Hey everyone, welcome back to Partnership Aligned Podcast. Today I want to talk to you about your sex life. But not in a mechanical way. Not in terms of how often you’re having sex with your partner or anything like that. I want to talk about your thoughts and attitude about your sex life. Your innermost desires and how to tap into those. And then how to communicate them to your partner.

I recently coached a client who is happily married yet very out of touch with herself sexually. As a result, she’s fallen into the societal stereotype that you have to have sex a couple times a week in order to satisfy your husband and check off the box. I’ve been there for sure. I’ve been in a relationship where sex felt obligatory… like a chore that had to get done. Kind of like laundry! Sex should NOT feel like laundry.

It’s easy for us to blame our partners or just decide that this is the way it is. But my goal for you is never easy. It’s always empowerment and growth. So today I want to dive into this topic of sex feeling like a chore and how to get the hell out of that mindset!

So, I have some questions for you. My first question is does your partner know what you like? The answer to this question is very telling. This separates the man who knows but doesn’t act on it from the man who just doesn’t know. Either way the answer is communication. But before we go there, I want to speak to the woman who just answered my question with the answer, “well I don’t know what I like.”

This was my client’s answer and so I helped her figure it out with some questions that I want to ask you, my friend. What have you watched or read that turns you on? We’ve all been turned on at one point by a movie scene or by some erotica. I want you to really think about what it was that got you going. Was it a specific statement? A position? A certain visual? Allow yourself to explore this in your mind and really identify what it is that turns you on. It might even be a different man that you know. That’s totally ok – we’re all attracted to different people – it doesn’t’ mean a thing about your marriage. But use that clue. What characteristics about other people get your going? Add that to the list of things that turn you on.

And then tell your partner. Straight up say, “this turns me on.” I have yet to meet a man who didn’t want to know that. Lean into what authentically lights you up and clearly state this to your partner. You cannot expect your partner to read your mind. I’ve talked about this a lot  with non-sexual topics but it goes for sex too.

Most likely the two of you went at it like rabbits early in the relationship or before having kids. But a lot of that was possible because of shiny object syndrome… If you’re going to be with this person the rest of your life, you better start communicating what you want. Because who wants to have a marriage where sex doesn’t feel fun? And God knows its definitely not fun when in your head you’re wondering how long it’s going to take.

Ok so my first point here is figure out what you like and tell your partner. I asked my client to send me some of her takeaways from our coaching and I’m going to read a quote from her. She said, “I for a long time thought amazing sex was for ‘other people’… whoever those other people were… But because I wasn’t communicating or acting on what I liked or really being mindful of what really got me going – the most mindfulness I had around sex was just making sure it didn’t go too long in-between. And when we did have sex, because I wasn’t very in touch with myself, I would just go along with what he wanted. Again, I never really gave it much thought. So while we never really let too much time pass, it was always more one sided.

But then I realized (in convos with YOU) that just like I am able to create the life I want to live… my house, my mindset, my routines, being healthy… I can also create the sex life I want too. It was freeing to know that it IS available to me too… I just needed to lean into what I like and most importantly – communicate them.

That was the missing piece. I avoided this conversation with my partner for many different reasons… being uncomfortable, not really knowing how to explain what I wanted, not knowing if it was normal. But just like with so many things, talking about it helps you realize that none of those things were actually true.

This conversation just isn’t had enough… about how it actually can just keep getting better. Instead, we make so many jokes about how sex just goes downhill once you’re married… and how it’s so normalized to put our bodies down and not appreciate them. Why is it so much more ‘comfortable’ to do both of these things than it is to say – I love my body and these things turn me on?

But once I realized that I still get to decide that it DOES only keep getting better and that this is a whole world to explore and have fun with… it changed everything. Something that used to be such a weight, actually is lighter and brighter.”

Ugh so good. I can’t tell you how happy it makes me to hear her say these things. Because the truth is that being more sexually connected helps you feel more connected in general. There’s a chemical component to that but also the openness of expressing your desires in bed opens a door to express other kinds of desires as well.

The next question I want to ask you is, how do you handle it when your partner wants to have sex and you don’t? Or when your partner wants to try something, you don’t want to try? Very often, we focus on telling our partner what we DON’T like – both in and out of the bedroom. But what if we focused on telling them what we DO like? Now that’s a totally different energy, isn’t it?

I’ve heard from many, many men that they feel rejected on a regular basis – even by the person they’re sleeping with! Generally speaking, it IS the man chasing the woman. Not always but if we zoom out and take a wide view of the gender roles in this area, I feel comfortable saying that it is predominantly the man wanting to have more sex and the woman saying yes or no.

And if you’re a busy tired mom, you’re probably saying no a lot. Which is ok but HOW do you say no? Because what I hear from men consistently is that they are tired of feeling rejected so they just stop trying. Or they stop tuning in to different ways of trying and they literally just ask for sex – which let’s keep it real – is not sexy.

So help your man out. Here are some suggestions to saying no in a way that helps the two of you stay sexually connected. You could say, “I’m not feeling it tonight but do you know what would be so fun for us to try tomorrow night?” or “Right now I need to go make the kids lunches and get the day started but send me a sexy text while I’m doing that so I can get excited to see you tonight.” Or “that might be something I can get into in the future but do you know what I’d rather try tonight?”

Do you hear the difference between that and just a plain old, “not now?” I also love leaning into the energy of a build up. Sex doesn’t’ just happen in the bedroom. It can happen throughout the day through text or spicy pictures. It can happen with a whisper in the ear while making dinner. Be playful. Open up to the idea of teasing and playing. It will make all the difference.

Now, y’all know that I am the kind of coach that likes to go deep. So, I do need to do that for a minute with this last question which is, What is your relationship to sex? Now this doesn’t necessarily involve your partner at all. What did your mother or father say to you about sex growing up? What messages did you receive from movies and music about sex? How has the unrealistic portrayal of sex in porn affected your thoughts about yourself in bed?

Your thoughts about sex in general will dictate how you show up in your sex life. So, while a big part of owning your sex life is getting in touch with what you like and communicating that, you may still feel blocked if you haven’t taken a look at your relationship with sex. I strongly encourage you to journal about this a little bit.

In my new group coaching program that I am opening next month, I have a whole section just on sex. Your relationship with sex, your sexual relationship with your partner, what you like, and how to communicate it. I help you figure it all out and then I help you come up with the words you need to get the conversation started.

This is the first time that I am taking Partnership Aligned into a group model. I think it’s so powerful to be a part of a sisterhood where other women are getting vulnerable about the struggles in their marriage. Once you realize you’re not alone, a whole world opens up for you.

In this new program, you get my brand-new full course called Master Your Marriage & Your Mind, which is 20 years of work put into one self-paced course. You also get two group coaching sessions a week, plus a 1:1 session with me every month as well as access to me in between calls. I am SO EXCITED to provide this level of support for you. To give you both a private and small group space to work through the obstacles in your marriage and create the partnership you’re craving.

If this sounds like something you’d be interested in, shoot me an email at Elana@nullpartnershipaligned.com and I’ll send you some details.