Do You Believe These 6 Myths about Sex and Desire?
Sex and desire are vital parts of a fulfilling relationship.What happens when your relationship suffers from unrealistic lovemaking myths?
Well, a lot can happen, and very little of it is good.
Dwindling desire. Stifled satisfaction. Collapsing connection. And that’s just the beginning if you don’t take time to look closely at the intimate parts of your union on your own or with a sex therapist.
Unaddressed sexual problems can effectively erode what you may have thought of as solid happiness, trust, and contentment in a relationship. And it can happen in short order if you aren’t careful.
Problems with sex and desire reside in a very vulnerable emotional space. Loving feelings can become warped by hurt, resentment, anger, and insecurity. Recovering from all of that can be fraught with complicated miscommunication and misunderstanding.
Often, what impedes healthy sexual interactions are rigid or unhealthy myths and expectations about sex and desire.
A large number of partnerships easily get wrapped up and bogged down in myths about long-term relationships due to the influence of cultural norms and media. Well-meaning misdirection from loved ones and misapplied love lessons from personal histories may also be problematic.
But you need to know that you and your partner aren’t helpless to set things right. You can drive your own sexual recovery and re-connection narrative as a couple. You can become more aware and prime the attraction between you again.
What’s the first order of business? Set about the business of building your own love brand experience rooted in what’s appropriate, healthy, and satisfying for your relationship.
How? Quash the following 6 myths about sex and desire.
Myth #1: Passion doesn’t fade if your love is deep enough
Love is wonderful, exciting, a complete hormonal rush. That’s the hook. But no relationship is immune to time. Despite the tales that romantic movies tell, it’s natural for passion to decline, dip, or die away. Life happens and routines tend to interfere with the energy and interest levels that once came easily.
If you jump to the conclusion that a decrease in passion indicates you are no longer a good match, you could be giving up on your love too soon.
Sometimes, true love just needs a boost.
Cultivate communication, patience, and exploration by seeing passion as a process of commitment, risk taking and mutual effort. This needn’t be a chore but an opportunity to deepen your love, you may find a natural rise in passion follows.
Myth #2: Long-term relationships are where sex goes to die.
Where the first myth jumps to conclusions about the quality and authenticity of your love as it relates to passion levels, this myth assumes that being together long-term includes acceptance of eventual “roommate syndrome.”
Some couples have sex less and less frequently, believing that such a decline is the natural order of things. Perhaps your careers or family lives are demanding. Maybe health problems make sex less spontaneous. You may feel like you just shouldn’t expect much as time goes on.
In truth, you can have sex as long as you want it, as long as you’re both willing to reinvent it. Furthermore, if you’ve reached the point where your relationship is completely sexless, time with a sex therapist can help you look at underlying issues and communication problems.
Myth #3: Sexual pleasure can never be as good as it was in the beginning of your relationship
Some people believe that sex is best only in the early days of their relationships or is only a young couple’s game. But nothing could be further from the truth. Again, the key is cultivating connection across time rather than allowing time to diminish your connection and physical enjoyment.
This myth is based on the false idea that novelty trumps emotional intimacy. While it is good to keep things fresh with novel activity, it is also a very good thing that you know your partner well. Don’t underestimate the advantage of your history together. You have the power to employ that mutual knowledge for each other’s optimal pleasure.
Myth #4: Normal couples should have sex a certain way at a certain time on a certain number of days per week
The myth of being “normal” can trip up a lot of couples as it fuels sexual dissatisfaction and faulty relationship expectations based on outside ideas of time and frequency.
Your attempts to meet a goal of sex three nights per week for the sake of being normal could backfire if the timing isn’t right or your partner is feeling pressured.
Holding to a standard that isn’t right for you or works against your natural relationship rhythm can lead you to believe something is wrong with you or your partner when you can’t meet it.
Myth #5: Talking about sex with your partner is awkward and embarrassing
Believing this myth may keep you in a relationship that is unfulfilling and unsatisfying.
Mind-reading is not part of anyone’s sexual repertoire. However, sexual responsiveness and intuitiveness can be improved with better communication.
Talk about your likes and dislikes. Get specific about what works and what doesn’t. Being both honest and kind are key here. Once you make a habit of compassionately discussing sex and desire, you’ll see how good it feels, physically and emotionally, to be more in tune with each other.
Myth #6: Talking about sex in counseling is awkward and embarrassing
There is one thread of truth in all of these myths. Sex can be challenging in a relationship. However, what sex means to you and your partner, how you want it to be between the two of you, and how much work you’re willing to put into creating a good sex life all factor in.
Thus, your willingness to get the help you need shouldn’t fall prey to sexual myths either. Getting help can be liberating.
Work with a sex therapist can contribute to understanding and empathy between you as well as boost your self-esteem and emotional health.
All in all, what matters most is separating myth from your particular relationship reality. Then respond accordingly.
Your physical, mental, and emotional well-being are tied inexorably to your sexual health and connection with each other. Seek out each other first then seek out a sex therapist for help if you need one.
About the Author
Dr. Stan Hyman is a licensed psychotherapist, clinical sexologist and life coach in private practice in Miami, Florida. He works with couples struggling with powerful issues such as sexuality, infidelity, careers, and intimacy. He also specializes in treating addictions, anger, anxiety, stress, depression and work-life balance.
Call or email for a cost-free telephone consultation. Services are rendered either at the office located at 2999 NE 191 St. Suite 703, Miami, Florida 33180 or through video conference via Skype or FaceTime. Serving all of the greater Miami, Florida area or, through video conference, anywhere that there is a broadband internet connection.