Why You're Not Having Sex: Get Inspired

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Couples who share fulfilling sex lives long-term talk about sex in three specific ways.  Today I'm outlining one of the three as a part of my series on desire fatigue in long-term relationships.  

Read the rest of the series here.

Have Sex Tonight

Get the guide I created to have better sex in your relationship right away.  Enter your information below to access the guide (and a bunch of other great tools for successful relationships). 

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portland polyamory counseling online sex therapy couples counseling

Hi!  I'm glad you're reading.  Let me know if I can help you:

  • reconnect with passion in your long-term relationship
  • repair trust after infidelity or dishonesty
  • move beyond jealousy, fear, and insecurity 
  • resolve sexual dysfunction and disconnect
  • change unhealthy communication and codependent patterns
  • open your relationship and practice polyamory with care

Call me for a free consultation to rethink your relationship.

 

Gina Senarighi, MS, MA, CPC is a communication consultant, sexuality counselor and certified relationship coach specializing in polyamory, open relationships, jealousy, and infidelity.  

Why You're Not Having Sex: Make Some Repairs

sex therapist portland sex counselor desire and passion in relationship

Desire fatigue (diminishing passion over time) is SUPER common in long-term relationships, but it doesn't have to be.  

I'm using this series to outline the simplest ways to overcome the most common reasons couples stop having sex. CLICK HERE to read the full series.


In this video we'll talk about one of the most common things getting in the way of your sexual connection- repair work.  All too often couples grow distant or have trouble finding the spark because something went wrong and was left unresolved in the past.  Here's what to do about it:

Enter your information below to get access to my full toolkit for Sexual Desire in Relationships.

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  1. READ THE REST OF THE SERIES:

  2. Biology

  3. Time Scarcity

  4. Lack of Self-Care

  5. Maintenance Sex - Break Free of Obligation

  6. Lack of Inspiration - Invest in Creativity, Wonder and Awe

  7. Assumption-Making - Get Curious and Explore

  8. Initiation Hesitation - Live Courageously and Circle Back

  9. Lacking Feedback - Highlights Reel

  10. Poor Consent Practices - Talk During

  11. Sex Negativity - Don't Yuck Their Yum

  12. Routine Boredom - Fantasy Sharing, Find Inspiration

  13. Necessary Repairs - Move Past Resentment with Apology and Personal Responsibility

  14. Desire Maintenance - Invest in Your Sexiness

  15. Alone Time


open relationship counseling online couples therapy for nonmonogamy

Hi!  I'm glad you're reading.  Let me know if I can help you:

  • rekindle the magic and ignite passion in long-term relationships
  • repair trust after infidelity or dishonesty
  • move beyond codependency, insecurity and reactive jealousy
  • resolve sexual dysfunction and disconnect
  • change unhealthy communication patterns
  • open your relationship and practice polyamory with care

Call me for a free consultation to rethink your relationship.

 

Gina Senarighi, MS, MA, CPC is a communication consultant, sexuality counselor, certified relationship coach, and retired couples therapist specializing in polyamory, open relationships, jealousy, and infidelity.  

Why You're Not Having Sex: Desire Maintenance

sex therapist portland sex counselor desire and passion in relationship

Desire fatigue (diminishing passion over time) is SUPER common in long-term relationships, but it doesn't have to be.  

I'm using this series to outline the simplest ways to overcome the most common reasons couples stop having sex. CLICK HERE to read the full series.


In this video we'll talk about desire maintenance- how to fuel the desire within you so you can keep it happening between you.  Watch here:

Enter your information below to get access to my full toolkit for Sexual Desire in Relationships.

Name *
Name
 

If you want to talk more about keeping desire alive in your relationship schedule a free call with me.  I'd love to hear from you.

