Are you and your partner in a struggle between, “I just want to have sex” and, “I just want to sleep”? Maybe you have small kids, run a household while maintaining a full-time job, have financial obligations that are mounting and are attempting to spend time together as a couple enjoying what you worked so hard to create!
I hear these two phrases a lot in my practice. There can be one person in the relationship who is craving touch and physical intimacy while the other just wants to lay their head on a cool pillow after a long hard day and go to sleep. And, often people are experiencing both desires and don’t know what to choose. Because we are creatures of habit we often opt for the most convenient and rote choice which tends to be sleep. While it’s super important to get 7-9 hours of sleep per night (as many studies show we are chronically sleep deficient in our modern culture) it is also important to get the nurturing and physical intimacy that erotic touch provides. So, how does this all happen? How do we get enough sleep while maintaining our sexual and physical connection with our partners?
The first step is to put down the boxing gloves and change your perspective from VS. to Team Work. When couples get into gridlock about a sore subject it just causes more tension and stress than it’s worth. It can free up a lot of time, energy and space to tackle this issue as a team. Teamwork makes the Dreamwork (as my partner would say!)
To be on the same team you need to:
- Make agreements – decide what day of the week you are going to have “sexy time”
- Set time aside just for sexy time – no interruptions from kids, phone, Netflix, mom etc.
- Do things that you both like to do – figure out what your partner likes that you also like. What kind of sexual adventurous would you want to try together? What have you done in the past that you’d like to do again? Get creative.
- Go shopping – get some new toys, buy some new sheets and blankets, create a space in your bedroom (or outside your bedroom like the Nest) that feels good
- Resolve any conflicts or disagreements *before* you get into sexy time – if there is a brewing issue between you set aside another time to hear each other out and air the space before you engage in physical intimacy. Solutions like the Meeting of 2 can really help!
- Know what time of day you are at your best so you are rested! – If you never want to have sex at night because you are too tired then find another time of day that you feel rested and plan on having “sexy time” then. If that means you need to get a sitter or even get a hotel room in the middle of the day then do it. It will be worth it, I promise.
- Avoid thinking during sex by writing down your to-dos beforehand – If you are avoiding sex and opting for sleep instead because you just can’t shut your mind down and enjoy yourself, use a strategy that’s helpful for curbing ruminating thoughts – make a to do list and then put your list away so you can enjoy your love-making uninterrupted.
There are many ways that couples can be creative and get on the same team so that they can enjoy each other and have the sex lives they both crave. You can still get your precious ZZZZs while also getting your precious XXXXs.
If you need more resources or some help in figuring this all out please reach out. I have lots of curriculum I’ve designed just for couples like you!
Anya de Montigny, DHS is a sexuality expert with over 20 years experience working with individuals, couples, and groups. Dr. Anya has a Doctor of Human Sexuality (DHS) degree, is a certified sex educator and certified sex coach and was the host of the popular radio show The O Word Sex Talk Radio. Dr. Anya has a private practice in the San Francisco Bay Area working with individuals and couples and invites straight and LGBTQ people into her practice. She also teaches adult sex education classes as well as consent & boundaries workshops at Universities and Colleges.