You know that friend you used to hang out with a lot, then that dang business of life got in the way and it’s been ages since you’ve seen each other? You try to get together for coffee or a drink and there’s the “let’s get together soon” talk but nothing ever gets put on the calendar. And then you realize it’s been weeks or months and you still haven't gotten together? You reach out and say “hey it’s been awhile let’s get together soon!” but the cycle repeats with that coffee date rarely or never happening?
Think of sexual spontaneity as a similar elusive friend to your relationship. Sex happened a lot in the beginning of the relationship and the business of life didn’t even feel like it existed. But then the hormonal buzz of the new relationship wore off and the spontaneous sex seemed to disappear right along with it.
The Spontaneity Trap
Leaning on spontaneous sex to run a satisfying sex life is a trap that many of us fall into because we aren’t given any help on how to do things differently. And don’t even get me started on the movies that smack us over the head with the expectation that if we are truly in love we would be having hot and steamy sex all the time without any effort. Total eye roll.
So guess what happens?
We go to the default of relying on spontaneity and along with it a feeling of disconnection and growing thoughts like:
Man I wish I was having more sex with my partner!
I totally wish my partner would stop bugging me so much to have sex!
Ugh I am so busy I barely have enough time to even eat!
I’m super sad I don’t feel like more a priority to my partner.
We like never have sex anymore. Does s/he even love me anymore?
I want to have sex but ugh, why won’t my partner just initiate for once?
Kids suck up all my energy I just have nothing left to give
You are totally not alone. Promise.
I have heard hundreds of my clients have similar thoughts when they are in the spontaneity trap and I have definitely had these thoughts myself. Early in my relationship when the honeymoon phase started to get further and further in the rearview mirror, the spontaneous “I don’t have to even think about it” type of sex life was moving away right along with it.
This is such a common feeling and yet no one really talks about it let alone tells you what to do about it. And it’s not your fault either. No one teaches us this stuff! I don’t know about you but the extent of my sex education as a kid was basically “here’s the penis, here’s a vagina”. Important, sure, but where’s the “how to have a pleasurable sex life and satisfying relationship talk”?
Want to know the how to have a pleasurable sex life and a satisfying relationship? I’ll tell you.
That’s it. No fancy new sex position or crazy toy that could be part of an alien movie. They may add some spice, don’t get me wrong, but you need to have the main ingredient first. And that, my friend, is Intentionality.
What the heck is Intentional Intimacy?
Well, being intentional means taking planned action toward what you want knowing that hoping and wishing isn’t going to get you there. Have you ever tried sitting on the couch and wishing yourself into a healthy and fit body instead of eating that salad and going to the gym? I have and it certainly doesn’t work. Making good choices and taking action is where it’s at. Same goes for your relationship. Sure sexual spontaneity is nice when it pops up but you need to get away from depending on it. If you want a fun, reliable and consistent sex life then you need to shift your focus from the hoping and wishing passive position to an intentional and active mode.
Implementing the Intentional intimacy Mindset
How can you start implementing the Intentional Intimacy Mindset? No there is no quick fix or magic wand. Sorry, if I had one to offer you I would totally give it to you, promise. Instead you have to do the work. But I can help guide you there.
To start building your intentional intimacy muscle you have got to plan a time to connect both physically and emotionally. Then you need to show up. To start:
Pick one time a week starting with 15 minutes to connect physically with your partner such as exchange massages, cuddle, have sex, suds each other down in the shower.
Pick one time a week starting with 15 minutes to connect emotionally with your partner. You could: cook dinner together, go for a walk, watch the next episode of Stranger Things (So good right?!).
I can already hear you wanting to say “But Chelsea, 15 minutes?! How is that going to get us anywhere?”
Creating a satisfying sex life is about reliability and consistency and you need to start small to build up the habit. If I was your fitness coach I wouldn’t say at the start “go to the gym for an hour every day”. You would think I’m crazy and I wouldn’t be setting you up for long-term success. You need to start with what’s doable that you can commit to and then build from there.
Start with the 15 minutes for several weeks and add more time or days when you can continuously show up for those 15 minutes. And if you want some more guidance as you work on being an Intentionally Intimate couple, you can check out my Free “Oh Yeah!” Sex Guide.
I know that as a result of following an Intentional Intimacy mindset you will get a relationship that is full of continued emotional and physical closeness that creates a strong foundation of great sex and fun. Spontaneity just doesn’t do that. It’s the unreliable friend. And my friend, you and your relationship needs and deserves something better.
Key Things to Remember:
Spontaneity is passive and not reliable
Intentional Intimacy takes action and planned time to connect physically and emotionally.
Start with small bite-sized time to build up to where you want to be.
Adjust your Intentional Intimacy time when needed (when sick, holidays, etc.)
Mix up the connecting activities both inside the bedroom and out.