GM 4.5.12 ASK ARLEN


Arlen:

 

My partner and I have been together for close to two years, and we have what I consider to be a fulfilling and rewarding loving relationship. When we started dating, as expected, we had sex four or five times a day. That has dropped off to about three or four times a week.

 

The last thing I want to do is let this wonderful man think in any way that I desire him sexually less than I did. Is there a “magic pill” that I can take to keep the flames at a fever pitch?

 

Sincerely,

Rich

 

 

 

Rich (“the Rabbit”):

It sounds like things are going pretty well if, after two years, you guys are at it three or four times a week!  Of course, frequency is one thing, intensity is another.  If you are in love, turned on and enjoying your sexual time together, there doesn’t really seem to be a sexual issue.  What strikes me is your comment, “I think that he thinks…” Apparently what is missing here is verbal communication about your sex life.  If anything is going to lead to the demise of a sexual connection, it is the infrequency of emotive dialogue more than the infrequency of sex itself.

When we first meet a passionate partner, the dopamine and norepinephrine—chemicals in the brain–explode. A resultant increase in testosterone portends an intense desire to connect physically.  Over time, the levels of these neurotransmitters normalize and are replaced with increasing levels of vasopressin and oxytocin—the neurotransmitters of bonding and attachment.  There is a concomitant decrease in testosterone levels, and the intense desire for sex decreases.  Maintaining a long-term sexual relationship requires:  (1) continued sexual and emotional interest in your partner, (2) open and continuous communication of feelings, (3) a willingness and ability to resolve conflict, and (4) creativity in and out of the bedroom.

Men tend to have difficulty talking about feelings and successfully resolving conflict. Communication is key, and requires that you discover ways to hear what he has to say—either on your own or with the help of others. I will address here the issue of creativity, which comes closest to answering your question regarding keeping the flames at fever pitch.

Romance and seduction are an important part of building desire.  Plan a time for yourselves without smartphones and other disturbances.  Focus on each other and make the emotional connection you have created to bed.

If you are doing the same thing sexually over and over in the same bed, you are going to get bored.  The marriage bed becomes a sacred space over time and loses some of the “naughtiness” we associate with hot sex.  Try taking your boyfriend to another.  Have fun in the shower.  Go to a local hotel. Try out the dining room table.

Watch porn—or make some! Play back your own action as stimulus for more.  Take photos of each other. Try toys or dress up.  Take a trip to the local fetish or leather store. And if you have a fantasy you’ve been keeping a secret, it may be time to share it with your boyfriend.

Creative sexual fun is as expansive as your imagination.  The only limits are respect for each other’s physical and emotional well being.  “No” always means “no.” But there is no way to know how far you can go without dialogue.  Make a date to dialogue about sex, and do so at regular intervals.  There is no “magic pill” for keeping the sexual flames hot, but maintaining a good sexual relationship does require effort and dialogue that is not simply limited to bedroom activity.

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About the Author

Arlen

Arlen

Arlen Keith Leight, Ph.D. is a psychotherapist and board certified clinical sexologist. He received his BA in psychology from The Johns Hopkins University, his MSW from The Catholic University of America, his psychodynamic psychotherapy training from The American University, and his Ph.D. from Maimonides University. Dr. Leight is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in the state of Florida, Massachusetts and Washington, DC and is certified as a sex therapist, hypnotherapist and clinical supervisor for graduates working toward licensure. Dr. Leight is a Diplomat of the American Board of Sexology and a member of National Association of Social Workers, American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors and Therapists, and the Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality. Dr. Leight has been on the faculty at Florida Atlantic University where he has taught psychotherapy with families and groups, has taught at Catholic University and is currently in private practice in Wilton Manors, Florida.

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