Let’s talk about sex and marriage- they do go together, don’t they? No, there are many sexless marriages today, and if I take stock of the clients in my office, the number of marriages that have infrequent or no sex is increasing. According to some studies this is not a phenomenon- in a 2005 Family Circle national survey, 21% of married women considered their sex lives to be boring and routine, and 21% reported that they had no sex life at all, almost 50% reported no desire to have sex with their partner. And remember, these are only the women that responded- there are many, many more out there that seem to feel the same way.
So where are all of the sexually confident women- and why have they disappeared? As a single woman, we had our confidence, style, longing and attraction. We worked for years to find the groove that would bring us sexual fulfillment and everlasting desire. Many of my women clients considered themselves to be a sexual goddess in their single lives-what has created the changes that are going on in the American marriage?
Sleeping next to the same partner night after night, wondering where desire has gone and if it will ever return, many women(and men) may give up and decide that their unfulfilling sex life is the norm, the price paid for security and stability in a relationship. Your partner is no longer pursuing you as they did when you were dating; your feel that your body is ugly from child birth or aging, the sexual routine that you have fallen into is as dry and tasteless as an old piece of toast. Where’s the butter!
There are many reasons that women have lost their sexual confidence- let’s explore two of the main issues; your body and your mind. After all, who can feel beautiful with a post partum body- complete with stretch marks, flabby tummies and a chest that has gone south? Many women use excess food as their drug of choice to medicate these feelings of emotional pain, comparing themselves to the air brushed models that are everywhere. Let me tell you something that I am 99% sure of- as a result of working with hundreds of couples and knowing the men’s perspective. Men do not care about your post partum body- what they do care about is your sexual expression. Men are attracted to a woman who is sexually confident with themselves- not how your body looks. So turn off the lights, light a candle and know that your husband wants to be there with YOU, not the air brushed model.
How about your mind? Many women who have families, work full time and maybe even go to school are simply exhausted at the end of the day. If your idea of a blissful evening is Chinese takeout, paper plates and being in bed at 8pm, you are not alone. We can let our minds rob us of sexual confidence, or we can find some other ways of making it work for us and finding the energy and desire again. No doubt about it, finding time for sexual expression while having a family is difficult, but not impossible. Take a look at your schedule- yes, I know that it’s busy, but there is somewhere in that schedule that you can devote 15-20 minutes to your husband, and to yourself. Don’t you both have to take a shower in the morning? What a good bonding opportunity- and you can find others at midday, creating a lunchtime rendezvous with your partner that will make the rest of the afternoon go by in a flash. If you are an evening person, just make sure that you leave some time for each other before you run out of gas.
Marriage is hard work, and so is keeping your sexual confidence. Remember to butter that toast in the morning!