Not Talking About Sex = Giant Elephant in Room

What I hear often from couples who have infrequent sexual intimacy, is that the mere topic of sex becomes a giant elephant in the room.  The pressure of not having sex, not remembering how to initiate, or not remembering what your partner likes can get pretty heavy.  If you’re not having sex, it can easily become challenging to talk about sex.  Or when the discussions about sex do arise, they can often lead to heavy debate and conflict.  Then the path can lead to avoidance all together.

If you find yourself in this rut, you are not alone.  Keep in mind the average amount of times a couple have sex in Australia is 1.4 times a week.  Another stat to know is a sexless marriage is deemed one that participates in sex less than 10 times a year.  Talking to a sex therapist can definitely help a couple bridge the gap of avoidance to intimacy.  But how can you even start this process?

Some tips:

  1. Instead of complaining of the lack of sex, or problems- find out what’s going on for your partner.  Ask them if they miss sex, is sex even something they think about at the moment, what kind of intimacy would they like to recreate?
  2. Take the pressure off.  If you’ve gone a very long time without sex, perhaps take the expectation off the table of having mind blowing intercourse the next day.  What baby step towards closeness would you both enjoy and be willing to participate in?
  3. Listen to your partner.  What they want/don’t want, how they feel, what they desire, what they miss.  This will give you some clues on forward.  Often people have an agenda and don’t often listen to where the other person is at.

Once you can start talking about sex without anxiety or fighting, a weight will start to feel lifted.  If intimate, playful, or gentle touch is then being incorporated into daily life, even more of the stress will shed.  Basic touch again, before escalating to erotic can help both individuals get reacquainted with sensations.  Getting into the body again, feeling pleasurable touch again will hopefully start to assist both parties.  


Integrated Sex + Relationship Therapy acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and their connections to land, sea and community. We pay our respect to their Elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today and emerging.  We acknowledge sovereignty was never ceded.

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