UR HONEST: Attracted but Not Turned On?
Written by Brian Swope, MFT
Originally published on PhiladelphiaMFT.com.
It’s a provocative question there in the headline, but it is something to think about. Our partner across from us might be right for us in so many ways. There may be physical, emotional and intelligence features that draw us to him or her, but it takes more than that to make it work in the bedroom.
The end result can look like low desire or erectile dysfunction, something a pill is unlikely to help with me. If there’s not a sexual interest, there’s nothing for a pill to do because the issue is the chemistry between the partners.
Sexual chemistry that is off doesn’t have to mean the end of a relationship if partners are willing to talk about what’s off and how to get the chemistry back on.
Fantasize – Can you fantasize? Not everyone does, for a variety of reasons – maybe it is perceived as cheating, as dirty or sinful. Do you fantasize? Perhaps there aren’t any reasons why you don’t, but that doesn’t mean can’t.
Explore – Is is possible to bring some fantasies into the bedroom? Is shame or embarrassment preventing this? Are you open to things your partner might put forward, and do you feel your partner is open? Interests change, but has the time in the bedroom not? Instead of passion is it mechanical, awkward or dissatisfying?
Explore your own body and your partner’s for other things that feel good.
And remember, exploration is a process.
Know your body – If you aren’t desiring sex, you don’t have to slam the door on the possibility, but you can allow for the exploration – foreplay or what not – and see if the juices start flowing. Some things can’t be forced – like an erection – and the effort made against the body can lead to hurt feelings, insecurity and a host of other issues.
These are all great ways to change the sexual dynamic of the relationship you are in, and can be done without a sex therapist, but a it can be helpful for many couples.
Past sexual trauma and asexuality as a identity of one partner are 2 dynamics that really change what intimacy looks like in a relationship and should not be taken personally by the other. Rather a supportive relationship can go a long way to healing and finding what works for everyone involved.