Quick Fix for Sexless Relationships?

If you've experienced how verbose I am about any sexual or relationship topic, you won't be surprised to hear me respond NO to the above query. However, there are two basic questions you can ask yourself to start digging at the foundation of a lackluster sex life:

  1. What does having sex mean to you?
  2. What does not having sex mean to you?

When I write "mean," I'm referring to the compelling emotions surrounding these questions. For example, one woman I presented the first question to exploded, "What does it mean? It means I'm just taking care of my husband like I have to take care of the house, the kids, and my clients at work." Yikes. Lots of underlying resentments. Generally resentments represent needs that aren't being met. In this case, she was not feeling nurtured and cared for, and feeling overwhelmed with emotionally managing so many others.

In another case, I asked a male client in a "sexless" marriage what not having sex meant to him. He sadly replied that he was unable to have a level of closeness and intimacy he craved, intimacy that made him feel good about himself and connected to his wife. Having sex with his wife validated his self worth as a man and a loving husband.

When sex is "missing" in a relationship, just trying to spice up the excitement level rarely addresses the depth of the hurt, resentments, and walls that have built up. Gently pulling back the layers of hurt and disconnect and replacing them with appreciation and vulnerability (with a kick of creativity) is the best "quick fix" I can recommend.

Jennifer Gunsaullus, Ph.D.

Sex Therapy & Relationship Counseling in San Diego