What Does Having Sex Mean to You?

A starburst firework going off against a black sky

I’ve been counseling individuals and couples for many years. More than half the time, when couples are having problems or the relationship is dissolving, sex is one of the major issues. There are a number of common scenarios:

  • After a long marriage with regular sex, he comes home to discover that his wife has left. He is devastated, and has no idea why. Upon exploration, it turns out that he has expected sex at least three times a week. While his wife complied, he knew that she felt emotionally disconnected from him and needed to grit her teeth to have sex with him. Looking back, he realizes that she tried to express this to him and he had refused to listen. Now she was gone.
  • The partners are still together, but the sex is essentially gone from the relationship. This frequently occurs in both heterosexual and homosexual relationships. One partner may be more upset about this than the other.
  • One partner has clearly stated that he or she is no longer available for sex. The partner states that he or she feels used, and is no longer willing to tolerate this. The other partner is angry and hurt by this.
  • Sex is still a big part of the relationship, but one partner states that he or she is giving themselves up to have sex, and is very unhappy about the situation. But the complying partner fears the anger and withdrawal that ensues when he or she says no.
  • One partner, generally the woman in a heterosexual relationship, says that she doesn’t feel anything during sex, so is unmotivated to have sex. Orgasm is non-existent or very rare.
  • Sex has become boring and routine with little passion, so one or both partners are unmotivated.

There are other scenarios, but these are the most common that I’ve encountered.

Invariably, as I’ve explored with one or both partners, I’ve discovered that the underlying cause of many of these scenarios has to do with WHY one of the partners wants to have sex.

There are two basic reasons that people want to have sex:

  • To get something
  • To share love, warmth and connection

Sex to Get Something

If you are in a relationship where you want sex and your partner doesn’t, think for a moment about WHY you want or need to have sex. See if you relate to any of these.

I need to have sex to:

  • Feel happy.
  • Feel that I’m adequate – not a loser.
  • Feel loved and lovable.
  • Feel connected with my partner.
  • Release stress.
  • Be able to sleep.
  • Feel powerful and in control.
  • Feel safe.
  • Feel validated.
  • Feel whole.
  • Release sexual tension.
  • Get filled up inside.

When you approach your partner from a place of wanting to get something, you are coming from a needy state. Your neediness is likely not erotic for your partner. Neediness may feel to your partner like you are a child, and that may not be at all attractive to your partner.

Sex to Share Love, Warmth and Connection

Wanting sex to share love comes from a completely different place inside than sex to get something. In order to have love and connection to share, you have to already be connected with yourself and feel filled with love. You cannot share something that you don’t already have.

You cannot share love and connection when you feel unhappy, empty, inadequate, unlovable, disconnected from yourself, stressed or agitated, angry or needing to feel in control of your partner.

If you and your partner are having sexual problems, you each may want to examine the system between you. Is there a control-resist system? Is there a control-compliance system? Is there a compliance-compliance system? Any of these systems may be bypassing the true sharing of love and joy that sexuality between loving, caring partners offers.

Margaret Paul, Ph.D. is a best-selling author of 8 books, relationship expert, and co-creator of the powerful Inner Bonding® process – featured on Oprah. Are you are ready to discover real love and intimacy? Click here for a FREE CD/DVD relationship offer, and visit our website at www.innerbonding.com for more articles and help. Phone Sessions Available. Join the thousands we have already helped and visit us now!

Margaret Paul, Ph.D. is a best-selling author of 8 books and co-creator of the powerful Inner Bonding healing process. Dr. Margaret Paul is the author/co-author of numerous best-selling books, including: Do I Have To Give Up Me to Be Loved By You? Do I Have To Give Up Me to Be Loved By You?…The Workbook Healing Your Aloneness The Healing Your Aloneness Workbook Inner Bonding Do I Have To Give Up Me to Be Loved By My Kids? Do I Have To Give Up Me To Be Loved By God? Margaret holds a Ph.D. in psychology and is a relationship expert, public speaker, seminar leader, consultant, facilitator, and artist. She has appeared on many radio and TV shows, including the Oprah show. She has successfully worked with thousands of individuals, couples and business relationships and taught classes and seminars for over 42 years. Dr. Paul’s books have been distributed around the world and have been translated into many languages. After practicing traditional psychotherapy for 17 years, Margaret was discouraged by the results – both for her clients and herself. She had spent years trying to heal from her own dysfunctional and abusive background, but found herself still suffering with anxiety and relationship problems. She started to seek a process that works fast, deep, creates permanent change, loving relationships, inner peace, and joy. In 1984, she met and became friends with Dr. Erika Chopich, who had half the Inner Bonding® process, and Margaret had the other half! They have been evolving this incredibly powerful healing process for the last 26 years. Margaret works with individuals and couples throughout the world – on the phone, in workshops and 5-Day Intensives, and with members of Inner Bonding Village at http://www.innerbonding.com. She is able to access spiritual Guidance during her sessions, which enables her to work with people wherever they are in the world. Dr. Margaret has just completed a 12 year project call SelfQuest®, which is a transformational self-healing/conflict resolution software program. SelfQuest® is being donated to prisons and schools and sold to individuals, families, and businesses. You can read about SelfQuest® and see a short video of it at http://selfquest.com. In her spare time, Margaret loves to paint, make pottery, take photos, watch birds, read, ride and play with her horses, and spend time with her children and grandchildren.

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  1. Pingback: Why Do Men Cheat? 5 BIG Reasons! | Mental Health Matters

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