LLC, tells Bustle.
If you're just going through the motions, consider talking to your partner about ways to have more fun. Do you need to go on vacation? Try new positions? Chat about a few shared fantasies? It can all help make sex fun again, and keep your spark alive.
5. You Hardly Ever Fantasize About Your Partner
Another sign you aren't enjoy sex, is if "you don't think or fantasize about your partner or look forward to being intimate," McGough says. Of course, what you imagine when you're alone is completely up to you, and may or may not include your partner 100 percent of the time.
But take it as a sign if you don't daydream about them, or look forward to getting it on. Again, it might start to feel like a chore, or you might make a few excuses to avoid it. And those are all issues you should turn towards and talk about as a couple, rather than ignoring them or waiting for it to go away.
6. Your Partner Makes All The First Moves
While not everyone is the type to initiate sex, take note if you have the ability but just... don't. As McGough says, it may be that you're not enjoying yourself. You're no longer inspired, or looking forward to it, so you're perfectly happy to just not.
When that's the case, it may be time to take things to another level with your SO, all in the name of having more fun. Again, this can include being more open about sex and what you both want, and then making that a priority.
7. You Don't Feel Comfortable
It's impossible to enjoy sex if you don't feel comfortable, whether it be physically due to an illness, or mentally due to depression, or a self-esteem hang up. So if you can't climb into bed and feel free to do enjoy yourself, take note.
"This can often cause stress make it very difficult to feel sexually aroused," McGough says. The best thing to do is tell your partner, so you can work on it together. And, of course, see a doctor if you're experiencing pain.
8. You're Afraid To Talk About What You Want
It can feel weird to talk about what you do/don't like in bed, but the more you do it the easier it will become, and it can even lead to a more fulfilling sex life.
"Communicate with your partner by affirming what you like," Dr. Tammy Nelson, a sex and relationship therapist, tells Bustle. Be honest, and try to be as clear as possible.
Saying things like, "'I love it when you go to the right,' is much more affective and a better way to change your sex life then 'I hate it when you go the left,'" Nelson says.
9. You Feel Disappointed More Often Than Not
It'll be pretty difficult to thoroughly enjoy sex if your needs aren't being met, especially if your partner consistently lets you down. In fact, "one of the biggest reasons that women report for low desire or avoiding sex with their partner? Disappointment," Nelson says. You won't want to keep doing it if it isn't fun and fulfilling.
To guarantee yourself a better time, remember to speak up. Your partner can't make a change if they don't know what you want. And vice versa. Communicating is an important part of a healthy and fun sex life, so speak up.
10. You Think Sex Is Supposed To Be A Certain Way
If you talk with your friends about their sex lives (or watch lots of sexy movies) it can be easy to feel like yours doesn't measure up, so go ahead and get their comments and critiques out of your head.
"There is no normal," Nelson says. "Focus on what works for the two of you [and] don’t worry so much what other people say you should be doing. Work on what you need to enjoy it."
For example, if you and your partner enjoy a relatively tame sex life, but it all feels really great and keeps you close, don't feel as if you need to go out of your comfort zones in order to keep up. Do what works best for you.
11. You Feel Like You're Letting Your Partner Down
Low self-esteem can play a huge role in whether or not you enjoy sex. "One of the main reasons couples aren't connecting is lack or interest, boredom, and the loss of self-esteem that can accumulate as a result," Derek Newton, founder of Simpatic.us, a site dedicated to helping couples explore their fantasies, tells Bustle.
If things haven't been too hot in the bedroom lately, it can really take a toll. It can even cause you to worry to the point you're no longer having fun, or allowing yourself to be fully in the moment.
The best way to remedy this situation? Talk to your partner. If you're feeling bored, tell them. If you're struggling with depression, let them know. Together you can work on how to have a more fulfilling sex life.