First published on intamopleasurables.com/blog/ under the title "How to have more sex in long-term partnerships" on September 7th, 2020.
Many long-term couples find that, after many years together, they’ve become so comfortable in their relationship that the excitement has all but faded. It’s common for people to become bored with situations and dynamics that are no longer shiny and new. Long-term relationships are one of the most common instances where this type of feeling can occur. For a lot of people, it becomes hard to maintain sexual intimacy once the boredom has set in, and often it can feel as though there’s no solution. How can we turn back time? We can’t. How can we renew something that’s so worn in? Well, as someone who has been in a relationship for over 10 years, I can attest to the fact that there is something that can be done. Through communication, trust, honesty, and the willingness to explore, couples can renew their sexual and experiential excitement and help their shared intimacy grow along with them through every phase in their lifespan and relationship.
Communication and honesty are extremely important. I think we can all agree on that. The ability to be open and discuss anything and everything without facing judgement is a key element of any healthy relationship. When it comes to intimacy, couples especially benefit from the ability to speak openly about their desires and fantasies. The most integral part of this communication, and honest, open sharing, is that each person involved feels able to express themselves without fear that their partner may unfairly judge, or take personally, what is being said. It takes a lot of courage to open up, and the experience of sharing without judgement can create a space of trust and comfort that reverberates through the entirety of one’s relationship. This type of sharing opens channels for individuals to be more honest and comfortable discussing other elements of their experience both inside and outside the relationship as well. The net result is an increase not only in the romantic intimacy that the partners share, but also in the platonic forms of intimacy that partners experience together. Conversations about all kinds of thoughts and emotions become free flowing, and even nights at home, afternoon chores, and trips to the grocery store will feel like relationship builders because each member of the relationship knows that their thoughts, feelings and emotions are being honoured by their partner at all times.
Trust is also an incredibly important part of all relationships. No relationship can grow in a healthy way without trust firmly at its base. Trust allows partners to describe and explore their deepest desires and fears without holding back. Additionally, trust frees the mind and soul from worry, suppression, and restriction, all of which can cause depression, anxiety, and relationship trouble. Many people feel they must hide their sexual desires in their everyday lives, even from the people who know them best. The stress caused by this repression can cause emotional distress, mental illness, and other difficulties that become tied to the emotional fabric of one’s relationships. Repression and distrust sews discord between people who may otherwise have a very harmonious partnership. However, with a trusted partner, individuals are able to free their otherwise hidden selves and step into their truest form. They become able to be themselves down to the very core, and this kind of experience bonds partners together in new and important ways. This bond helps relationship intimacy to grow while also fostering the growth of the individual self. When trust is well-established, a partner may be willing to explore even things they have never have previously considered possible. This can help individuals open themselves up further and create connections unlike any they’ve ever experienced. Trust is a great way to introduce loved ones to different forms of sexual intimacy. It’s also a great way to learn about and find different layers of our own personalities that we may never have previously acknowledged.
Though many may think that their only sexual interests are vanilla, there are elements to sexuality that go deeper than simple intercourse. From threesomes to role-play to BDSM and more, there is a spectrum of different sexual nuances that excite people and ignite their individual interest. Sometimes, even if a person believes they know what they like, there may be elements of their sexuality that are unexplored. Perhaps an individual doesn’t know that they’re aroused by something very unique. Using open communication with a trusted partner, they could have the chance to discover this uniqueness, and this discovery could lead to immense happiness and satisfaction. Sometimes it can be difficult to share deeply and completely with another person. Shame about new or different sexual interests thanks to societal biases, and anxiety caused by the belief that even one’s most trusted loved ones may not accept them, can cause individuals to feel that hiding is much more desirable than honesty. But in a long-term relationship with the right partner, nothing should be off limits to communicate about. Though you may not always agree, relate, or desire to explore the same things, just the act of communicating and seeking to understand deep sexual and emotional needs and desires can open up new worlds of intimacy between partners. Though it may be scary to delve deeper into one’s own mind and discover new ways to find pleasure, it can be one of the most freeing and healing experiences in life.
When honesty is used as a tool for relationship growth, love blossoms brighter and healthier than ever. Through sharing desires and fantasies in a wide open, non-judgemental way, partners who have been together for decades can find new ways to explore their own, and their partner’s sexuality, and build a relationship based on trust, mutual respect, and admiration. Who knows, this intimate sharing may even uncover new interests that lead to many additional years of intense sexual pleasure and mind-blowing connection between partners who once believed they knew it all.
Story fanatic. Published in the Camosun College literary journal Beside the Point. Former Senior Staff Writer at The Martlet. Current and future freelance writer.