  1. READ THE REST OF THE SERIES:

  2. Biology

  3. Time Scarcity

  4. Lack of Self-Care

  5. Maintenance Sex - Break Free of Obligation

  6. Lack of Inspiration - Invest in Creativity, Wonder and Awe

  7. Assumption-Making - Get Curious and Explore

  8. Initiation Hesitation - Live Courageously and Circle Back

  9. Lacking Feedback - Highlights Reel

  10. Poor Consent Practices - Talk During

  11. Sex Negativity - Don't Yuck Their Yum

  12. Routine Boredom - Fantasy Sharing, Find Inspiration

  13. Necessary Repairs - Move Past Resentment with Apology and Personal Responsibility

  14. Desire Maintenance - Invest in Your Sexiness

  15. Alone Time


POLYAMORY COUNSELING OPEN RELATIONSHIP COUNSELING ONLINE COUPLES THERAPY

Hi!  I'm glad you're reading.  Let me know if I can help you:

  • rediscover passion in long-term relationships
  • repair trust after infidelity or dishonesty
  • move beyond jealousy, insecurity or codependency
  • resolve sexual dysfunction and disconnect
  • break unhealthy communication patterns 
  • open your relationship and practice polyamory with care

Call me for a free consultation to rethink your relationship.

 

Gina Senarighi, MS, MA, CPC is a communication consultant, sexuality counselor and certified relationship coach specializing in polyamory, open relationships, jealousy, and infidelity.  

How to Listen to Stay Together

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Intentional or not, every interaction we have with another person is about communication. We're almost constantly communicating with our body, tone, words and facial expressions.

If you want a healthy relationship that lasts over time, learning to communicate effectively using solid communication skills is essential.

Communicating poorly is one of the greatest predictors of a break up (or divorce).

So if you want to stay together focusing energy on improving your communication skills is essential.  Today we'll outline two critical communication skills that if practiced, will dramatically enhance your understanding of each other.

 

1. Self-awareness and reflective listening

Knowing if you tend to a react or reflect can help you shift the way you do conflict.  

Reactors usually respond to information immediately and interrupt quickly. 

Reflectors more often take time to stop and consider what's being said, before responding.

Imagine how different your conflict patterns might be if both of you reflected before getting defensive or jumping to assumptions.  Your conversations will be more meaningful the more you can shift this pattern.

Here's an example:

Partner’s phrase: “This argument comes up every time we see your parents…”

Reactor:“What are you saying?! It doesn’t! You don’t even know what you are talking about!"

Reflector: Pause. “I think I get where you are coming from. Can you tell me more?”

Take action:

Spend the next 48 hours noticing which contexts and situations you default to reaction instead of reflection.  The more you collect data on your patterns the more awareness you have to work with as you attempt to change them.

 2Respond to the meaning rather than the content

So often in an argument we respond to the content of a statement instead of the meaning underneath.  We get hooked by one piece of information and fail to see the bigger picture.

Usually this leads the whole conversation off track. Instead of making progress we wind around details and unimportant stories often leaving us confused or making the conflict last much longer than necessary. 

Instead of getting hooked, try to identify the core meaning in the messages your partner is sending. Filter through the less important information, stories, facts, or analogies and focus on finding the core meaning. 

Here are a couple examples:

Partner: “I see you flirting with other people! Why do you act that way?!”

Possible core meanings: 

  • I really like our relationship and I'm afraid it could end.
  • I am feeling insecure right now.
  • I want more fully present time with you, please don't get distracted by others.
  • I miss flirting with you and want more playfulness or romance in our relationship.

Partner: “You never help around the house!  I feel like I'm your maid!”

Possible core meanings: 

  • I need more support from you.
  • I want recognition and appreciation for the work I do.
  • Mutuality and equality are core values of mine.  Do they matter to you?
  • Does it matter to you that I'm frustrated?

Give yourself time to work on this, it doesn't always come easily.  But with practice you'll feel more confident in this practice and your conflicts will resolve more efficiently.

I created a toolkit that could be useful as you try to implement this at home.  Enter your information below and I'll send you the Compassionate Communication Toolkit (and you'll get access to a bunch of other great tools 

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If you want help working on these skills don't hesitate to give me a call. I'm now taking online clients and working with people all over the world in video sessions.


