I hear people say the equivalent of “You are not me, therefore you are wrong” every day for decades, in my office. There is usually resentment and hurt underneath that statement. Each of you has a different sex drive and it changes as we age, it changes as our hormones fluctuate, as we eat or drink alcohol or as we get enough sleep. It is in a state of flux, but this is what we are asking:
“Will you let me love you?”
“I would love to connect with you tonight. I miss making love and feeling so close to you. I could really go for some naked cuddling and follow the connection wherever it goes.”
“What time this weekend would be good for you for us to physically connect?”
“What would it take for us to be intimate this weekend?”
Many times one of the couple will keep asking for sex, every day because they have not been sexual in awhile and they are afraid of not asking. They don’t really know when the other person is available and then they stop asking because they believe they were rejected, rather than that the timing was rejected.
Talk about the frequency and duration, the sex drive and what increases the likelihood of being sexual.
A big mistake I see is not knowing the other person’s signals. If she shaves her legs… Chances are really good tonight. If her bra and panties match… If she is touching you a lot and hugging you and kissing you… Okay, so here’s the thing. Everyone has a “Tell” or signals that they use. Some people want you to guess their signals because they feel self-conscious about it or they use the silly excuse “if you really loved me, I wouldn’t have to tell you”- so if you are psychic, you get sex.
Nope, that is pure silliness. Imagine the third base coach in baseball having signals but the person receiving the signals doesn’t know what the signals are- communication fails.
Tell your partner what your signals are and take the guesswork out. If you change signals for any reason, tell your partner. No guess work- you are on the same team.
EXERCISE: So if there is such a difference between desire and arousal processes for the average men and women, is that worth at least a couple conversations over the course of the relationship? Can you accept that it is not personal and needs to be discussed? Be open and honest with your partner. Reminder that this changes over time and needs to be talked about as you age, as you are ill, when the kids are around, when the kids are not around, holidays, vacations etc.
In addition to sending signals that they are receptive, are you sending signals that you want them, respect them and are not just after them for sex?
Are you sending signals that you are desirable and they are desirable or are you signaling weakness and that they have to be the adult and they see you as a child?
Are you sending signals that you like or dislike them?
“I refuse to have sex with my husband unless he can be kind to me five days in a row. It has been 6 months now. I told him that and he cannot manage to be kind five days in a row. Why would I want to be intimate with someone like that?” a woman told me in my office.
In marketing they talk about sending a message about the brand. You are your brand and you are always sending a message. In the past few days you challenged this, right?
Is your message (consistently) that you are strong and capable, ambitious and protective? Exaggerate this or do what counselors call “opposite action.”
Is your message, “please ignore me” or do you demonstrate value?
Play with how to get attention, keep attention and not come off as desperate or attention seeking. This helps you with personal development, bonding and being more sexual.