October 21, 2021

Love Recon How-to-Enhance-Intimacy-In-a-Relationship-hero-image

Want to Know How To Have Great Sex At All Ages?  Read on!

Our sexuality and sexual intimacy will go through changes in our lifetime. Circumstances change. Our bodies change. That doesn’t mean, however, that we can’t have satisfying sexual intimacy at any age. Because of the bonding hormones and endorphins released during sex – more potent than most drugs- your relationship needs physical intimacy at every stage of life. The Gottman Institute, the world-renowned relationship research center led by Drs. John and Julie Gottman, reports that three things will help your sexual chemistry and connection stand the test of time.

  1. Get Good at Speaking One Another’s Language

Speak each other’s love language throughout the day.  What makes your partner feel loved? Find out and do your best to love them in ways that are meaningful to them. Know when to speak emotional language and when to speak logically.

  1. Prioritize and be Intentional about the Gift of Sex in all Stages of Life
  • Research shows that marital satisfaction sharply declines after the birth of a child. Couples who have healthy sexual chemistry prioritize their relationship.  They create a needed balance in their lives and schedule quality time that doesn’t involve their new (or not so new) bundle of joy.
  • Life can become so busy during the years of making a living and raising a family that sexual intimacy gets pushed to the bottom of the list, and other things take priority. This is to the detriment of your relationship. Your relationship needs sexual intimacy to stay healthy.
  • Often as couples begin the transition to the stage of empty nesters, their bodies are also transitioning to the next stage. Menopause and the changing of hormonal levels in both men and women bring changes in sexual drive and energy as well as in physiology.  You must remain intentional about your sexual intimacy by consulting with a physician and doing whatever is necessary to navigate these changes. Sexual intimacy can grow sweeter and more fulfilling through these changes if you are intentional and continue to communicate with your partner lovingly.  It is essential to continue to nourish your intimacy, not only sexually but in all other ways as well so that you don’t reach the empty nest stage with someone who has become a virtual stranger!
  1. Put Some Rituals (Agreements) in Place

Zach Brittle, a certified Gottman Therapist, tells us that rituals (agreements) inject creativity and fun into your relationship, and they can also eliminate questions when it comes to sexual intimacy.  “You may bristle at the idea of planning or scripting this process,” explains Brittle, “but when life gets busy, and you’re not as free to be as spontaneous as you once were, having an agreement and an understanding of how you’ll engage in intimacy can diminish the fear of rejection or the confusion about whether one partner is ‘in the mood.'” Dr. Doug Weiss counsels those seeking to have a healthy sex life to make a sexual agreement.  See his definition of a sexual agreement below. 

A SEXUAL AGREEMENT

A Sexual Agreement is made when a couple calmly discusses and agrees upon how often they will have sexual intimacy and then distributesLove Recon WHAT-ARE-YOU-AFRAID-OF-IN-YOUR-RELATIONSHIP-P2 the responsibility for initiating sex.Dr. Doug Weiss, LPC, Director of the Heart-to-Heart Counseling Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

A Sexual Agreement diminishes the anxiety over when you will have sex. This is true for men especially. Dr. Weiss writes, “When men know when sex will occur and who will initiate it, they will think about sex much less and experience almost no sexual anxiety.”

Example: Compare this to a couple who are shopping in the mall.  He is concerned about when and where they will eat lunch, and she is enjoying shopping and browsing through the stores.  If he doesn’t know when they will eat, he could become very anxious and annoying.  However, if he knows that they will eat at Arby’s in the food court after they go to Macy’s, he can relax and even enjoy looking around the store.  (Well, maybe!) 

Creating Your Sexual Agreement

See the Our Sexual Agreement form at the end of this blog. 

To create your own sexual agreement:

  1. Be open-minded about each other’s needs
  2. Be honest about your own sexuality
  3. Make this agreement uniquely yours

FREQUENCY

The first step in creating your Sexual Agreement will be determining the frequency of sexual intimacy that works for you.