Polyamory counseling | open relationship counseling | online couples therapy

Hi!  I'm glad you're reading.  Let me know if I can help you:

  • rediscover passion in long-term relationships
  • repair trust after infidelity or dishonesty
  • move beyond jealousy, insecurity or codependency
  • resolve sexual dysfunction and disconnect
  • break unhealthy communication patterns 
  • open your relationship and practice polyamory with care

Call me for a free consultation to rethink your relationship.

 

Gina Senarighi, MS, MA, CPC is a communication consultant, sexuality counselor and certified relationship coach specializing in polyamory, open relationships, jealousy, and infidelity.  

35 Things to Say to Show You Care

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Hearing someone's emotional pain can be really hard.  The more intimately you care about someone, the more difficult it can be.  

We too easily jump to the wrong response.  Most of us default to trying to “fix it," or we try to tell our own stories to connect, or try to cheer them up- and we miss the mark.  Leaving both us and the person we're supporting feeling confused or alone.

When people experience pain, they need to be heard and validated through empathy, not pity or sympathy.  But most of us aren't taught skills for showing empathy and really hearing those we love.  Even though we mean well, we usually have a hard time coming up with empathetic responses.

When we empathize with people we care about, we give them space to process, feel heard and validated in their feelings and an opportunity for real support.

Some people seem naturally gifted with the ability to empathize with others, while other people have to work at expanding their comfort with emotions. With a little practice anyone can get better at offering empathy in relationships.

If you're not sure what to say to someone who is hurting try some of the responses below.  This list of statements has been designed to incorporate words/feelings for what you are experiencing in hearing another persons’ pain.

These example statements will be better received when they are said from an authentic place.  Reflect on the situation at hand, and then try these on (in your mind, or out loud) to see which resonates most for you before you share them with your loved one.

Empathetic Statements that Show You Really Care:

  1. That sounds so hard.
  2. I bet you feel hurt because of this experience.
  3. Sometimes these things don’t really make sense.  
  4. I imagine this is really confusing.
  5. I have your back in this.
  6. I can hear in your voice that this has been really difficult for you.
  7. Thank you for opening up to share this with me.
  8. Hearing you say that gives me chills.
  9. I am here for you anytime.
  10. That would frustrate me too.
  11. It sounds like you have really tried to make sense of all of this.
  12. I would be asking the same questions you are if I were in the situation.
  13. This kind of thing is never easy.
  14. I might be really frustrated or annoyed if that happened in my life.
  15. That sounds really frightening.
  16. Is there anything else you would like to share?
  17. How can I best show my support for you?
  18. It is clear that this has deeply affected you.
  19. If something like that happened to me I would be very upset too.
  20. I hear you.
  21. It sounds like you have been really stressed.
  22. That does sound tough.
  23. I bet that was really overwhelming.
  24. You are right, it does not make sense at all.
  25. I bet that had a big impact.
  26. I will be with you through this.
  27. That sounds frightening.
  28. That is super disappointing.
  29. Is there some tangible way I can offer my support to you in this?
  30. I can see why you'd be really hurt by that.
  31. That sounds scary.
  32. That must be infuriating.
  33. No wonder you are upset.
  34. I am happy to talk more if you need.
  35. It must have taken some courage to share that with me.  I appreciate your bravery.

If you want a little more empathy coaching, I'm happy to schedule a solo session with you to help you communicate with greater impact. 


sex therapist portland sex counselor bdsm polyamory counseling

Hi!  I'm glad you're reading.  Let me know if I can help you:

  • rediscover passion in long-term relationships
  • repair trust after infidelity or dishonesty
  • move beyond jealousy, insecurity or codependency
  • resolve sexual dysfunction and disconnect
  • break unhealthy communication patterns 
  • open your relationship and practice polyamory with care

Call me for a free consultation to rethink your relationship.

 

Gina Senarighi, MS, MA, CPC is a communication consultant, sexuality counselor and certified relationship coach specializing in polyamory, open relationships, jealousy, and infidelity.  

Why You're Not Having Sex: Alone Time

sex therapist portland sex counselor desire and passion in relationship

This is part of a series of posts about sex and desire in long-term relationships.  CLICK HERE to read the full series.


It might seem counter-intuitive, but alone time is essential to maintaining desire in long-term relationships.  

