Friday, February 17, 2012 |
First aired on Ontario Today (14/02/12)
It's a tale as old as time. Two people meet and sparks fly. They find each other attractive, exciting and fun. Flirtations over candle-lit dinners beget passionate trysts, beget declarations of undying love. Perhaps they marry and move into a new home. There's still romance, although it doesn't burn quite as fiercely. Maybe they have a child or two. Now personal time becomes a rare luxury. Mortgage payments become an omnipresent concern. They stop having sex altogether. And a once inseparable couple lives more like two ships passing in the night.
It happens to a lot of couples -- and even to sex experts. Just ask sexologist Trina Read, whose latest book Till Sex Do Us Part: Make Your Married Sex Irresistible, drew from the challenges she and her husband faced in their bedroom.
"One of the reasons I wrote this book is because I was travelling all the world, and one day I came home to my husband of three years, and he said, 'We're going to a marriage counsellor,'" she told Ontario Morning during a recent interview. "And I sat across from him on the marriage counsellor's couch and listened to him as he complained that we weren't having sex any more...I don't know if you can get the irony of being a sex expert in a sexless marriage."
"I went and did all the things that people do to rejuvenate your relationship. I started dressing in lingerie, doing all that stuff, and nothing was working. My marriage was going down into the toilet, and really, how can I be a sex expert when I can't even tell you how to have sex?"
She realized that millions of other married women must be in similar situations, but lacked a guide on how to engage in sex in their post-single lives. Sex is much more appealing, physiologically and emotionally, when you're just starting out with someone, she explained. But things change after being with the same person for so long.
"It's the perfect storm. You've got these juicy hormones that are engulfing your brain, propelling you to want to have sex. Women get a lot nurturing and courting in the beginning, the things women really want out of the sex. And then after two years, we lose the hormones, and we start getting into the work of the relationship. People, they just really want to believe that sex is spontaneous, that sex is really easy... And it's really a rude awakening to find out that, yes, in fact sex is a work in progress."
So what's the best thing an undersexed couple can do tonight to help their relationship? As simple as it sounds, it's all about communication, Read said. Women, in particular, may need to be more assertive and clear about their sexual needs.
"[With] a lot of women, there's a huge, huge disconnect between her ability to say to her partner 'sex is going to be on my terms tonight,' and if I can say the crux of why sex in long-term relationships goes downhill, it's that one key piece, where women aren't able to say to their partner, 'this is what I want.'"
Till Sex Do Us Part
by Trina Read
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