Photography by Flickr’s “derpunk”
An extremely powerful and thought provoking article written by “tobeme” at The Naked Soul.
Is sex confusing your relationship? If you answered yes to this don’t feel alone. One of the biggest confusions within a relationship is sex.
Sexual attraction is often a catalyst for a relationship, however rarely is sexual attraction or the act of sex what sustains a relationship. Even though our biology may crave sexual satisfaction, sexual satisfaction is rarely what drives a long term mature relationship. The release of sexual energy is often followed by a wonderful physical state of relaxation and satisfaction, however emotionally we often may find that sex leaves us feeling somewhat empty and longing for something more. The reason we may feel this way emotionally after engaging in sex is because the sex lacked true passion. Many times people have sex for a lot of reasons that have nothing to do with passion. Many have sex out of obligation or to meet certain external expectations. Some people use sex as a bargaining chip, as a control mechanism, while many people have sex to attempt to fill an emptiness that they feel. When we have sex for these reasons we are often left feeling less than whole, less than satisfied and often confused about the state of our relationship. There are couples who sometimes use sex as a temporary release of tension within their relationship. In this case the sex may be great, however the under currents of dissatisfaction within the relationship remain and therefore we create confusion about the state of our relationship.
Many people become confused about their relationship when their partner does not demonstrate an interest in sex or does not have the same level of desire for sex as their partner does. The lack of sexual intimacy for many becomes a point of concern that there is something wrong with their relationship. Instead of seeking to understand the reasonable possibilities for a lack of sexual interest, we often find ourselves conjuring up all kinds of negative thoughts like, “I am not attractive”, “I don’t turn him/her on” or “Their must be someone else”. While these are all possibilities, the truth usually is that there is something else contributing to a decline or absence of sexual drive, none of which have anything to do with the state of your relationship. Reasons could be that your lover is simply exhausted or that they don’t feel well, or that they themselves perceive themselves as unattractive. When we fail to seek to understand the real reasons and we react upon our own perceptions we often cause a rift in a relationship that didn’t have any problems to begin with.
To help ourselves understand the significance of sex in our relationship, we must step outside our self and ask a question. “Why am I in a relationship with this person?” The most common answer in a long term relationship is “Because I love him/her”. Note, very few people in a mature, true long term relationship will say “because the sex is frequent and great”.
We most often enter into a relationship because we “fall in love” and that boils down to meaning that the person we are in a relationship with enhances our life in a way that we believe no one else can and in a way that we could not reproduce our self. Further to the point, we fall in love with the authentic self of the other person and not their physical form, nor the physical/sexual satisfaction that we derive from that person (even though this aspect of the relationship is a beautiful bonus).
The reality is this, if you are with the love of your life and in a emotionally and spiritually satisfying relationship, the physical part of the relationship is simply the icing on the cake and if for whatever reason the physical part of the relationship changed, it would not diminish the core of your relationship, nor would it drive you to seek another relationship.
The hardest part of understanding the meaning of sex within a relationship is the fact the most couples don’t have honest conversations about their sexual needs and expectations, nor are people honest with themselves.
The best sex that anyone ever has is that which comes within the flow of the relationship, that which is a natural outcome of all the other aspects of your relationship. Sex which is forced, coerced, bribed, etc is that which leaves us satisfied for an ever brief moment, however leaves us empty and confused.
The next time you feel confused about your relationship because of sex, you need to stop and communicate honestly with yourself and your partner. Furthermore you must reflect and truly understand why you are in the relationship that you are in and seek to know weather or not you are with the person you should be with. Too many people enter into relationships with good intentions and find themselves staying in a wrong relationship for all the wrong reasons.
To thine own self be true – this should always be your mantra as you evaluate the state of your relationship. Remember sex is simply a by-product of a loving relationship and does not carry the weight that the mass media in our culture extols.
Go check out The Naked Soul for more inspirational articles – you won’t be disappointed.