Is sex really important to a relationship?
Sexual pressure in the relationship
Relationships and especially a partnership can enrich your own life. But wherever and however people are related to one another, sooner or later conflicts or unhealthy dynamics can arise. This includes, for example, sexual pressure in the relationship. This can have different backgrounds and dealing with this important relationship topic is worthwhile so that the relationship can grow. As the?
What is meant by sexual pressure?
Sexuality plays a role in most relationships. Sex can make an important contribution to relationship satisfaction and also to one's own life satisfaction. Sexual pressure in the relationship arises, for example, when the relationship partners want to have sex differently and believe that they will not meet the other's expectations and wishes.
How is sexual pressure expressed in the relationship?
Sexual pressure can be felt, for example, by feeling uncomfortable when thinking about sex or wondering whether you want to have too little sex or too much sex with your partner. Typical thoughts are: “I / we are / are not normal”, “my partner is going to leave me” or “we need to have more sex”. These thoughts are often accompanied by feelings of shame, guilt, and fear. As a result, it is possible to evade your partner in order to avoid sex. This behavior can also lead to misunderstandings or even disputes. When there are problems with pronunciation, the partnership suffers and the sexual pressure in the relationship can in turn increase as a result.
Reasons for sexual pressure in the relationship
There are several reasons that sexual pressure can build up in a relationship, the most important of which are:
Believe in stereotypes
Perhaps you are familiar with sentences like: “Men always want sex”, “Women should let men wait to have sex” or “It is normal for couples to have sex 2-3 times a week”. Often these inflated expectations are conveyed to us by society and we simply adopt them. However, this stereotypical thinking can lead to the assumption that your sexual pleasure or displeasure is “not right”. This increases the pressure to have to behave differently towards the partner.
Sex is not fun
If you don't experience sex as fulfilling or enriching for you, it's natural that you don't feel very excited about it. The important thing is: if that's okay with you, that's okay too! Again, the belief: "Sex must always be fun, fulfilling, etc." behind it - and this creates pressure. However, if sex is uncomfortable, and you might even experience pain, there are psychotherapeutic options to change your sex experience in a positive way. You can find more information, for example, in our article Treating vaginismus or in our detailed article Vaginismus & Co.
It is very unlikely that two people will always have the same desire for sex in all phases of life. Always wanting to do justice to your partner in this regard will therefore sooner or later create an inner feeling of pressure.
If other areas of the partnership are in a bad way, you may feel less desire to have sex with your partner. However, in order not to endanger the partnership any further, the feeling can arise that “at least one has to sleep together”. These thoughts create pressure.
What helps with sexual pressure in a relationship?
First, try to find out for yourself where the sexual pressure you feel in the relationship comes from. Questions that will help you with this are:
- Is it actually my partner's expectations or desires that are putting me under pressure? Or is it the expectations that I fear my partner will have could?
- Do I have expectations of myself that come from my environment, the media, common stereotypes?
- Do I experience sex as pleasant and enriching? If not, do I want to change something about that?
- Do I feel drawn to my partner or do I actually want another (sexual) partner?
- Do I feel confident and safe with my partner in order to want to and be able to live out my sexuality?
Talk to each other
You may only be able to clarify the first of these questions in an open conversation with your partner. You cannot and should not try to guess the wishes and expectations of your counterpart. It can be difficult to initiate such a conversation, but enduring the sexual pressure is also a burden for you in the long term. Therefore: take courage! As an introduction you can choose exactly this honest phrase: "I find this topic difficult to address, but before I give myself too much thought, I just want to ask you."
It is quite normal for one's own sexuality and the sexuality experienced together to change during a partnership.
Certain phases of life and events can lead to a greater or lesser desire for sex. Trying to “force” you to always have the same desire to have sex with your partner can create tremendous pressure. Instead, try once to allow changes. For example, if you feel pressure, tell yourself internally: "My relationship can develop, our sex life and my need for sex can change in all possible directions."
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