But I don't mean just spending time alone, scrolling social media, or on a netflix binge.  The kind of alone time that fuels desire is all about you spending quality time with yourself, and when it's out of balance, sexual desire starts to drop fast.  

A-Sexual Passion & Exploration

This is far more important than most people ever give credit, but most of us table our personal passions for the grind of daily life to the detriment of our passionate selves.  

Think about it, when was the last time you devoted your full presence for an hour to something you truly love doing?  When was the last time you found flow?  When was the last time you dove into something and learned something interesting or new?

If you can't remember, or if it was a long time ago, you're going to want to devote some energy back in the realm of your personal passions.  Clear an hour this week to learn something new, try a different adventure, or return to a creative craft you've long retired.  

If you can't even imagine which passions you might consider, devote your hour to starting a personal bucket list now.  Make a list of anything you might want to try, and leave room that trying new things might open doors to passions- or at least will get you out having fun.  

And if you're in a partnership have a conversation about how you can support one another in cultivating personal passion.  For many folks having someone else maintain household responsibilities, or provide childcare while you adventure is vital to finding time for this practice.

Here are some examples of the personal passion adventures some of my clients have chosen:

  • intuitive dance
  • researching buddhism
  • collage
  • volunteering at the art museum
  • silent dance party
  • Thai cooking class
  • knitting
  • landscape design
  • cheesemaking
  • tarot readings
  • corset making
  • furniture design

The passion you choose to explore may not seem "sexy" per se, but you might be surprised how much committing energy to a-sexual passions can ignite the confidence, fascination, and arousal you're craving.

Enter your email below and I'll send you a handy guide to create your passion bucket list.

 

Self-Love 

The other area for quality solo time and passionate self-exploration is practicing literal self-love.  

Answer honestly: when was the last time you masturbated?  Many folks in long-term relationships fall out of practice with self-love (many more still never had a practice in the first place).

But because every human body is unique and we are growing and changing all the time, staying connected to your own body's desires, arousal patterns, likes and dislikes is so very important to communicating well about sex with a partner.  

Allow yourself space and time in the week to explore your body, try new toys, fantasies, and sensations along the way to help you stay connected to your sexual body's needs and desires.  Remember, there's no right or wrong way to masturbate, just trust your body and follow it's lead.  

Anytime you want help talking through all this, I'm here to help.  Just set up a consultation so we can chat!

READ THE REST OF THE SERIES:

  1. Biology

  2. Time Scarcity

  3. Lack of Self-Care

  4. Maintenance Sex - Break Free of Obligation

  5. Lack of Inspiration - Invest in Creativity, Wonder and Awe

  6. Assumption-Making - Get Curious and Explore

  7. Initiation Hesitation - Live Courageously and Circle Back

  8. Lacking Feedback - Highlights Reel

  9. Poor Consent Practices - Talk During

  10. Sex Negativity - Don't Yuck Their Yum

  11. Routine Boredom - Fantasy Sharing, Find Inspiration

  12. Necessary Repairs - Move Past Resentment with Apology and Personal Responsibility

  13. Desire Maintenance - Invest in Your Sexiness

  14. Alone Time


sex therapist polyamory counselor online sex therapy

Hi!  I'm glad you're reading.  Let me know if I can help you:

  • rediscover passion in long-term relationships
  • repair trust after infidelity or dishonesty
  • move beyond jealousy, insecurity or codependency
  • resolve sexual dysfunction and disconnect
  • break unhealthy communication patterns 
  • open your relationship and practice polyamory with care

Call me for a free consultation to rethink your relationship.

 

Gina Senarighi, MS, MA, CPC is a communication consultant, sexuality counselor and certified relationship coach specializing in polyamory, open relationships, jealousy, and infidelity.  

Integrity-Check Your Relationship

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I had the sweetest pleasure today of talking with a group of students at PCC Southeast campus Queer Resource Center during their Sexual Assault Awareness Month programming.  

We spent a couple hours talking about healthy queer relationships, boundaries, and communication through stress.  

It was a lot of fun.  

