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Loss of Sexual Desire
Keeping the Spark Ignited

Most couples will lose sexual desire for one another during the course of a long term relationship. It is normal, it is to be expected and it is certainly something that most people can work through.

This article will address several facets as to why people lose desire as well as what can be done about it in regard to an emotional connection. For physical causes of loss of sex drive see articles on sexual dysfunction.

Keep in mind that every relationship is unique and is complex in it's own way thus, if there is a serious concern with an on going problem, I would suggest seeking out a counselor to work with you and your partner. This way you can take time and address issues thoroughly with the attention that both you and your partner deserve.

Lisa Lawless
By Lisa S. Lawless, Ph.D.
Psychotherapist & Sexuality Expert

CEO & Founder of
Holistic Wisdom, Inc. & NAASAS

Copyright: Holistic Wisdom- Do NOT Copy Warning

Copyright © Holistic Wisdom, Inc.

Losing The Desire

It is not uncommon to look over at our partner and feel a loss of 'sexual spark' that was once there. We may even find ourselves longing for the good 'ol days when the relationship was new and exciting, fantasizing about previous relationships and even fantasies of new ones.

Why does a relationship lose it's intensity?

Any relationship is initially more exciting in the beginning than it ever will be throughout its course, because there is so much of the unknown. Remember how you weren't sure if they would call or if they were interested enough for another date? Remember how you felt when you first felt your lips touch theirs? The adrenaline coursing through your body from sexual arousal and something else... fears around vulnerability.

Let's look at vulnerability for a moment as it is something important to think about. True, the sexual arousal was high, but that vulnerability was a big part of what made the relationship exciting. It is the source of our greatest fear... the fear of the unknown.

The beginning of a relationship is like a day at the beach. Beautiful and nice but only the surface. The true ecstasy is deep inside the ocean of your relationship.

We tend to be afraid that we could at any moment be rejected by a new partner. They may not like our personality, our physical chemistry... whatever the reason, they could reject us. We in turn may have to reject them and find ourselves in a really awkward position. Either way it can be pretty scary.

This is risky stuff... taking a chance on love and sex. Our body often gives us the same chemical high it would if we were jumping out of an airplane when we are falling in love and even lust. Yet, we cannot be healthy people and be in a constant state of anxiety. Thus, we become familiar and adapt to our environment with new expectations and relationships.

When it comes to love, we forget the feelings we once had; the going back and forth on questions as to whether they were right for us, if we were right for them. We stop feeling what was once nerve racking and what it felt like to live in the state of the unknown... which was terribly exciting. The problem is that living in the unknown is one of the ways we most feel alive. So we are left yearning for it later.

Coming Down

Shortly after our partner confirms their feelings and we reciprocate, the honeymoon begins. It is often the most euphoric part of the relationship... you are still basking in the glow of the big adrenaline rush, but now, you can better enjoy the sexual attraction and emotional connection because the fear is made less through a reassurance that you both have a mutual interest in one another.

Leveling Out

Then comes the part that many people think of as boring for the long-term. It is the period of a relationship when you are very familiar with one another. You have complete assurance that they want to go the distance with you and with that, the sexual heat often tends to mellow.

In addition, it is during this time that the 'real you' and the 'real them' start to come out and all the things you dislike about yourself or were afraid they would dislike tend to come forward. Also, the little quirks that you found so cute about your partner often become annoyances and you realize that the rose colored glasses you were wearing when you thought they were the perfect person for you have come off.

Here is where true intimacy can begin, but it requires communication, honesty, compromise, listening, compassion and understanding. It requires work. A beginning relationship is much like a beautiful potted plant. Nice, but it will require care and now that you have a long-term relationship you and your partner are taking that plant and creating a garden of opportunity to have the kind of intimacy emotionally, mentally and physically that many people only dream of having.

Much like a beautiful garden that provides spectacular flowers, fruit and veggies, there is a lot of love and care that go into making it that way. In fact, there are times when you will need to sweat and use aching muscles to get that beautiful garden the way it is and it will require maintenance for it to stay that way. Yet the benefits can be amazing. Ultimately you and your partner have to decide what you are willing to invest in it.

Doomed To Stay Boring?

When it comes to the gardening period, most people neglect and take one another for granted. The plant that represented all the passion in the beginning of the relationship wilts and it is the time when many couples begin to feel bored in their relationship.

Look In The Mirror

Many of the correspondence I get has a problematic theme that I wish to point out. They blame their partner for their boredom. They claim to be sexually and/or romantically hungry with no where to turn as they feel their partner is not meeting their needs. The problem with this attitude for most people is that there is no accountability. In most cases when I ask them if they have tried a variety of things the answer is no. They tend to return to blaming their partner for the problem.

The first thing that I can suggest to anyone seeking to spice up their sex life is to take personal responsibility. You have to be proactive to be successful at anything in life and your sex life is no different.


The second thing I often ask is if they have discussed these concerns with their partner. I am never surprised when they say no. Too often they are looking for a quick fix to their problem without taking responsibility for their sex life or taking the time to talk to the most important person about it... their partner!

