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Losing intimacy
A loss of intimacy or sexual desire can happen in any relationship. Both men and women can experience a loss of desire and it can be very difficult for the other partner to cope. If may feel as if the partner who does not want to have sex has shut down. It may seem as if he or she never initiates sex or has lost interest in completely. Even a temporary dip in your sex life can lead to other difficult feelings, ranging from minor frustrations to more severe distress. There are many reasons a couple stops having sex. There are psychological and physical symptoms that can affect sexual desire, or there may be other factors at play, connected to your environment or other social pressures. Psychological factors Psychological factors could play a major role in sexual problems. Your mental and emotional state can have a significant impact on how you feel about sex – including whether you want to have it at all. Your thoughts have a powerful effect on your body and, once you find yourself in a negative frame of mind, it can be very hard to move forward. Think about how you have been feeling lately. Have you been under stress? Are you anxious about something? Perhaps this could be influencing your partner too. How do you think they might be feeling? Physical factors Intimacy can be affected by physical problems like erectile dysfunction, low desire, vaginismus, pain during intercourse, and premature ejaculation. These might be caused by psychological factors, a poor diet, lack of sleep, or side effects of some medications. If you are concerned about any of these problems, seek advice from your doctor. After the birth of a child, both women and men can be anxious about having sex again. Women may still be in physical pain, and men can worry causing damage. On top of this, new parents are often very busy and exhausted, making it difficult to get back to the way things were before. There is more information on this in the section on 'parenting together'.  Environmental factors Where you live and your immediate surroundings might also play a part. If you or your partner live in a shared house or with parents, you may worry about being overheard, or just feel strange about having sex when there’s someone else in the house.Other stresses in your life, like troubles at work, money worries, or a family crisis, can also put extra pressure on your sex life. What is your current situation? Could something unrelated be causing a problem for you and your partner? Social pressures Portrayals of sexuality in films and TV, or even on our friends’ social media profiles might lead you to think that everyone else is having sex all the time. Even if you know this is unrealistic, it can still put pressure on you to measure up. Sex is very personal for every couple. What feels right for one couple may not be for you. Try to let go of the pressure to do what you think you should be doing, and instead just focus on being happy with your partner. Sex is a difficult subject to talk about, but each of us has our own needs and desires and it’s OK to talk about these with your partner. Try have a frank and open discussion about what you’d like and any problems you might have, encouraging your partner to share their side of things too.   If you can break the cycle of negative thoughts and start to think positively about yourself and your sex life, it will help you start to get back on track.  If you are concerned about any of the issues raised above, seek professional support from a doctor, or a sex and relationships counsellor.
Article | intimacy, sex
18 4 min read
One simple change to improve your sex life
If you are among the many couples who put so much pressure on themselves to have amazing sex that you are avoiding it all together, one simple change could make all the difference. In a poll of 6,000 people, nearly half said they were happy with their sex lives. However, that leaves more than half of us wanting something more. Just over half said they had not had sex at all in the last month. Researchers involved in the study suggested that simply changing your attitude can make all the difference to how happy you feel about your sex life. Many couples say they want sex to be more spontaneous but, due to the nature of our busy modern lives, it’s sometimes necessary to plan for our intimate moments. This may not be such a bad thing, especially as it can reduce the pressure you’re putting on yourselves, and help you enjoy the sex you are having. Another easy way to change your attitude is to recognise the good things you already have. Rather than trying to live up to sex you see on TV, or what you imagine other people might be doing, just allow yourself to enjoy the reality of your own relationship. Remember also that sex doesn’t always have to mean intercourse – it all counts, and the important thing is that you both have a good time. If you’re very busy or exhausted after a long day, sometimes just an intimate cuddle can be enough to help you feel close and remind each other of the connection you share. Psychosexual therapist Cate Campbell says: “It’s sad that so few people are sexually satisfied and put pressure on themselves to perform. Noticing what is going well, rather than dwelling on problems, is quite difficult when we’re all bombarded with messages about how sex ‘ought’ to be. “Sex definitely doesn’t have to be disappointing – there's plenty that can turn your situation around so you can enjoy a sustained, fulfilling sex life. What constitutes a satisfying sex life can vary wildly from one person to the next, so working out what makes you tick is a great starting point”.