Students asked great questions about long-term relationships, introverts/internal processors and extroverts/external processors, and issues for transgender folks in marriages.  We covered shame, self-worth, and most of all how to show someone you really love them. 

I mean it, I love talking about love.  Especially with young people.

I walked them through a tool that can be transformative at any stage in a relationship.  It's a simple but profound integrity check for your relationship.  

Integrity-checking is important because it brings back alignment between what we say we want and how we get there.  All too often distance grows between us when we start moving away from our core.

Most couples get out of alignment after they've been together a while.  With just a little self-awareness and personal accountability you can be back on track for better connection.   

This super simple tool will help you identify if you need an adjustment and action steps to bring you back to center.  

If you want to download the guide I gave them for your own relationship integrity-check add your contact info below and I'll send you a copy.  


Hi!  I'm glad you're reading.  Let me know if I can help you: rediscover passion in long-term relationships repair trust after infidelity or dishonesty move beyond jealousy, insecurity or codependency resolve sexual dysfunction and disconnect break unhealthy communication patterns  open your relationship and practice polyamory with care Call me for a free consultation to rethink your relationship.   Gina Senarighi, MS, MA, CPC is a communication consultant, sexuality counselor and certified relationship coach specializing in polyamory, open relationships, jealousy, and infidelity.  

Hi!  I'm glad you're reading.  Let me know if I can help you:

  • rediscover passion in long-term relationships
  • repair trust after infidelity or dishonesty
  • move beyond jealousy, insecurity or codependency
  • resolve sexual dysfunction and disconnect
  • break unhealthy communication patterns 
  • open your relationship and practice polyamory with care

Call me for a free consultation to rethink your relationship.

 

Gina Senarighi, MS, MA, CPC is a communication consultant, sexuality counselor and certified relationship coach specializing in polyamory, open relationships, jealousy, and infidelity.  

Why You're Not Having Sex: Sex Negativity

sex therapist portland sex counselor desire and passion in relationship

This is part of a series of posts about sex and desire in long-term relationships.  CLICK HERE to read the full series.

Sex negativity gets in the way somewhere along the line in almost every long-term couple I see.  Sex-negativity is the opposite of sex-positivity, meaning at it's core sex-negativity is about passing judgment that some sexual activities are good, normal, healthy, or right, while others are bad, perverted, or wrong.  

It's not uncommon for sex-negativity to come from people who actually seem to enjoy sex or want it more often.  But the judgment comes across and shuts down opportunities to sexually connect - even in the most vanilla ways. 

And because judgment is both about your thoughts AND the way they're perceived by your partner it can create problems in surprising ways. 

How sex negativity shows up

Here are a couple examples:

Partner A: "You know what I think might be hot to try sometime?"

Partner B: "No, what?  Tell me."

Partner A: "I think it would be fun to maybe try ___(insert sex act here)___ sometime.  If you're into it."

Partner B:  If you answer any form of "yuck" or "that's weird" or "gross" or "never in your freaking life, I can't believe you would ever even ask me." You're giving a sex negative response.  

And if your partner perceives that as your response, the impact still is shaming- even if that wasn't the intention.  You might just say "that's not for me." but your tone could still sound condemning.  

Often sex-negativity shows up in the giggles or smiles we give when we're uncomfortable talking about sex.  They might not be about the content of our partner's fantasy at all but about our own difficulty communicating.  The impact still is the same.

Not just for kinky sex

Sex-negativity isn't necessarily about kinky sex either.  Most often it shows up in couples practicing the most vanilla (average or mainstream) sex.  It might be one partner asking to have afternoon sex, or someone wanting to try it in the shower, or try anal sex, or watching porn together.  

Judgment isn't sexy

Unless you're into certain kinds of power play (humiliation, or brat play or a few others) judgment from your partner just isn't sexy. In most sexy situations, even unintended (but perceived) judgment will kill the mood.

But most of us don't realize when we're passing sex-negative judgment so we might keep doing it for a long time without realizing the damage we're doing to our sexual relationship.  I'm going to outline the four main forums for sex-negativity here for you to be aware.

