It happens all the time. Couples get married and expect their sex life to be just like they see in the movies: romantic and steamy. But then the honeymoon ends and they realize sex is a little more complicated than what they see on the screen.
Here are 10 of the most common questions couples have about sex answered by a marriage counselor.
Q1: What do I do if I don't want sex as often as my partner does?
A: Sex is vitally important to a healthy marriage. If your partner isn't receiving sex as often as they'd like, they're likely not feeling loved because of it. So, try finding other ways to make them feel loved like by sending sexy text messages or having steamy make-out sessions.
Also, try to have sex more often. Sex is a wonderful thing between two committed partners. If, however, you have emotional or martial issues that need to be worked out in order for you to feel more comfortable having sex more frequently, seek help from a professional sex and marriage therapist.
Q2: What do I do if my partner doesn't want sex as often as I do?
A: Be patient. Sometimes your partner is just going through temporary stressors that will go away on their own.
If it's been several months, though, and/or there are no noticeable stressors, then it's best to have a frank talk about it. Ask your partner what you can do to help. And tell them what they can do help you feel wanted.
Q3: How long does it take for my sex drive to go back to normal after giving birth?
A: After giving birth, your body goes through all kinds of changes and it takes time to get your body regulated again. Every woman varies with the amount of time it takes for her to get her sex drive back, but I find it usually takes about as long as it does for your baby to begin to sleep through most of the night.
So, work to get your baby regulated, and you'll find your body and sex drive get regulated too.
Q4: I'm not in the mood to have sex. Should I have sex anyway?
A: Sometimes desire doesn't come until after arousal. So the adage of "Fake it 'til you make it" might actually (and often does) work in this instance.
Just make sure this doesn't happen too much, or you'll start to feel violated and resentful. Do what you have to do to get in the mood as often as you can.
Q5: I need to have sex to feel loved by my spouse. Is that wrong?
A: Nope. This isn't wrong at all. In fact, sex is the only thing you share with your partner that you don't share with anyone else. So it is a unique and excellent way of showing and feeling love, romance and attraction between two people.
Q6: I need to feel loved before I have sex. Is that wrong?
A: Nope. This isn't wrong at all. The best sex is when there is meaning behind it. And love is one of those meanings that makes sex really good.
But sex can also be for other reasons like to have fun or to make up after a fight. Sex has a lot of meanings. So make sure you're not limiting your sexual expression to only when you feel loved, or you'll be missing out on a lot of other great sex.
Q7: Is boring sex normal?
A: Sometimes. But make sure it doesn't happen too often. Your relationship inside the bedroom is strongly related to your relationship outside the bedroom. So, if your sex life is boring, that means your relationship is likely boring too (or will become so soon).
It's okay to have boring sex sometimes (like when you just want to do it because you finally have time and don't know when you'll have time again), but if you have boring sex too much, you'll find it starts bleeding over outside the bedroom.
Q8: We fight a lot about sex. Are we doomed?
A: Nope lots of couples fight about sex. Join the club. If you start fighting about it too much, then it's time to see a marriage counselor. Again, join the club.
Q9. My spouse doesn't understand what I like in the bedroom. What do I do?
A: Talk about it. There's no replacement for good old-fashioned communication. Sure, sex is a sensitive topic and you may hurt feelings by giving pointers, but you're not giving pointers. You're telling your spouse what you like. Most partners are happy to do what you like, especially if it drives you wild.
If you're not having the kind of sex you like and you feel too embarrassed to talk about it, then that's your ownership, not your partner's. Get up the guts and just say it. You can't expect your spouse to read your mind.
Q10: We used to have sex a lot more often, but now we don't. Is that normal?
A: Yes and no. It's normal for your sex drive to ebb and flow - especially when there are big life-stressors (like having a baby, moving, changing jobs, etc). But make sure you're both talking about it and are both happy with the amount of sex you're having.
Aaron Anderson is a therapist and Director of The Marriage and Family Clinic in Denver, CO. He is a writer, speaker and relationship expert. Checkout his blog for expert information on how to improve your relationship.