Don't Cause Harm To The Relationship

Finally, there is the correspondence that I get asking about whether I think it would be all right for them to have affairs because their partner is not sexually satisfying them. I have taken the time to write an article about infidelity as I feel it is an important topic. I suggest those considering it... read it- When Is Infidelity Okay?. To sum it up... infidelity between committed couples is NEVER excusable.

It reminds me of an AARP commercial in the U.S. for Social Security Benefits when the women has called a plumber to repair her sink and the plumber says... "Yes, your sink is clogged. Only thing to do now is tear-down your house." She gives this look of shock and horror as bulldozers begin tearing down her home.

It is important to first try and repair your sex life if that seems to be the problem, don't use it as an excuse to tear your whole relationship apart. If you have taken every step you can to repair it but the foundation is falling apart; if you must walk away.... walk away from the relationship in a forthright and honest manner.

One of the things to keep in mind is that often sexual problems, lead back to deeper emotional issues that are trying to get our attention. Sometimes they link to self esteem, control and even abuse issues. Humans are complex and it is important to keep in mind that sometimes what seems like a sexual problem is not; rather it can be a side effect of something deeper.

Taking Control

First, if you want to have a hot, passionate, long-term sex life... you need to take responsibility for your relationship. You need to communicate to get things out on the table about what your desires are and how you can have those met. To make things more exciting, you can certainly read the sex tip articles of this site, bring in sex toys and try anything from role playing to taking a sexy vacation and making erotic dates.

The secret to a long and fulfilling relationship is to not just stay passionate about your relationship, but about life as well. It is through our perceptions that we create our reality. If we numb ourselves with television, and other forms of escape while neglecting our lives then we aren't truly living with passion and that carries over to the bedroom.

I like to think of it in terms of those home design shows... the ones like Trading Spaces, Designing On A Dime and other such shows on the Home & Garden Channel. Most people are content to live in a home that is drab, plain and even run down with need for repair. They may complain but they never get around to cleaning out that spare room or taking care of their garden. The same applies to one's sex life. If you neglect it, the only one you can blame for it is yourself and the same applies to your partner.

It is when you decide to be passionate about your relationship and invest in it through your time and even money... much like taking care of your home or car... you will be rewarded through your efforts. Why wouldn't you invest in your relationship... it is supposed to outlast your car, your job and basically everything in you life so isn't it what needs the most TLC?

Going Beneath The Surface

Most people struggle with emotional intimacy to begin with, so the fact that so many people are in the dark about how to have amazing sex is not a surprise. What most people fail to understand is that really good sex is meaningful. How can you possibly enjoy every morsel of a meal if you are shoving food down your throat while watching television in three minutes time?

Yet, many people approach sex that way. They want a quick scratch to satisfy a physical itch... but if that is all that you put into it through your attitude and behavior, then that is all you will receive. To really understand what makes fantastic sex, think of the moments in your life when you have really been present with something... when you were not focused on a bunch of mind-chatter on surface things, but you were really in the moment.

The best sexual adventures comes from deep intimacy as it is completely interconnected. This is not to say that you can only have intimacy with one partner, it is more about how you approach intimacy. Do you jump into bed to get off or do you make a point of really allowing yourself to be vulnerable with someone. All your hopes, dreams, insecurities, pouring out through your eyes and your energy when you are with someone while sharing a sexual experience with them. When they are doing the same you, then you can both have mind shattering, whole body orgasms because you are surrendering every part of yourself to the sexual ecstasy, not just your genitals.

That is why long-term relationships allow us to have deeper and more powerful connections, because it is through experience and time that we can reveal our ever changing and evolving self to them and they in turn to us. Most of us are caught up in our busy schedules, our preoccupation with tasks, and are guarding ourselves, keeping our truly vulnerable hearts hidden. Yet, it is when we let go and bring down our walls of defense that we can truly be known and know someone else. We are more than our genitals, we are more than an orgasm, we are a whole, complete person that requires multiple facets of passion in our lives... why stop at the physical surface?

I am not suggesting that every time you have sex with your partner it has to be a Tantric, mind altering experience... sometimes it is fun to have a quickie, a funny role play, etc. through a physically focused sexual experience. What I am suggesting is that when you or your partner are bored in your relationship... you both have to look into the mirror and there you will see the person making it boring!

I have seen people on vacation, surrounded by tropical beauty and oceans of blue who complain that it is boring. Are you kidding me? Life is what you make it. If you think that swimming amongst dolphins, fish and the underwater world of the ocean is boring it will be. If you see that you are able to explore a world that is rich, deep, while holding keys to many mysteries in the ocean, then it will be. A relationship is no different. You can really explore it, nurture it, love it and bring to it creativity, appreciation and love. This is when you will know the riches it has to offer in and out of the bedroom.

What Can you Do?

Of course finding what works for you and your relationship is something that you and your lover have to explore by communicating, compromise and loving effort on both of your behalves. Understand that there will be low points to any relationship, but what makes one relationship last with passion is what you each put into it.

From leaving love notes, to learning a new sexual technique, to taking a romantic getaway or date to simply listening to your partner's needs and then expressing your own... you and your partner make your relationship what it is... there are no bounds to what you can accomplish with imagination, creativity, love and desire!


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