Fantasies and desire

Couples with thriving sexual lives share fantasies far more often.  But if judgment is present it's unlikely you'll talk about what you want, dream, of or get curious about sex out in the open. 

And if there's no room to dream- there's going to be even less room to try it.  Even if you never act on shared fantasies or desires, talking about them without judgment is essential to fostering healthy sexual connection.

Saying no and setting boundaries

Okay, so what if you really don't want to do the thing your partner brings up?  What if your partner brings up something that really offends you or makes you totally uncomfortable?

It's always okay to say no to sex or sexual activities that you're not into.  That fact doesn't change here.  But the way you say no matters.  And you can say no without passing judgment.

Here's an example:

Partner A: "I think it would be fun to maybe try ___(insert totally unusual I'm really uncomfortable with sex act here)___ sometime.  If you're into it."

Partner B: "Wow that sounds really hot for you.  I need time to think about that before trying it." OR

Partner B: "I am so glad you told me.  I need to learn a lot before I would feel ready to try that with you.  How can we learn more together?"  OR

Partner B: "I can see you are really excited about that.  I love when you tell me what you're thinking.  I think it's not for me right now, but let's figure out ways to get your needs met."

You can say no without judgment if you use care in your response. 

Offering feedback

Similar to saying no, sometimes you're not into the same thing your partner is- or you might not be into it all the time.  Most of the time you might just say "I don't like the way you ___(insert action here)___." without thinking about the impact.

But if you think about it, the feedback you give is likely perceived with judgment.  Even if that's not your intention.

Just saying what you don't like shuts down the energetic connection between you when talking about sex.  Instead, try focusing on what you're interested in, what you like, and what you're curious about.  "I'm not as into ______ but I would love to try ______." is going to take you further.

Other people's business

FinallyOne last place where sex-negative judgment can seep into your relationship isn't directly related to your sex life- but can have a huge impact there.  

Think about the way you pass judgment on other people's sex acts in conversation.  Maybe you watch Fifty Shades, or you hear a Savage Love Podcast and someone is doing something that makes you uncomfortable.  Do you snicker?  Do you turn to your partner and say something like "that's crazy"?

Imagine then if your partner has always been secretly curious about that same action.  By judging others you've shut down the possible conversation you and your partner might have about desire. Even if you would never try whatever the action is, talking about it brings you closer and judgment can make it really difficult to talk about anything.

Judgment can be really difficult to let go.  If you want help, give me a call, I'm happy to talk.  

READ THE REST OF THE SERIES:

  1. Biology

  2. Time Scarcity

  3. Lack of Self-Care

  4. Maintenance Sex - Break Free of Obligation

  5. Lack of Inspiration - Invest in Creativity, Wonder and Awe

  6. Assumption-Making - Get Curious and Explore

  7. Initiation Hesitation - Live Courageously and Circle Back

  8. Lacking Feedback - Highlights Reel

  9. Poor Consent Practices - Talk During

  10. Sex Negativity - Don't Yuck Their Yum

  11. Routine Boredom - Fantasy Sharing, Find Inspiration

  12. Necessary Repairs - Move Past Resentment with Apology and Personal Responsibility

  13. Desire Maintenance - Invest in Your Sexiness

  14. Alone Time

 


SEX COUNSELOR PORTLAND POLYAMORY COUNSELING ONLINE COUPLES THERAPY

Hi!  I'm glad you're reading.  Let me know if I can help you:

  • rediscover passion in long-term relationships
  • repair trust after infidelity or dishonesty
  • move beyond jealousy, insecurity or codependency
  • resolve sexual dysfunction and disconnect
  • break unhealthy communication patterns 
  • open your relationship and practice polyamory with care

Call me for a free consultation to rethink your relationship.

 

Gina Senarighi, MS, MA, CPC is a communication consultant, sexuality counselor and certified relationship coach specializing in polyamory, open relationships, jealousy, and infidelity.  

