sexual desire

Couples Who Learn Together Stay Together

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Relationships with room for learning and growth are more fulfilling over time.  

The couples I see stay together keep learning alive in three key ways:

Couples Who Learn on Their Own

Staying connected to your own passions and interests is critical to the long-term success of your relationship.  Of course it's easy to set aside your independence early in a relationship when you're caught up in new relationship energy- but to stay together long-term each of your individual wellness needs to be fostered. 

Get out and try something new, get creative, read a book- just for you.  It can significantly improve the health of your connection.  

Couples Who Learn Together

One of the great parts of starting a new relationship is all the excitement that comes from learning together.  Every date with a new person is about discovery and exploration.  And that newness is intoxicating. 

Over time we stop discovering together- and that is some of why passion and excitement can wane.  Commit to learning together to keep discovery and fascination alive.  

Challenge yourself:

Many of my couples make a bucket list of things they want to learn - together and independently- from wine tasting, to tango, pottery to poker, they create a long list of possibilities to draw from.  Once the list is created (without editing) you can decide together which you want to commit to trying out now.

Try something new together this weekend, learn together and watch your love grow. 


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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: Desire Maintenance

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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.

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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.  

Why You're Not Having Sex: Biology

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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 point out the first thing I talk with couples about when they bring up desire fatigue as a concern: biology.  

There are so many easy-to-resolve ways biology can be a part of the desire fatigue it's difficult to list them all, but here are a few examples:

  • Depression medications imbalance can lead to lower libido and emotional numbness- resulting in lower desire.
  • Heart problems can make the cardio workout of sexual activity and the blood flow required for arousal and erection a challenge and sometimes even an impossibility. 
  • Digestive issues can make people feel less sexually-inclined and can negatively impact mental health thus lowering libido.  
  • Pelvic pain is FAR more common than anyone seems to realize, and this kind of pain isn't often the kind folks seek out in pain play- it usually is a desire crusher.
  • Chronic pain can be a barrier to comfort and body-mind connection, and as a result can make the body-mind connection necessary to have sex a real challenge.
  • Fatigue and stress are far too often underestimated in our culture (they impact more of us than we realize) and can make it very difficult to have satisfying sexual connection with ourselves or others.

This is just a tiny snapshot of ways physical health impacts sexual health.  Before you start thinking "there's just something wrong with me" check with your naturopath, doctor, and acupuncturist.  

I know most people rarely talk about this aspect of their health when they see a provider- but it is a critical part of your well-being, and they often have possible solutions for you.  

If you haven't already, check with your medical provider to see if there's not some assistance they can give you to improve sexual function.

If you're not willing to talk to a medical provider ask yourself why not.  If you aren't sure how they will react you might want to seek out a different provider.  

If you feel nervous and want to talk through how to have talk with them, check out this tool I created to help guide you through your conversation.  

Or give me a call, I'm happy to talk you through any challenge.

As I said, this is just one of many possible shifts you could try to make sustainable change in your sex life.  Read on in the series for more:

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


portland sex therapy, sex therapist portland oregon couples counseling polyamory

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.  

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.