Transcript of the video: Sex and Intimacy – Overcoming the common complaints and building intimacy
As the principal therapist at From 2 to 3 relationship and marriage counselling in Crows Nest, New South Wales, I wanted to tell you more about a topic that is often brought up in my room when we get to issues and concerns.
That topic is about sex, and what I wanted to share with you are the most common complaints that I’ve heard and I hear from her but also the complaints I hear from him. It is important to understand that sex is the union of two people, but it is also the union of the real self when people are their most vulnerable to be with each other.
The Most Common Women’s Complaints
What I’ve seen is that intimacy is deeply affected by misunderstandings that arise in the sexual area between men and women. First of all, I will share with you the most common complaints that women will often say in the room. That is: “He thinks that I should always be willing to have sex when he is ready.”, and “When he touches or kisses me, that automatically means sex”. What we also hear is: “ He touches me straight on the breast, genitals or the butt, and there’s no warm-up at all. He thinks that I should always have an orgasm”, or “He goes too fast for me.”
There are many other complaints like: “He says that I’m often too tired, and I whenever I am tired (which can be legitimate) then he receives that as an excuse” or “We have sex the same way” which often causes that people end up finding that a bit boring. There is also “He has not been romantic at all, throughout the day, and then we may potentially have an argument at night, and for him it’s just – well let’s just go to bed and have sex”. I think one of the biggest complaints that women have is: “He thinks that I’m just going to be like a man which can be just turned on and can be ready to have sex at any time”. These are just some of the complaints that I hear from women, and then there are also complaints that I hear from men.
Men Have Different Complaints
I deal with a lot of relationships that have young families, and one of the things that I often hear is that “She was really much more sexual before children, and now she’s not so interested in sex anymore”. There is also “She’s always too tired. She lies there like a log, I’m the one who always has to initiate sex.” Don’t forget these are the complaints from the men. The man often gets bored from having to just always initiate sex, and they often complain that she doesn’t touch them in the way that they would like to be touched or where they would like to be touched.
Man often thinks that she feels that once a week is enough, that she’s too tired. Also, you can hear from the man that he’s often too tired when he comes home from work, but then she doesn’t want to have sex in the morning, so that’s an issue. Another frequent complaint from the man is because a woman takes longer to warm up, often a man will say: “Well, I can’t last long enough till she’s ready”.
Often, body image seems to come into the picture as well, so women will often say to the men that she feels too fat, and not sexy enough where he thinks she’s fantastic, so it becomes more about her body image. She also doesn’t like to get undressed in front of him, and men often quite like when the woman gets undressed, particularly in the lingerie or underwear. The big complaint at the end of all this is that everything just has to be right for her – the time and the place, and her mood. In the end, the man often says: “It’s just too hard, I give up.”.
These are some of the complaints that come into the room quite often, and I think what we need to look at a couple of things. Regarding the complaint that women take a lot longer to warm up – they’re like a kettle, and you know we hear the kettle starting to boil. Once a woman has boiled she will be far more sexually on the go than a man is, and can last a lot longer than a man can. For them, it’s really much more about the sexual act coming, and then it’s finishing, so the potential for women is a lot greater, and women are far more sexually active than men. That is a bit of a misunderstanding.
Little Things Which Are Very Significant
The other thing that needs to be shared is that sex isn’t something that’s in isolation, it’s the whole being, it is one part of intimacy, and when we look at sex, we look at it as being a buildup of several little things through the day, and through the month.
An example of that would be – in the morning it’s being interested in each other’s day, and then it’s remembering when you leave to go to work to give each other time to say goodbye and have a parting and kiss or hug. If they’ve given you five things they’ve got on that day it’s just remembering one of those things, and then sending a potential text before that, like “Good luck in your meeting”, or “I hope your lunch goes well”. Then later in the afternoon: “Hope the meeting went well. Looking forward to hearing about it tonight.” or “I hope your lunch was great. Looking forward to hearing it tonight”.
Then when you come in, it’s the union of having that welcome back and separating work from home. The togetherness of that union means coming back together again, and giving that hug and kiss again as the welcome, and setting up a time to hear about each other’s day. By doing that, we’re building up positive sentiment in really understanding and being with each other’s worlds, so when it comes to going to bed and sex there’s going to be a lot of positive sentiment or warmth that has been accumulated through the day.
Therefore, that is like the build-up of the slow kettle, it’s building, and building, and building all day, and it still does mean that there needs to be some sort of warm-up. What we are looking for, is that warmth builds up, and there is already that energy in the air to want to have that union. Sex isn’t separate from all of those little things that have happened throughout the day. What is the situation, is that the person who’s initiating or wants sex without that is more an intruder rather than being invited as a lover into the equation.
We Can Solve Those Misunderstandings Together
Some people will bring out those complaints about men and women, but I think the lesson is – those are the misunderstandings that can often be talked about. What I do with my couples or individuals, is we are all looking for a deeper connection in our relationships. If we work through those misunderstandings and those complaints and understand what is underneath each one of those complaints, and how we would like to meet our needs, then often partners have a lot of revelations. They learn how it could be done differently, so if you are in that position in your relationship, we would have this issue dealt with.
To have that rich fulfillment and connection it does take work as far as deeper communication and self-awareness, some good communication and sexual skills that can be learned. Ask anybody who’s been in that position when it’s on, it’s fantastic, so I look forward to hearing from you! You can give me a call or send me an email at any time, and I will get back to you as soon as possible.