Article | sex, communication
“Loss of intimacy”
This post was published by a Click user. Please feel free to respond in the comments below. We sometimes edit posts to ensure Click is a safe, respectful place to share stories and questions. _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________   My husband and I have been married 3 yrs with 2 kids together (4 kids total). Our sex life has always been great but for the past year it hasnt been. We will have sex every now and then. Maybe every 2 weeks and sometimes every month or longer..I started to become curious as to why he lost interest and noticed he was watching porn on his phone. I knew he did off and on but noticed how often he was doing it for the past few months...he would even look at this stuff during his lunch breaks at work awhile telling me he was taking a nap. His addiction affected our marriage because he never desired sex with me anymore but every now and then. We got into a heated arguement one time and he admitted he had a problem. We decided to take internet off his phone completely so he wouldnt be tempted anymore but he still isnt being intimate with me... the sex still isnt happening as often and when I confront him he swears up and down there is nothing wrong with our sex life, with me or anything that he is just lazy. He will only initiate sex if I have complained that day about it. I finally decided that I wasnt going to complain or ask him for it anymore because I didnt want to get my Hope's up that we would have sex more...I dont know what else to do
User article | intimacy, sex
“Still a virgin after four years together”
This post was published by a Click user. Please feel free to respond in the comments below. We sometimes edit posts to ensure Click is a safe, respectful place to share stories and questions. _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________   Hello, I'm 26 years old and have been married for 1.5 years. Before marriage I dated him for nearly 3 years. At the beginning of our relationship my partner was very much sexually attracted to me as he was stealing even little moments to kiss me or touch me and asked for photos and stuff but we never had full intercourse (due to cultural values), even though he liked it. Gradually I felt like he was losing interest in the sex part as soon as my mom passed away. He was obsessed in taking care for me and making me feel better. A year later we got married and moved to Australia. On our first night together and ever since I've tried several times to initiate sex but he does not want to. I'm a very shy girl in nature but I don't have any other option than initiating and trying. I make jokes, I tell him seriously that I want it but he makes jokes about it and that's it. I've began to feel desperate and during this 1.5 years I've argued and cried three times but he never answers my questions. Only thing he does is give me a hug that's it. I soon stop the conversation as I feel so ashamed of myself for being needy and sexually active. Unfortunately I feel like I'm sexually too active as I can't stop feeling desperate and I've started imagining things in my head with fictional characters. I've started watching love making videos and satisfying myself but I feel so empty. I want intimacy and during this 1.5 years we haven't even kissed lips. Whenever I try to kiss him on the cheek he laughs and pushes me away saying it tickles. Please help!! He is a lovely man and I love him!
Ask the community | intimacy, sex, sexless
If you don’t feel ready for sex
What am I up against? When ‘the norm’ is to have lots and lots of sex (or at least it just seems to be) by the time you’re ‘legal’, there can be huge pressures from friends and classmates. You might encounter pressure from elsewhere too. You may have a partner that’s pushing, or you may be putting pressure on yourself. The bottom line is, there’s pressure from all directions to have sex at a young age. How can I deal with it? It appears that everyone else is having sex all the time A survey of nearly 3,600 11- to 16-year-olds in the UK found that 86% of respondents had never had sexual intercourse. In the same survey, 78% of people overestimated the sexual activity of their peers, and many people believed their peers to be ‘more experienced’ than they actually were [1]. Remember that everyone wants to portray an image, so there’s a chance that even people close to you will be keen to exaggerate (or even invent) their sexual experiences. A person’s reputation doesn’t rest on what they do, but on what people believe they do. Choose what's right for you In one survey of teenage girls in 2010, one third of young women under the age of 15 said they regretted their decision to have sex as early as they did. As part of the study, they also asked those girls if they felt pressured to have sex early, and 20% of them said yes. But not everyone regrets their first time; some people have sex for the first time quite young and look back on it fondly. Many young women from the study said their regret stemmed from a lack of planning with their partner and a lack of control over the sexual experience. So, considering this, if you don’t want to go down the “it just sort of happened” route, keep your own intentions clear in your mind and, if appropriate, share them with your partner. Once you feel the time is right to have sex, try not to get too worked up about it. Rather, let it be something that you’ll enjoy and hopefully remember fondly.  Feel free to talk to your partner about the experience, plan ahead and don’t be afraid to say what you do and don’t want.  Consider talking with someone, maybe even a parent You might think that any teenager would rather set themselves on fire than talk to their parents about sex but, according to a survey of 1,000 13- to 18-year-olds in the UK, more than half of teens actually want to talk to their parents about sex and would trust their parental guidance if they gave it. So if you have a good relationship with one (or both) of your parents, that might be something to consider. References [1] ‘Young people not having as much sex, drugs or alcohol as they think they are’, 2014