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  1. Biology - See a Doctor
  2. Time Scarcity - Prioritize Sexual Connection
  3. Lack of Self-Care - Tune It Up
  4. Maintenance Sex - Break Free of Obligation
  5. Lack of Inspiration - Invest in Creativity, Wonder and Awe
  6. Assumption-Making - Get Curious and Explore
  7. Initiation Hesitation - Live Courageously and Circle Back
  8. Lacking Feedback - Highlights Reel
  9. Poor Consent Practices - Talk During 
  10. Sex-Negativity - Don't Yuck Anyone's Yum
  11. Routine Boredom - Fantasy Sharing, Find Inspiration
  12. Necessary Repairs - Move Past Resentment with Apology and Personal Responsibility
  13. Desire Maintenance - Invest in Your Sexiness
  14. Alone Time - Masturbate and Fantasize

Why You're Not Having Sex: Value Self-Care

sex therapist portland sex counselor desire and passion in relationship

This is part of a series of posts about sex and desire in long-term relationships.  CLICK HERE to read the full series.

 

Y'all, self-care literally is sexy.  It is nearly impossible to feel sexy (for most people) if you're not investing in real self-care on a regular basis. 

So many of the folks I see who are experiencing desire fatigue are FAR out of alignment with their self-care plan.  They put the needs of their partner, family, household, and/or job before their own needs and often are experiencing burnout in at least one of those areas.  

It's really hard to get hot if you're too busy thinking about the laundry, taking the dog to the vet, and submitting year-end-reports to go dancing or  have meaningful conversation.

I'm not talking about just taking some bubble baths here (though bubble baths are a great piece of the self-care puzzle for many).  I mean taking a step back and evaluating the actions that sustain your soul and creating a sustainable plan to keep your self-care in balance amid the stress of daily life.  

Here are some questions to ask to help you create a self-care plan.  You can also download a this guide in the Relationship Toolbox to walk you through creating and maintaining your own plan with ease (don't worry, it's free).

  1. When did I last take a full breath?  What helps me breathe easier?
  2. When in my regular life do I feel most powerful?  Most confident?  What do I wear, who is present, what prep work and support helps get me to that empowered space?
  3. When (in my life and in my average week) do I feel most connected to my body?  What helps me feel more love for my body?
  4. How do I most like to connect with others socially?  Who are the folks in my community who sustain me?  What would it take to connect with them this week?
  5. How can my partner support me in find better balance?  What does meaningful support look like in this relationship?

If you want more help sorting through sexual desire fatigue I have a couple openings for new clients and am happy to chat with you about reigniting sexual passion.  

READ THE REST OF THE SERIES:

  1. Biology

  2. Time Scarcity

  3. Lack of Self-Care

  4. Maintenance Sex - Break Free of Obligation

  5. Lack of Inspiration - Invest in Creativity, Wonder and Awe

  6. Assumption-Making - Get Curious and Explore

  7. Initiation Hesitation - Live Courageously and Circle Back

  8. Lacking Feedback - Highlights Reel

  9. Poor Consent Practices - Talk During

  10. Sex Negativity - Don't Yuck Their Yum

  11. Routine Boredom - Fantasy Sharing, Find Inspiration

  12. Necessary Repairs - Move Past Resentment with Apology and Personal Responsibility

  13. Desire Maintenance - Invest in Your Sexiness

  14. Alone Time


polyamory counselor portland open relationship counselor portland

Hi!  I'm glad you're reading.  Let me know if I can help you:

  • rediscover passion in long-term relationships
  • repair trust after infidelity or dishonesty
  • move beyond jealousy, insecurity or codependency
  • resolve sexual dysfunction and disconnect
  • break unhealthy communication patterns 
  • open your relationship and practice polyamory with care

Call me for a free consultation to rethink your relationship.

 

Gina Senarighi, MS, MA, CPC is a communication consultant, sexuality counselor and certified relationship coach specializing in polyamory, open relationships, jealousy, and infidelity.  

Why You're Not Having Sex: Time Scarcity

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This is part of a series of posts about sex and desire in long-term relationships.  CLICK HERE to read the full series.

Today I want to talk about one of the simplest ways to increase the sexual connection between you: clearing up time scarcity.  

