We all know the feeling. It’s four or five years into the relationship, and those days when you were ripping each other’s clothes off before you’d even finished dessert are somewhere in a dimly remembered past. Now it’s more like ships passing in the night as you unpack the groceries around him while he gets out a beer and heads to the couch to catch an hour or so of cricket. Or you’re cooking the dinner while she is on her way home from a late meeting at the office, yet again. Saturday mornings used to be prime sexy time, but these days there’s the lawn to mow and the dog to get to the vet or a couple of hours of work to put in or the in-laws to have lunch with.
So you find yourself calculating that it’s been three weeks since you last had sex, and you can’t remember how long it was before that, as you watch her turn over and switch off her light. Is this it? Were those first couple of frenzied years all you got?
Of course not. There’s a bunch of things going on here, and we’re happy to tell you that all of them can be sorted. It’s going to take a little bit of work. Sorry about that, but when you balance up a bit of work versus no sex ever again it doesn’t seem so hard to do.
First up: realise that those first few months or years were indeed an anomaly. They were fuelled by some crazy chemicals that your brain releases when you first fall for someone. That tapers off after a while, and your chemical and hormone levels go back to normal.
So look, you can’t take any of what happened in that time as gospel. Now that the crazy hormones have settled down, your brain has gone back to doing what it always did when it comes to sex. Sometimes it hits the accelerator, sometimes it puts on the brake. Sometimes it does both at the same time and then kind of runs around in circles going “I dunno, what must I do?”
Maybe you actually really do want to kiss and cuddle and see where that takes you, but there’s a bunch of things nagging at your brain that stop you from relaxing into it. That’s when your accelerator and your brake start fighting. “Oooh he’s really looking good in that white t-shirt” fights with “Damn, did I give the dog that worm pill this morning”. Sexy fights with absolutely not sexy in our brains all the time. You can see how this might be a problem.
And for most of us, it’s just damn exhausting. So we go the easier route: make sure the dog got the pill, then roll over and get some sleep, because we’re going to have to wrestle with it again in the morning and why the hell did we get a Dobermann anyway? Sex drive is the last thing you want to worry about.
Do you get where I’m going here? It’s all in the context, which allows your brain and body to relax. In the first flush of new love you couldn’t care less where you are, but when regular life starts to intrude, those romantic candles, massage oils and beautiful linens can make a big difference.
Try banishing laptops, pads and even phones from the bedroom, just for starters. You might well be very pleasantly surprised by the difference it makes to your context.