Bored in the Bedroom?
Let’s be honest, we’ve all had transactional sex. Genital A inserts into or rubs up against Genital B. Friction, friction, more friction. Orgasm.
And this act of sex sometimes takes about as long as it does to read this sentence.
If transactional sex is so monotonous, why do we regularly resort to this? For one, our social script defines sex as the genital performance towards orgasm. Secondly, most media perpetuates this message in movies, TV and porn. Sex scenes in Hollywood movies tend to be very brief. (Versus the long screen time we allow for violence…but I won’t go there now). Thirdly, we live busy lives that have only gotten busier and more distracted with Apple and Android technology. Even when we separate ourselves from our screens to have sex, we often forget how to more deeply connect. And then fourthly, maybe we never learned how to integrate intimacy into sex.
To the last point above, we rarely teach our children and adolescents about intimacy, mutual pleasure, and sensuality. Then we grow up and magically must know how this all works—how to have intimate sex with our whole brain, body, and spirit, circling energetically from physical orgasm to emotional orgasm. I learned a lot about sex growing up. So much so I became a sex therapist. But, I never learned about the depth and potential of intimacy. Most of us don’t. It’s a learned skill we must acquire with on-the-job training, or rather, being in connection or relationship with a romantic other. So in the meantime, we defer to…transactional sex. Or when we are busy, we have transactional sex. Or when we want or need to keep distance from our partner, we have transactional sex.
Once in a while, this is the only thing we can squeeze in to maintain a physical connection. And that’s fine. But if this is the only kind of sex we are having, then we need to explore why. If your answer is, “because I like it and it works for me”, then great, high five to you! If your answer is, “I’m don’t feel safe being any closer to my partner”, or, “I have no idea how to drop deeper into sensual and erotic connection”, then let’s start deconstructing those barriers and learning new skills. Read below for three quick tips!
Experiment One: Do you have any ghosts in the bedroom? Anyone from the past that broached a boundary or left you feeling unsafe in your body? Go buy an ugly pillow from some big brand-named store and tape the name of this ghost, or ghosts on the pillow. Then the next time you have sex, throw this pillow out of the room. Punch it a few times too, if you’d like. Later on, you may want to burn or bury it in your backyard. If it feels nurturing to you, enlist your partner to be part of this process.
Experiment Two: Explore your sensual body with your partner for 10 minutes every day. But, don’t explore the typical erogenous regions like the genitals. After three days of full-body/non-genital erogenous exploration, add in the genital contact. Then, start again. Three days of full-body/non-genital exploration, followed by a fourth day with genital contact. Remember to consider a diverse range of touch and all your five senses as you explore your partner.
Experiment Three: After one of you initiates sex, pull out your phone and set a timer for 2 minutes. When the timer goes off, make eye contact. You may laugh and giggle at the game of this, but go along with it anyway. Press snooze on the timer and make eye contact again when it goes off. Allow the laughter and giggles again. Keep repeating until you are able to make eye contact for a few intimate seconds. And remember, if this is difficult, the laughter and giggles are perfectly fine too!