Not Just Partners, Lovers!

As a Relationship Counselor/Coach and workshop leader, I have met and worked with hundreds of couples in their fifties and sixties who are struggling with unsatisfactory sex lives.  When we are young, sexually active adults, we tend to take for granted that feelings of arousal will be accompanied by tumescence (the swelling of genital tissues), erections (nipples, clitoris, penis) and lubrication. In our minds we link these physical experiences to the idea of arousal.

Later in life, when erections and lubrication are less certain, too many of us falsely assume that it is the end of sexuality. It’s as if we have forgotten all the other feelings, emotions, and sensations associated with arousal. We seem to forget how hot it once was to hold hands, to kiss, to talk nonsense for hours into a phone late at night, to dance, to finish each other’s sentences.

When we are in new relationship energy, we gaze into each other’s eyes, we kiss, we phone, text and email. We send cute cards, buy flowers, go out to dinner, and go for long walks. We make time just for us.  As husbands and wives, we often curtail these behaviors. To become lovers again means behaving as lovers do.

IMO, if we spent as little time and attention working at our jobs as we spend on our relationship, most of us would be unemployed. Relationships take time. Make dates (and keep them). Get naked together and just hold each other and talk (if you get physically aroused, great!  If not, notice how sweet it feels just to hold each other close.).  Park with your sweetie by the lake, the beach, the overlook, and neck like you were seventeen again.

Our biggest erogenous zone is between our ears – our mind. Sex isn’t just a piece of skin wiggling around in some other skin. Sex is about intimate connection and shared vulnerability. Sex is stroking each other from head to toe, eye-gazing, shared laughter and shared thoughts. Sex is kissing and hugging and dancing. Sex is lying naked in each other’s arms listening to our hearts beating. Sex is about surrender and control, about laughing and crying.

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