Does he enjoy sex with other people… But now with you? That can really hurt! What can you do?
Reid: So we had a writer, write in. We’re not going to read it, but it was lengthy, in a good way. We love when you leave us comments or e-mail us. I am Reid Mihalko from ReidAboutSex.com.
Cathy: I’m Cathy Vartuli from TheIntimacyDojo.com
Reid: The question was … They’ve been living together, when they met it was sex all the time. They’re also in the non-monogamous swing lifestyle. There’s all sorts of fun and debauchery they enjoy together. They moved in together and now it’s two years later and one of the partners it isn’t interested in sex with each other anymore although it sounds like from the e-mail they’re still interested in having sex outside of the relationship. And it sounds like at events where they go to together. It doesn’t sound like there’s cheating or anything like that. They’ve been going to therapy for two years it says. He still doesn’t want to have sex with …
Reid: The person that wrote it. We think it’s a her. Well it makes sense because they say swinging that’s pretty guy/girl. If it was two gay men in the swinging scene, that would be an interesting situation. Write in if you’re that person because I want to talk to you about what your struggles are. That being said … Then we just hit record because I don’t have a lot of advice for if you’re going to therapy and you’re being conscious … About this and your partner still doesn’t want to have the sex with you. Because they’re also writing in about the importance of them having their intimate connection … Together for the health of their relationship. I know relationships that are sexless and they’re totally healthy. Both people just aren’t really into the sex with each other. But the companionship and why they’re in relationship works great. It sounds like from here this person would like sex from their partner …
Reid: Now it’s like well what to do? They’ve been going to therapy, so good job! You’re looking at resources. I don’t know what it says about you, that now you’re writing to us. I don’t know. If we are your last line of defense, what does that mean actually? I’m teasing maybe we can share something that’s useful or maybe another video we’ll have the magic “aha” moment. That you’re asking and looking for resources puts you in a totally different category of person and what’s possible. I’m really curious if your partner is seeing a therapist solo. Because, and this is my “aha” moment, they may need to just work on stuff themselves for themselves that is kind of hard to do when it’s a couples session. And also, I don’t want to shame them for being somebody that doesn’t want to have sex with somebody. Why are you still in a relationship, with a partner who wants to have sex with you when you don’t want to have sex with them? That’s tricky because, I don’t see how that’s going to be sustainable over time, right? I would question that.
Cathy: Especially since it sounds like it’s important to her. Like you said, there are some marriages or relationships where there isn’t sex but hopefully the people are matching up better with that. I’ve also seen it be an issue of control where one person really wants to have sex and the other person feels pressured. Because they know that other person really wants it, it feels like can’t relax and be … They’re kind of feeling this energetic pull. And so, learning to take care of your own needs and your own sexual feelings and seeing what intimacy … What is the experience you’d like to have from the sex? There may be other ways you can get you tanks filled with him or with other people that may make it feel less like, I really want you to have sex with me. Some people when they feel that it brings up old stuff … It’s harder for them to go forward even if they want to.
Reid: Now understand that we’re not therapists or counselors nor do …
Cathy: We don’t play well on TV.
Reid: We don’t play them on television … Although, if somebody hired me to do that I think I would make a great television therapist. On like CSI or something like that, I think I’d be great.
Cathy: So, CSI if you’re …
Reid: Or Agents of Shield. That would be great!
Cathy: Oh, wow.
Reid: That being said, that’s irrelevant and not helping this person right now.
Cathy: No but, Agents of Shield we could be sex therapists.
Reid: See, now are not helping all.
Cathy: I’m sorry.
Reid: Sex therapists for shield. That being said, wow this is a whole thing. Nick Fury, how do you feel about that Nick? Well… Okay so here’s the thing, I had a thought … I also don’t want to make it sound like if your partner goes and gets therapy for themselves that’s the magic bullet for this whole thing. Why I want to applaud you as a couple for seeking resources is now you’re at least being proactive and I’m just curious what’s going on for your partner and the obvious things being like: is there a lot of stress at work, did you guys just have a baby recently. What are those things that had things shifted that aren’t just about we’ve been together two years and we moved in. The other thing that might help, and again I don’t know your situation, so I’m just taking shots in the dark here. Have you guys tried staying together but not living together? Take some baby steps backwards to see if any of that sparks something. Because again, maybe a part of what’s going on is that you live together and your great living together but it kind of takes spontaneity and eroticism out of the relationship. Esther Perel wrote a really great book called “Mating in Captivity” that I think people should just read in general. That can help give you, both of you some languaging and some ways of thinking about what happens when we live together. And how that can be the kiss of death to spontaneity and eroticism. I’m not saying that’s the answer but again sense you’re already looking for tools and resources that’s a really good book. And a really useful resource just in general.
Cathy: It can also help … It’s helped me anyway, to get clarity on where I stand in the relationship. There’s a couple questions I ask myself, when there’s a conflict. One of the questions I got from a book I read years ago. He was saying would you get in a relationship with this person if this is how things were on the third date, would you go further? We often have a history with someone and we maybe hoping things will be like they were. Or kind of relying on the history and that wealth of experiences. But that person may not be who you want to be with now. It’s not saying that you shouldn’t be with them but just asking yourself the question. If this person was like this on the third date, would I still want to be with him? It can give you some clarity and a fresh perspective.
Reid: Yeah, but it also sounded like things were going great for a long time. And then there were changes. So almost like a food elimination diet. Start eliminating the things that you’ve done in the last two years and see if any of those things change it and it might not.
Cathy: I’m not saying that they shouldn’t do that, but I’m saying also getting clarity on your bottom lines and needs …
Reid: Oh, yeah absolutely.
Cathy: So you’re not kind of like, do I stay or do I go. This is what I really need to be in a relationship with this person. I’m willing to wait a while and try to work on things but if we can’t resolve this issue it’s really not working for me. Just having that clarity for me, it takes away some of the chaos and confusion.
Reid: Sure, because you’ll start building up resentment and then you’re going to napalm the relationship anyway. Then you don’t have to have hurt feelings about it. You can start having mature conversations now about what actual needs are and then you have to hold things against each other. We’re just going through whatever we’re going through. You don’t always know what’s going to happen or who you really are until a year or two into something and nothing’s wrong
Reid: All right, great job.
Cathy: Really good question and we hope things work out beautifully for you.
Reid: Good luck, leave comments.