Going From 0 to 60: Sex Advice for Your Long-Term Relationship

[ 0 ] April 17, 2014 |

Breast-Augmentation-–-Better-Sex-LifeDr. Marianne Brandon’s sex advice to women in long-term relationships: Identify ways to assist your body’s arousal BEFORE you enter the bedroom.

“I just want our sex to feel like it did before we were married.”

As a sex therapist, I hear that statement – or versions of it – at least several times a week.  And it is certainly an understandable wish. Who wouldn’t want to maintain heightened desire over the course of their romance? But love-making – and in particular, a woman’s arousal – is quite complex. A variety of issues can result in dampened passion over time.  Let’s explore a typical “arousal dilemma,” and then identify some workable solutions for dealing with it.

Related: From Dull to Dramatic: How to Make Sex Exciting Again

Sexual arousal refers to the physical changes that occur as the body prepares for love-making. For both men and women, arousal involves increased blood flow to the genitals. In women, it also includes vaginal lubrication. When an intimate relationship is new, both men and women tend to experience arousal as relatively foolproof and automatic. That is, when they want to make love, their bodies are pretty much ready for action. That’s because a new partner, especially when paired with the experience of falling in love, helps to make arousal feel natural and easy – no effort required. In fact, at the beginning of a relationship, most people feel as if their bodies were revving naturally at 30MPH (if 60MPH is orgasm). That was in part because your brain was constantly triggering your body with sexy thoughts of your lover. So, when your partner walked into the room, you probably responded by revving up from 30 to 40!  In this way, by the time you and your lover hit the sheets, you were already half way to an orgasm, and foreplay hadn’t even begun! Your own body had done most of the work already, and your lover had to do little more than show up to help you reach top speeds in mere seconds. Yes, those were the days.

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Fast forward a few years. Now your partner is no longer mysterious and new, which makes him or her a bit less titillating. Your brain is no longer enjoying the ecstatic neurochemical bath we call falling in love. Sexual habituation is setting in – that is, all sexual stimuli, sex partners included, naturally become less exciting with time. Even age itself may be taking its toll. Genital response slows with age, just as all other body parts do. So now, rather than revving at 30 before your partner even walks into the room, you might consider yourself lucky to be revving at 10. Much of the time, you may even be tracking below 5 MPH. Lusty feelings have matured into love, and your partner’s mere presence probably doesn’t make your heart skip a beat – or cause your engine to automatically accelerate.

So here-in lies a challenge of arousal. When you were falling in love, neither you nor your partner had to exert much effort for your body to reach 60 MPH. But that sweet time passes, and lovers must eventually learn how to help their bodies turn on.

Related: Never Say This Word to Your Spouse

improvesexFor example, one mistake that women make as they age is to assume that their partner “should” still be able to take them to 60, even though now they are starting essentially at zero – not 30 as they once were. Or, instead of putting this pressure on her partner, a women may pressure herself, expecting that she shouldn’t require 10 minutes of foreplay just to get to 30 MPH. These misinformed approaches often end up feeding either her partner’s sexual self-consciousness, or her own. Sometimes a woman will question whether she still loves her partner, falsely assuming her body would still be as highly responsive as it was in the early years of her relationship. If she has an affair, her body will of course be more responsive to a new partner, further confusing her. Or she might become anxiously self-aware during foreplay, monitoring her arousal rather than enjoying the sensation, her thoughts ultimately blocking her body’s natural pleasure response. Obviously, the more anxious she becomes about what her body is doing, the less likely her body will be to arouse.

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These issues often bring folks into sex therapy. What to do? Well, what not to do is start your love-making with a cold engine. Expecting to go from 0 to 60 is possible, but starting at 30 will probably make the experience much more enjoyable for you and your partner. So, I often encourage women to identify ways they can assist their body’s arousal BEFORE they enter the bedroom.

Dr. Marianne Brandon

Dr. Marianne Brandon

Just as years ago when she was falling in love and her mind generated sexy thoughts about her new lover, now she must help herself get into “sexy” mode in advance of love-making. She can do this by reading erotica, wearing lingerie, masturbating, doing sexy yoga stretches like hip openers, taking a luxurious bath, or whatever else helps her warm up her engine. Her goal is to find ways to get herself revving to 30 before she enters the bedroom. In this way, she will be approximating the experience of love-making when her relationship was newer. In doing so, she may well find that arousal flows more easily, touch feels more sensual, her mind is more able to focus on the pleasures at hand, and her sexual experience is more satisfying.

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Category: Intimacy, Relationships

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About Dr. Marianne Brandon: Dr. Marianne Brandon is a clinical psychologist and Diplomat in sex therapy through AASECT. Dr. Brandon is Director of Wellminds Wellbodies LLC in Annapolis, Maryland. She is author of Monogamy: The Untold Story and co-author [...]
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