Article | sex, YPc
“Our adventurous sex life is complicated”
This post was published by a Click user. Please feel free to respond in the comments below. We sometimes edit posts to ensure Click is a safe, respectful place to share stories and questions. _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________   Right now I am feeling very low and despondent with my marriage. About 3 yr ago, my husband confided in me that he had joined a sex website, where people share photos of themselves and have some sexual fun with others through messaging. He had not shared photos of himself, but wanted to share photos of me. He enjoyed that other men were enjoying looking at me, and reading comments left by other users on my photos. I agreed to it. It seemed like a bit of fun. It was something we enjoyed together as a couple - posting a couple of photos up when we would be having a sexy night together. From here things have slowly escalated. It started with occasional photo sharing, to more frequent photo sharing, to naughty chat with other men as a couple. I decided as a sexy surprise to him I would take control of the account and post photos without him knowing. He would find it very arousing to check in on the website throughout the week (he often works away) and see that I had posted a photo. Up until this point he was always the one to post photos of me, always with my permission. This, in turn, has led to him telling me he would love me to have sexy text conversations with other men - without him being involved. This would be when we are together in bed. I would be on the phone to another man, pleasuring myself, while he watched. I was thoroughly enjoying it. It was fun, it was exciting and he was also loving it. From here it has escalated more. We are now doing this completely separately. I will be upstairs on the phone with another man. He will be downstairs, listening. This is something we had both agreed to. He was more than happy with this arrangement. We had discussed a threesome. But ultimately he is more interested in me being with someone else, than he is in joining in. He would be perfectly happy for me to go off with another man, and tell him about it after. He enjoys this sexually - and I have been too. Its incredibly fun and exciting. I have loved the attention I have been receiving and our sex life felt amazing. Our sex life now completely revolves around this idea of me being with another man. This is where things get messy. I have been engaging in this with the same man repeatedly for the past 7 months, with increasing frequency - all with the blessing of my husband. I barely know the guy, but we had started to chat in between our sexy sessions. We get along and have a lot of fun together. And I honestly feel like I have more fun with the new guy than I do with my husband. It's gotten to the point where I can't enjoy having sex with my husband without involving this other guy (over the phone) or pretending I am with the other guy. I am also finding myself being secretive about my non-sexual conversations with this guy - because I know my husband isn't keen on it. The sexual stuff he has absolutely no problem with, but engaging in normal conversation as well seems too much like a relationship dynamic to him - which I understand, but have selfishly continued to do anyway. These feelings have crept their way into other parts of my life too. I am starting to resent my life with my husband and am left with a lingering feeling of what it would be like to start afresh on my own. My new life on my own would probably involve the other guy (although I haven't told the other guy any of this) but I am very aware that it would be a casual, lustful relationship that wouldn't last - if it was anything at all. There have been things I have found difficult in my husband's and my relationship over the years, but they are things I have been able to put aside - because i love my husband. Now these things are becoming more and more of a problem for me, and I feel I would be better off on my own. My husband is a good guy - and he has never done me wrong. I feel like I've lost the love, but I don't necessarily want to throw away everything we've had over the last 10 years for the sake of a bit of fun with a guy I barely know. And at the same time I feel like I could be ready for something new. My husband was all too willing for me to go off with the other guy for a night of passion. It would have been the perfect opportunity for me to try it out without throwing away my marriage. I have declined this offer and cut contact with the other guy for now, because I know I wouldn't be doing it for the right reasons. It wouldn't be for us to enjoy as a couple. It would be for my own selfishness. I have tried my best to be honest with my husband about all this. He is obviously hurt, and I have placed a lot of blame on him when we have been arguing. He is begging me not to give up on our relationship. Part of me feels i should try and make it work with him. The other part of me doesn't want to. I have no idea where to go from here.
Ask the community | swinging, non-manogamy