In my last article I spoke to a reader’s question about how to rekindle her sexual desire. I talked about steps she could take, on her own, to feel more interested in sex. Hopefully she’s tried some of my suggestions or, at the very least, thought about ways to reengage her mind and body sexually.
The mental component of feeling sexy, or sexual, is essential for women. Men too. We have to get beyond the automatic response of “I don’t want sex anymore” and find a way to build interest, and then desire. You do it as a solitary practice and you do it with a partner.
The second step—moving towards exploring sex with a husband, partner or lover can be a little more complicated. You want to be able to trust that your partner (fill in with the preferred term) is willing to let you lead. The last thing you want is for him/her to rush forward eagerly pursuing sex if you’re not ready.
If you’re ready to experiment sexually, to see if you will feel some arousal, you can decide if you want to go for full sexual contact or something else. Maybe you’d like to receive a non-erotic massage or a full body embrace. Would you like to be caressed first and see how that feels?
You get to decide what you want to happen in this first encounter. And to communicate that, clearly and truthfully. For example, “I want to see what it feels like to have you touch me, but I’m not sure how far I want to go. So, I may ask you to stop if I change my mind.”
Each of you may have different ideas about what you want to happen in this first encounter. Some therapists advise planning a romantic sexy interlude and going right into having sex. Others suggest more ‘neutral’ ways of connecting with a partner to gradually ease you back into intimacy. You are the only one who knows what might work for you.
However, there are a few things to consider as you talk with your partner about trying sex again:
- Have a positive attitude about this. You have to want to be intimate with your partner. Do not force yourself or feel pressured.
- Take a little time to think yourself into sexy. Or as I wrote in an earlier post, step into your sexual desire.
- Take charge of your sexual desire. Don’t expect your partner to make it happen. Don’t assume that he or she will know what you need or know when to stop. You have to play the lead role and tell, or show, that person what you want. Your partner may be just as nervous about this as you are. This is where my earlier recommendations come into play. If you’ve taken the time to do some self-pleasuring and getting reacquainted with your body then you have a better idea of what will turn you on.
- Don’t set a goal or have unrealistic expectations. Your goal is to be present to the sensations in your body. Be open to whatever happens—orgasm or not. Each step forward is another step to creating the kind of sexual relationship you want to have.
These are my thoughts and recommendations based on personal experience and study. I am not a sex therapist, so keep that in mind. But I do believe that we have the ability to think ourselves into pleasure.
Image from morgueFile