In the last Global Glue blog post, we talked about desire, pivoting off Dr. Jenni Skyler’s Glue Talk, and her adapted version of how to work Masters and Johnson’s human sexual response cycle into long-term relationship. Everything in this piece again draws directly from Dr. Skyler’s talk.
After desire comes sexual arousal and sensation. As we discussed in the last entry, desire is the first thing to go in a long-term relationship. The good news is that even if you don’t readily feel desire in your partnership, it is still possible to have an incredibly satisfying love life by shortcutting directly to arousal and sensation when desire is offline. If you are in a long-term relationship and spontaneous sex isn’t happening, don’t fret. Dr. Skyler shared that in long-term relationships, “spontaneous sex is the best sex you’ll never have.” Treating your love making in the same vein as scheduling a workout at the gym can help to maintain your sex life.
How a Routine Can Happily Replace Faded Desire
Some people love working out, and can tap into a deep desire to do so. However, for others, there is a certain amount of self-talk that happens, and they have to force themselves to exercise. They have to coax themselves with messages such as, “it’s good for me” and “I will feel better afterward”—sex in long-term partnership is the same. Many Glue couples share that regular lovemaking keeps their relationship connected, and their bodies happier, but they have to make an effort and agree to it even when it doesn’t happen naturally.
The effort pays off for Glue couples like Laurie & Will, who have sex whether they ‘feel like it’ or not. David & Lauren proclaim greater levels of happiness and connection and chemistry. These are the couples that understand that even without desire, arousal is possible, and therefore work to turn each other on physically even if their brains aren’t yet on board.
Trust in Sexual Arousal: The Brain Follows the Body’s Lead
In long-term partnership you have to realize that sometimes the body needs to get turned on even when the brain isn’t in the game, and trust that in most cases, once the body is turned on, the brain will eventually join the party. This works in the exact same way that exercise does: the more you do it, the more the body and mind trust that both will feel better at the end of the workout, and the easier it becomes to do the next time. In the next few posts, we will talk more about this cycle and additional ways to renew the pattern. Sometimes you simply have to tell yourself, “I trust that once my body gets turned on, my brain will eventually follow, so as Nike says, just do it.”
Turning on the body is about tapping into the senses—all five of them. What turns on your skin, sight, taste buds, sense of smell, visuals, and how do you include all of them? If you aren’t in the habit of playing with all of your senses and lovemaking is simply an act of touch, play with the other senses. See how depriving one sense can accentuate another. Touch is obviously the biggest sense that comes into play, but touch is way beyond intercourse. How much time do you spend touching each other in a variety of ways and exploring each other’s bodies?
When you get creative with different ways to arouse each other, the brain will more easily come back on board and even tap back into desire. Chemistry is important, and certainly we have more chemistry with certain partners over others. But while desire might fade, chemistry grows stronger with knowledge of each other, if you do the work to enable it. Once we choose a life partner, we do ourselves a disservice if we expect sex to be good without any effort– like anything worthwhile, it takes a little practice and attention.
Stay tuned as we continue to work our way through Jenni Skyler’s talk and other ways to tap into the different facets of your sexual responses.