passion in relationships

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.

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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.  

The 14 Reasons Why You're Not Having Sex

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Our culture tells us all the time that sex should just come naturally and easily at all times in a relationship and if it's not- BEWARE this means there's something very wrong with you or your relationship.  

I'm here to tell you that assumption is the core of the problem.  It is perfectly natural for your sex drive and your sexual preferences to flex and change from day to day- and hour to hour.  Think about it, you may not be in the mood while stuck in traffic but you could be just moments later in the day with the right setting, partner(s) and preparation.  

Most couples struggle at one point or another with mismatched desire, desire fatigue, loss of passion or other difficulties maintaining sexual chemistry long-term.

And it is not common for you and your partner to be on exactly the same wavelength in those fluctuations.  Typically one of you has a higher drive in general and the other will have a lower drive.  

This isn't a reflection of your desire-ablity or your relationship strength- it's just a natural baseline for each of you that's set at different frequencies. 

Most of the bad sex advice you'll read online centers on silly tricks you can try to spice things up in the bedroom or change your momentary desire (62 sex positions you should try etc etc).  Many of these tips can work temporarily and if they work for you enjoy them.  

Very few of these temporary solutions will shift things in a sustainable long-lasting way.  I'm going to walk you through the solutions I've seen work long-term in my practice helping couples stay connected with desire.  Click through to see which solutions might work best for you.    

 

READ 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 sex therapist 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.  

Sexual Desire Mismatch in Relationships

sexual desire in relationships | desire mismatch

Mismatched desire might be the most common issue I see in my couples work.   Estimates show nearly a third of all couples have issues with sex drives that are out of sync.  So many couples I see have been working through sex drive mismatch for years.

While this is extremely common most of us worry this means something more is wrong with our relationship.  Often desire mismatch creates a rift in relationships due to the resulting emotions we experience. 

Typically a higher desire partner feels rejected and experiences guilt, shame, resentment, bitterness, and anger.  They might feel inadequate and insecure and these feelings can spill over into many other areas of the relationship- creating distance and conflict.

Frequently the lower desire partner feels extreme pressure (even if not intended by their partner) to increase their desire.  They feel similar emotions (shame, guilt, anxiety, resentment, or bitterness) and often express these by distancing from (their partner and/or sex)- only reinforcing the initial sexual disconnect.

These feelings are enhanced by our media culture’s (often completely misguided) advice columns on how to please your spouse.  Often this advice feels inauthentic and is completely unsustainable.  When couples get stuck trying this ill-informed advice it can lead them to feel even more hopeless and stuck.

When I work with couples with significant disconnect the solution starts from a pretty non-sexual place.  We really need to focus on understanding, acceptance, and connection without focusing completely on sex. 

This is also where my holistic training is especially helpful.  Sexuality is a fluid and changing part of ourselves.  Our sex drive is no different.  It waxes and wanes through our life and throughout the day depending on our stress, physical health, addiction, connection, confidence, self-connection, trust, and conflict (among other factors). 

When we look at these sort of environmental factors impacting our sex lives, often there are structural changes we can make to create a more supportive environment for sexual connection, affection, and sex. 

Once we have a baseline of mutual understanding, acceptance, and connection and an environment that supports healthy sexuality most of the couples I work with start to see shifts in sexual connection between them without a lot of work or effort. 

Even if the frequency of sex doesn’t change my couples describe greater satisfaction with their connection and less pressure, stress, and conflict around sex (and life in general).

If you’d like to get together to talk about sexual desire mismatch in your relationship I’m happy to support you.  Give me a call for a free consultation.  Let’s talk. 

 


Gina Senarighi | Polyamory Counseling | Desire Mismatch

Gina Senarighi offers non-judgmental sex-positive, gender-affirming, LGBTQ relationship support online and in the Pacific Northwest. 

She often says, “I love love, in all its forms!”

She’s helped thousands of couples deepen their sexual connection, repair trust, and build sustainable lasting partnerships.

She uses her multi-disciplinary professional training to teach communication skills and help her clients handle conflict with compassion.

Gina has supported many couples experimenting with open relationships based in trust and integrity. If you’re considering polyamory you should check out her online resources here.

Although most of her couples are experimenting with less traditional relationship structures, even her more mainstream clients appreciate her open-minded non-judgmental approach and diverse expertise.

If you’re interested in taking this work further contact her for a free consultation.

 

Two Questions to Find Passion in Long-Term Relationships

Passion in Marriage | Uncommon Love Relationship Coaching

Yeah, it happens.  Desire and passion fade in long-term relationships.  

Most of us believe terrible myths about desire; that if we're in love, our sex should be intuited without conversation, consistently fulfilling, and if it waxes and wanes there is a problem in the relationship- and one of us is doing something wrong.  

God, it stresses me out just to type that.  It's an awful lot of pressure to put on a relationship.  The truth is desire does fluctuate in long-term relationships.  But if you are unsatisfied with the frequency of quality of sex in your relationship there are some things you can do.  

Yeah, this post if about you- not your partner.  

All too often the couples I support point fingers at one another.

Finish this statement: I turn myself off when...

Not the same question as "I turn myself off when..." or "you turn me off when..."   Both of those questions look outside of you to blame.  We all choose to turn ourselves off sometimes.  Here are a few examples of responses:

  • I don't have time for myself

  • I'm overwhelmed with too much work stress

  • I'm distracted by the kids

  • I feel old

  • I don't believe I deserve pleasure

  • I don't feel safe 

  • I feel dead inside

  • I am too busy hating my body

  • I don't trust you

When do you shut yourself or your desire off?  Knowing when gives you a new access point for the conversation about passionate connection.

Now finish this statement: I turn myself on when....

Take a minute and actually write out your responses.  When are do you turn yourself on?  Learning to turn yourself on will only amplify the desire you feel from others.  Here are a few examples of responses:

  • I am sweaty from a workout

  • I wear special underwear, shoes, and perfume

  • I am well-rested

  • I'm on a dance floor

  • I am doing something I know I do well

  • I make people laugh

  • I'm making music, cooking, painting, or writing

  • I'm the center of attention

  • I feel respected

  • I have space for friends, rest, and play

Learning what fuels your desire is critical to keeping desire alive for two reasons:

1.  It helps you feel strong and confident- not clingy.  Instead of relying on others to get your needs met, knowing how to meet your own allows you empowered independence instead of codependence. 

2. It helps you know what to ask for in partnerships.  Once you're clear when you turn yourself on you can set up a life that fuels your inner fire of passion.  Create space for the things that turn you on.

These notes are based on a video I recommend to most of my clients.  If you want to watch the full TED Talk from Esther Perel check it out below. 

And if you want to talk more about passion and desire in your relationship give me a call, I'd love to help you.


Gina Senarighi Portland Couples Counselor

Gina Senarighi offers non-judgmental sex-positive, gender-affirming, LGBTQ relationship support online and in the Pacific Northwest. 

She often says, “I love love, in all its forms!”

She’s helped thousands of couples deepen their sexual connection, repair trust, and build sustainable lasting partnerships.

She uses her multi-disciplinary professional training to teach communication skills and help her clients handle conflict with compassion.

Gina has supported many couples experimenting with open relationships based in trust and integrity. If you’re considering polyamory you should check out her online resources here.

Although most of her couples are experimenting with less traditional relationship structures, even her more mainstream clients appreciate her open-minded non-judgmental approach and diverse expertise.

If you’re interested in taking this work further contact her for a free consultation.