One sure way to stay stuck in a sexless relationship is to discuss ad nausea why sex is a problem in the first place and who’s at fault. Talking about why there is no sex doesn’t make people want sex. We don’t ignite desire from talking about the lack thereof, nor do we get turned on by analyzing why we are not.
But this is exactly what Claudia and Pedro are doing in my office.
Claudia: “Pedro never wants to talk about sex”.
Me: “Claudia, if you want to bring up the topic, please do. If you need to know that he is “on board”, ask him if he will join you in the conversation.” Pedro agrees he’ll participate, and Claudia continues: “The problem is that we never have sex and he never wants to discuss it either.” I clarify that perhaps the real problem is that once the discussion is saturated with “the problem is that he…” and never and ever… it guarantees another sexless night. I clarify.
Let’s turn it around: “If sex between the two of you was the way you wanted is be, what would it be like?” I ask.
Claudia starts: “It would be integrated into our relation, frequent, fun, healthy, intimate, and exclusive.
Then I ask Pedro. He too emphasizes frequency, play, and exclusiveness. With just one question, they already they have established a beginning of commonality. There is an immediate mind shift. Clearly, positive associations lead to more positive association.
“Can you think of a experience where you felt some of these wonderful sexual qualities?” I continue.
Claudia insists that Pedro starts since he set the sexual withdrawal in motion. They are in a power struggle, and Pedro describes his behavior as a way to get back at her. He compares himself to a woman who uses sex as a weapon. When he is mad, he punishes Claudia by refusing sex.. Two years of this have easily rendered his wife of four years insecure, and anxious about herself as a woman.
Pedro accepts to go first. It doesn’t take him long to remember a special situation at the beginning of their relation.
Claudia had flown 3000 km to come visit him and he was at the airport eagerly waiting to see her. “You wore a short skirt, your hair was up and your long neck rose like that of a Flamingo. You were beautiful, had a radiant smile and I felt an intense rush. I wanted to take you right then and there and make love to you. We drove to my house and we couldn’t wait for our bodies to embrace and meld into one another”. He recalls the intimate bonding.” I suggest to Claudia she close her eyes while she listens to Pedro’s flowing memories.. I know she is seeing the scene as he speaks. So does he. In fact they are not only remembering, they are re-living.
When he finishes, Claudia is in tears.” I didn’t know you still remembered this. We used to be so close. Through the sharing of these experiences, Pedro and Claudia evoke their wish and their loss. They re-sexualize each other individually and together.
Claudia tells of a trip they took to Mexico. They were on the beach, Pedro caressed her tenderly, she felt completely free and safe, happy to give herself over to him. That day she had her first orgasm. I see through his closed eyes and his facial expressions that he too is right back there with her.
When they both return to the present, they have been moved, their senses awakened. Longing has replaced blame and frustrations.
They are reconnected with the people they once were for each other. The years of bickering about sex are now tamed; the tone in their voice is gentle and soft. Telling their positive sexual experiences essential to opening up the possibility for a renewed sexual relation.
When I ask them to report on this exercise, they both tell me that the only problem was that I was in the room. Indeed my presence made them feel that the encounter they had just had was not exclusive, which they had stated as a most important qualities of the sex they dream off.
If you are in a sexual impasse, instead of discussing the problem, tell each other your wishes, ideal moments. One person tells the story and the other listens with their eyes closed, invited back into the erotic world of their partner.
Write a list of all the qualities your like in a satisfying sexual relation. You will notice immediately that you are much closer in your desires than you have come to believe. Ideal stories of the past, will lead to new experiences in the present.