Sex & Romance

Sex is a key part of most relationships yet is a conversation topic some of us shy away from with partners. Raised not to discuss sex because it is an adult topic, we may find sex embarrassing and difficult to talk about when we reach adulthood. Sexual problems can have a long term impact on relationships and because it is a difficult topic to discuss, they often go unresolved. It is estimated roughly 40% of men and women have some form of sexual dysfunction, whether that be a hang up about their body, an inability to have sex or a deeper rooted problem with sex.

Follow these links to find out more about sexual dysfunction from the BBC and Medical Library . If you are looking for a new partner then maybe Armchair Advice Dating is for you.

 

So what are the most common sexual problems between partners?

  • Do you have differing levels of sexual desire? This is incredibly common. One partner wants sex more than the other and it can lead to arguments and resentment. The partner who wants more sex feels rejected and the partner who wants less feels pressured.
  • Is there enough intimacy and romance in your relationship? Romance and intimacy play an important part in providing the reassurance and trust that underpins most successful relationships. Where there is a lack of intimacy and romance one or both partners may feel unfulfilled and dissatisfied with the relationship. Try our tips for injecting romance into your life.
  • Do you or your partner have physical problems such as reaching orgasm or maintaining an erection? There can be many reasons for physical sexual problems in a relationship from distressing sexual experiences, sexual abuse, body image problems and low self esteem to underlying medical conditions and mental health issues. Some problems can be overcome by working together; others may require the intervention of a GP, sex therapist or counsellor.
  • Has your sex life become so routine or uninspiring that one or both of you have lost interest? It is important that you maintain intimacy even if you are not having sex and try to talk about the situation. Here are some tips that you can try to spice up your sex life.
  • Are you off sex because your partner doesn't do things as you would like? Lack of communication is one of the key reasons for problems in the bedroom. Do you wish he or she would do something different or stop doing something that irritates you? How does your partner know what you like or if you are in the mood for sex if you never have a conversation about it? You may not be ready for dirty talk in the bedroom but a complete lack of conversation will lead to unfulfilling sex for both parties. Talking is a key component in building trust and intimacy.
  • Has your sex life stopped? There may be periods during your relationship when the sexual element of your relationship tails off - during pregnancy, after childbirth, during times of illness or stress. However, a long term lack of sexual contact can be very damaging. You need to get to the root of why sex with your partner has stopped. It may be that one partner has an underlying physical issue or it may be indicative of a deeper relationship problem, such as infidelity.
  • Can a relationship function without sex? It is possible to have a relationship without sex if both parties agree. There are many reasons why sex may not be a necessary or feasible part of your relationship including ill health and disability. The important thing to establish is if both parties are happy not to have sex. Ask yourself these questions to see if this can work for you.

Talking about sex can be difficult, even for partners that have been together for a long period of time. Try our talking about sex exercise to encourage openness. These questions will help you to talk about sex with your partner in a comfortable and natural way.

A sex life that incorporates romance, openness and honesty is an enjoyable part of a relationship. All too often we forget that sex is about more than a physical act of intercourse, it is a way to express our feelings for another person, reaching a level of intimacy we experience with very few people in our lives.