In this series of blog posts, I am asking you and your partner to examine your patterns around sex. You discussed initiation and how you talk about you sex life. Now let’s look at what happens during sex.
What Happens During Sex Itself?
Let’s take apart what happens in sex when you have it. Most long-term couples, struggling or not, develop a basic way they usually have sex. I want you to talk about what sex looks like for you now, at this point. Slow it down and go through the details; that will help you see how you read each other and how you proceed with what you are reading. Directly examining your sex life may not be pretty. In fact, it probably won’t be since you’re struggling with sex. That’s okay; it’s why you are here. Just get it all out now and know you’ll be working to make it better very soon. Again, several more important questions to help you:
- When do you know you’re moving toward sex instead of avoiding it?
- What is the signal that you give that you’re willing? Or what do you read in your partner that tells you it’s a yes rather than a no?
- What are you thinking and feeling at that point in time?
- Where are you in your head? What’s the story you have about what’s happening?
- And what do you think is going on for your partner?
- How does sex proceed?
- Who is in charge of the pacing? Who is reading the scene and deciding it’s time for each next step?
- Are you talking to each other during sex? Is either of you saying what you like (or don’t)? Are you arguing during sex? Are you talking about extraneous things, like the kids’ carpool?
- What are you thinking and feeling?
- How much are you reading what’s happening for your partner and using that to judge what should happen next?
- Is any of this overt or is it all unspoken?
- If sex is a problem, at what point does it seem to go badly? How do you know?
- What do you do in that problematic moment? What does your partner do?
- Are you talking about it?
- Does everything come to a screeching halt or do you change directions?