If you haven’t watched Esther Perel’s outstanding TED talk, “The Secret to Desire in a Long Term Relationship,” you need to watch it. If you have 20 minutes, go watch it now. Seriously! I’ll wait. If you don’t have 20 minutes, bookmark it now or send the link to yourself in an email to watch when you have time.
She explicitly asks the question, “Why does good sex fade?”
Esther’s talk is simply outstanding, and she shares how all of us in long-term relationships are going to have conflicting demands for safety and comfort (love) and novelty and desire (lust). She has some specific suggestions for what we can do to keep things fresh and new, which we’ll do a separate post about another time.
However, I’ll sum up her points as follows:
In order to keep our relationship, sexual life and our own selves alive, we need to use our imaginations, and commit to making space for the erotic, our fantasies, and each other. It’s hard. But you and your partner’s imaginations are key to keeping things new and fresh.
Not Tonight Dear. I Have a Headache.
For all the improvements in technology, productivity and science, it sure does seem like everyone is working their asses off.
If we can find a job, that is.
If you don’t have a job, you’re busting your butt to try to find one, and fretting about how to survive.
If you have a job, by and large you’re probably working longer and harder than you’ve ever worked before. And you’re probably working for less money than you were ten years ago.
And if you’re a full-time caregiver, recent articles report that you work longer and harder than those who get paychecks.
The pressures of raising a family keep increasing, with sports, homework and extracurriculars getting more and more overwhelming as parents try to get their kids ready for this increasingly competitive world.
And with shopping, cooking healthy meals, cleaning and endless laundry, you’re probably at least 20 hours a week behind before Monday even comes. And that’s not even doing anything for yourself.
What does this do to your relationship and sex life?
Bluntly, libidos tank when we’re tired, overwhelmed and stressed.
But a healthy sex life is critical for a healthy marriage.
For many of us, it’s not just a stress relief, it’s a way of feeling closer and spending time together.
Society seems to be conspiring to take our sex lives out at the knees.
It sucks. Good sex fades.
Not all is lost
To address a problem, understand it.
Is your stressful life undermining your relationship? Is it impacting your intimacy and your sex life?
If so, then talk about it with your partner, and see if they agree, both on the situation, the causes, and the impact. And then commit to doing something about it.
And in my next few posts, we’ll see what we might be able to do about this stuff, including how good sex fades. We may not be able to fix the original problems, but we can address how we respond, and how we act.
Read the next post in the Keeping the Spark Alive Series: Our Stressful Lives are Killing our Relationships, Intimacy and Sex Lives