IS technology really to blame for killing off our sex lives?
About four in ten of us would rather be glued to our smartphones at bedtime than having fun with our partners, research showed this week.
And couples who don’t own a TV are six per cent more likely to make love in any given week than those that do, a separate study in the US found.
“We live in an age when we are constantly checking our phones, browsing the web and watching telly,” Relate counsellor Denise Knowles told The Sun.
“We used to switch everything off at 10.30pm. There was nothing else to do but have sex! Now, there are many other choices. Ultimately, intimacy falls down the pecking order.”
But it doesn’t have to be that way. Ms Knowles looks at eight commonplace reasons why you might not be having as much sex as you should.
PHONE IS PRIORITY
If it is more important for you to be in touch with your friends via social media or checking your work emails, you are not making your relationship your priority in life.
Whenever possible, switch everything off at 9pm — if only for “couple time” two or three nights a week.
We all need to allow some time to “be” together.
It could be you use that time for sex, or you could simply sit on the sofa holding hands. Either way, it is important to prioritise each other without that distraction of your phone in the room.
I FEEL FAT
If you are busy worrying about how your body looks, you probably won’t be enjoying sex.
It doesn’t matter how many times your partner says: “I love you and you’re gorgeous.”
If you don’t feel it, their words won’t help.
If there are certain bits you are unhappy with, you don’t have to be completely naked. You might want to cover up certain parts.
You could say to your partner: “Can you not touch me here?”
Perhaps being touched in an area you are uncomfortable with stops you enjoying sex.
Life is busy … but you are not too tired to go to work, take the kids to after-school clubs or go to the supermarket. So tiredness is not a good reason to avoid sex.
You don’t have to go for full intercourse. What about cuddles, strokes and those lovely things?
If you don’t maintain the intimacy, your relationship will suffer.
Communication is key. It doesn’t have to go on all night.
Just a few minutes of intimacy can have a hugely positive impact on a relationship, as well as on your own happiness and satisfaction.
Orgasm has become the benchmark for good intercourse — and the idea that when you have sex, you orgasm with noise and fireworks.
Yes, it is possible to have those body-shuddering experiences.
But at other times, it might just be just a little wave.
If there is a psychological reason why someone hasn’t had an orgasm, sex therapy might be useful. It might be that you are not relaxed enough or that your mind is elsewhere.
Your brain is the biggest sexual organ you have, so the mind must be engaged with what you are doing.
KIDS CAN HEAR US
After having kids, you may worry about being caught out. This is about embarrassment, not about them.
If you have teenagers, set clear boundaries about them coming into your room. If you worry about little ones hearing noises, could you try getting frisky downstairs if they are asleep upstairs?
Do you have sex when they aren’t around? If not, something else may be going wrong in the relationship and you need to get to the bottom of it.
Talking to children about sex can teach them it is part of any healthy relationship.
DON’T FANCY YOUR PARTNER
This often has a lot to do with your day-to-day relationship.
It is difficult to fancy somebody if you spend weeks arguing or if you feel they have let themselves go.
If you don’t fancy your partner any more, look at whether this is a physical thing, an emotional thing or whether there is something else going on in the relationship that is turning you off.
If you argue all the time, you need to resolve the issues.
Be open with your partner and talk about how you feel, then try to reach a compromise.
Watching porn is not harmful in itself but if doing so is the only way you can have an orgasm, you should try watching it with your partner rather than on your own.
It is often when these sorts of things are done in secret that they can begin to create problems in a relationship.
Many couples watch porn together as a way of getting aroused and this can be very exciting.
Give some thought to what it is about the porn that turns you on.
You can then communicate to your partner: “Would you like to try this?”
DON’T WANT SEX
Some people want sex more often than their partner does.
This can become a problem if it makes the person believe their partner does not want to have sex with them.
It is important to get to the bottom of why the less eager partner doesn’t want to be intimate as much as they do.
Could it be, for instance, they have erectile problems and don’t want to disappoint?
Often when this happens, men are too embarrassed to talk to anyone about it.
This article originally appeared on The Sun and has been republished with permission.