  • Psychology Today online reports that if you have sex twice a week, you may experience the equivalent of being two years younger than your chronological age!
  • In a study conducted at Dartmouth in 2004 that drew on a sample of 16,000 people, it was estimated that increasing intercourse from once a month to once a week is equivalent to the amount of happiness generated by adding an additional $50,000 in yearly income for the average American. The happiest people, they claim, tend to be those having the most sex.
  • The team’s research also showed that those who had sex three times a week or more cut their heart attack and stroke risk by 50%.
  • Similar research by Kahneman, Krueger, Schkade, Schwartz and Stone in 2004 found that among a sample of 1,000 employed women, sex was rated as the activity that produces the single most significant amount of happiness.

Each of you share and fill in the blanks as follows:

I think that a good frequency for us would be___________.  If we could do that, I would feel______________. 

 

After you each have shared, discuss and agree upon a plan for frequency and write it on your agreement.

WHO WILL INITIATE?

Now that you have decided on frequency, you will need to discuss who will initiate. Most of us want to be wanted and desired by our mates, so for them to initiate lovemaking is a definite turn-on and ego boost.

Here are two examples of a plan for initiating lovemaking for a couple who has decided upon a frequency of twice a week:

Example 1. Two times per week, on Mondays and Thursdays. He initiates on Monday, and she initiates on Thursdays. OR, he initiates both days this week, and she initiates both days next week.

Example 2.  Two times per week. He initiates between Sunday and Tuesday. She initiates Thursday through Saturday. Wednesday is a day off – or anyone can initiate.

Based on the frequency you have agreed upon, now agree upon a plan to initiate your lovemaking. Be willing to move out of your comfort zones and share in the opportunity to initiate sex.

After you have decided upon a plan for initiation, write it on your agreement. 

PREFERENCES

The third component of creating an excellent sexual agreement is communicating our preferences to our spouse and learning about theirs. Each of us has some sexual expressions, activities, places, and positions that are always pleasurable and satisfying.

Others are simply off-limits for whatever reason.  Sometimes the reason is apparent, such as if it is outside the boundaries of safety or respect for both the husband and the wife. Those are not the ones that usually require discussion, although it wouldn’t hurt to be clear about them.  The more sensitive ones are those that might in and of themselves usually be okay. Still, because of past experiences or damage, they have become “off-limits” since they trigger negative emotions and feelings.   Your spouse must understand what these are and why they are always off-limits.

And then there are those sexual activities and expressions that are okay with us, but only if we initiate them.  These, too, need to be communicated in advance to avoid misunderstanding or feelings of rejection.

Each of you fills out the section listing your preferences on Our Sexual Agreement. 

BULLET POINT SUMMARY

Sexual intimacy is essential for bonding and remaining connected to your partner.

Prioritize and be intentional about sex through all stages of life.

Create a Sexual Agreement that is unique to you

(See template below.) 

OUR SEXUAL AGREEMENT

Frequency

Barring illness or unusual extenuating circumstances, our sexual frequency will be:

 

Initiation

Our plan for who will initiate sex and when is:

 

Preferences

Each of you lists your preferences (sexual expressions, activities, places, and/or positions) for each category:

 

Hers:   I always enjoy…  

      I never enjoy…  

      I enjoy these, but only if I initiate…

 

His:    I always enjoy… 

      I never enjoy… 

      I enjoy these, but only if I initiate…

 

 After you have completed your agreement, consider making the commitment below to your partner and your relationship. Look your partner in the eye as you read it aloud.

His Commitment

   I commit to make you and our sex life a priority.

      I commit to making you feel secure and loved.  

      I commit to do my best to abide by our agreement.

 

Her Commitment

I commit to making you and our sex life a priority.

I commit to making you feel respected and honored.

I commit to do my best to abide by our agreement.

As in all areas of relationships, good communication is so crucial to your sex life.  If you are having difficulty communicating in this vital area, don’t be embarrassed or ashamed. Instead, take steps to get the help you need from a counselor, relationship coach, or sex therapist. Contact Love Recon for a free consultation on how we can help.   

About the author 

Cliff Poe

Cliff Poe is Founder and Lead Coach for Recon Coaching. He and his wife, Jeani, are Master Coaches and their passion is to help individuals and couples form healthy, lasting and satisfying relationships. Cliff has a M.Div. in pastoral counseling and ministry. He enjoys writing and coaching as well as his family which includes 2 adult kids and their spouses, 6 grandchildren and a fur family composed of a Golden Retriever and a Mackerel Tabby.


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