Time scarcity is usually something we talk about at work.  You miss a deadline and find yourself procrastinating yet you always find yourself running out of time to really get things done. You just never can find the time to do the thing that's most important.  

Apply that theory at home and you'll hear one of the most common factors facing busy couples in their sex life.  Between laundry, errands, hobbies, friends, and work there's just no good time for sex.   

Time scarcity breeds sadness at lost opportunities.  It also fuels comparison and shame when we look at others who somehow have time to do the things we wish we were doing.

There are three key ways to shift the time scarcity mindset.  Try applying these in your own life:

1.  Check your beliefs

Most of the time this time scarcity is all in your head.  Reality-check your thoughts here.  Is it really completely true there 's no time for sex?  How long does sex usually take you and your partner?   

For most couples it takes 5-20 minutes to have satisfying sex- are you really sure there are no 20-minute sessions you can free up in the week?

2.  Shift to appreciation and gratitude

Sometimes when we're stuck in a mindset of lacking we completely miss the opportunities all around us.  We're so focused on what's not happening and our resulting disappointment, we miss all the space where it could happen.

Try spending a week shifting your mindset.  Every time sexual time-scarcity crosses your mind shift to appreciation for the times you do have affection, connection, understanding, and attraction between you.  Start noticing the opportunities that are already there in order to enhance them.

3.  Reprioritize your schedule

Most people have peak possibility times each week, in session we call these optimal arousal zones.  These are times and settings where we're more likely to be open to having sex.  

It's not unusual for you and your partner's arousal timelines not to be in sync.  Often one of you prefers mornings and another might prefer mid-afternoon.  One of you might realize you're most easily aroused when on a dance floor and another might be best in the mood after a sleep-in morning.

It's also not uncommon to have the daily routines and responsibilities of life interrupt your sexual peak schedule.  If you're a mid-afternoon person and you work a 9-5 job, it can be hard to find a time to connect with your partner that aligns with your arousal zone.

So what should you do?

First, talk to your partner.  Even if you think you already know when they're most likely in the mood, start a conversation and see what you can learn about the optimal time and setting for their arousal.  

Then look at your schedules and make a plan.  You might not want to plan for sex entirely, but plan to spend some quality time on a regular basis connecting with each other in the time and settings you've shared as optimal arousal zones.  See what you might learn if you actually set aside time for fully present connection in these windows.

Self-Check

If you're not willing to create time, shift your thought patterns, or reality-check your assumptions ask yourself why.   

How does keeping things as they are serve you?  

How could your partner support you in moving forward?

Or are you truly uninterested in spending your time building more sexual connection?

Is there something else blocking you from creating more sexual connection?  Use this guide to help sort out what's getting in your way.  

Or call me for a consultation, I'm happy to talk you through it.  

 

READ THE REST OF THE SERIES:

  1. Biology

  2. Time Scarcity

  3. Lack of Self-Care

  4. Maintenance Sex - Break Free of Obligation

  5. Lack of Inspiration - Invest in Creativity, Wonder and Awe

  6. Assumption-Making - Get Curious and Explore

  7. Initiation Hesitation - Live Courageously and Circle Back

  8. Lacking Feedback - Highlights Reel

  9. Poor Consent Practices - Talk During

  10. Sex Negativity - Don't Yuck Their Yum

  11. Routine Boredom - Fantasy Sharing, Find Inspiration

  12. Necessary Repairs - Move Past Resentment with Apology and Personal Responsibility

  13. Desire Maintenance - Invest in Your Sexiness

  14. Alone Time


sex counselor sex therapist portland sexuality counseling

Hi!  I'm glad you're reading.  Let me know if I can help you:

  • rediscover passion in long-term relationships
  • repair trust after infidelity or dishonesty
  • move beyond jealousy, insecurity or codependency
  • resolve sexual dysfunction and disconnect
  • break unhealthy communication patterns 
  • open your relationship and practice polyamory with care

Call me for a free consultation to rethink your relationship.

 

Gina Senarighi, MS, MA, CPC is a communication consultant, sexuality counselor and certified relationship coach specializing in polyamory, open relationships, jealousy, and infidelity.