As a marriage and sex therapist, I talk a lot with my clients about touch, connection and communication.
The thing that may surprise you is that lots of people don’t actually know HOW they would like to be touched.
They know how they DON’T want to be touched (and have communicated that thoroughly often with their partner). But when we get down to exactly what they would want their partners to do with their bodies — in detail — that can be hard for some people to articulate.
And of course it can be tough to articulate what you do not know or understand.
“Well I don’t know what I want but I can tell you what I don’t want.”
"If I have to TELL you how to touch me than it doesn't feel genuine when you do it!"
"If we were meant to be together, I wouldn't need to TELL you what I want."
Of course, all of this makes sense. We are each unique human beings and our desires and fantasies will change from day to day -- and most of us were never taught how to talk about our wants and desires -- or that it was OK to even have wants and desires! None of us comes with a ‘User’s Manual’ (much to our partner’s dismay!).
So when sex breaks down in a relationship it can be really tough to try and fix it when:
- the *problem* seems like it keeps changing
- you do not have clarity on what you want your partner to DO
- you have a lot of clarity on what you DO NOT want your partner to do
- you are not sure yourself how to talk about what you want
And often what men and women want is just different.
For many women, they want and need their sexual desire to be stoked over time in creative ways — through acts of service, words of appreciation, and feeling ‘taken care of’. [Note: this is certainly not always the case but something that we hear a lot].
For many men, they have learned that sex is really the only way that they can ask for connection — it is the primary avenue to feel seen, valued, validated, and for some it’s a place where they get to feel ‘like a man’. [Note: again, not always the case but what we hear so much’.
So when we are talking about touch and sex — we are never just talking about touch and sex.
We are talking about:
- emotional needs,
- feeling and being seen,
- unspoken desires,
- and unconscious fantasies (to say nothing of past trauma and abuse that may be woven in)...
all playing out between the sheets at 10:30 at night after a 9 hour work day, after managing the kids finally get them down, walking and feeding the dog, picking up the house, and now….just wanting to have sex for the love of Pete!
Why does it have to be so hard!
Yes, when you are trapped in it. It feels impossible.
If this resonates with you, give us a call. We can help you untangle these many threads of your sex life and get you back on a path of sexual connection.
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