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Healing Sexual Conflicts

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Healing Sexual Conflicts

Pick battles big enough to matter, small enough to win.
-Jonathon Kozol

Most of the arguments that couples have about their sex lives are not about sex. Sex is the container, where we are most acutely aware of the spaces in our relationship that fail to connect, that make us feel small, unloved, invisible, and that reflect our deepest conflicts.  It is a little ironic that our potential for our deepest pleasure also contains our most intense turmoil, but not that surprising when you consider the “sexophrenic” culture we live in, which is split between shameful prudishness and the blatant exhibitionism that occupies media, music and mainstream advertising.

Perhaps the most universal of sexual arguments is the one that involves conflicting desire. This issue is often a precursor to many relationship endings and, while there is an extensive laundry list of medical reasons that explain low libido issues, there are probably more mental, emotional and spiritual issues that are expressed through the divergence of sexual desire. My new book, Love that Works, examines and breaks down sexual conflicts to its basic elements.

The drive to create and sustain an intimate fire is based on what I call the ground of the relationship. The ground is reflected in the kind of thinking we engage in about our partner and our relationship. It is the foundation for our fire. Even if you don’t express your doubts or resentments aloud, you can be sure that your partner feels the effect of negative thinking and the resulting sexual relationship is like trying to start a fire in a swamp.

Taking the discussion out of sexuality and expanding your questions is a good way to broaden the conversation and gain a wider perspective. When you talk about wanting more sex- consider what that means to you. When you turn away from sex, consider what you are refusing.

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Wendy Strgar

Wendy Strgar, founder and CEO of Good Clean Love, is a loveologist who writes and lectures on Making Love Sustainable, a green philosophy of relationships which teaches the importance of valuing the renewable resources of love, intimacy and family.  In her new book, Love that Works: A Guide to Enduring Intimacy,  she tackles the challenging issues of sustaining relationships and healthy intimacy with an authentic and disarming style and simple yet innovative adviceIt has been called "the essential guide for relationships."  The book is available on ebook.  Wendy has been married for 27 years to her husband, a psychiatrist, and lives with their four children ages 13- 22 in the beautiful Pacific Northwest.


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5:47PM PDT on Mar 30, 2012

"split between shameful prudishness and the blatant exhibitionism that occupies media, music and mainstream advertising."

Herein lies the problem, you can't build an intimate fire with a prudish pervert, it just won't happen. These people have mental problems and sex originates in the brain. It's called "desire". I disagree that media and music is "blatant exhibitionism", in fact there is nothing
"wrong" or "sinful" about nudity. If there was, then why don't we make dogs wear diapers?
Humans are just animals, like every other animal on earth, they just THINK they are superior and special. They think when THEY have sex it's some kind holy, sacred act. It isn't, it's their ANIMAL coming out. People who have lived in fear, shame and guilt all their lives can't just "decide" to "let go". The "shame" has been imbedded in their brains and they need large amounts of therapy to heal that. I would love to hear some current stats from real doctors on how successful "healing sexual conflicts" actually is.

2:06AM PST on Nov 8, 2010


5:26PM PDT on Oct 24, 2010

I am too shy to have sex, I guess.
My girlfriend as well.. We don't dare to do anything nor talk about it.

1:50AM PDT on Oct 23, 2010

Keep the intimacy going. So when the sex is gone, you still have romance.

12:36AM PDT on Oct 22, 2010

When couples start making love instead of "having sex" alot of conflicts will be resolved.

10:37PM PDT on Oct 21, 2010


1:49PM PDT on Oct 21, 2010

It's too true that the best sex is with someone you love, who loves you back. When my marriage broke down, everything else fell apart first, one thing after another. Trying to patch up a failing marriage with sex is like trying to light a fire on damp coal. It really doesn't work. Communication is the key.

11:17AM PDT on Oct 21, 2010

Important points.

6:44AM PDT on Oct 21, 2010

And sometimes you can loves someone deeply talk frequently and it still doesn't work. If the love is strong, there are other things to use besides organic equipment.

5:25AM PDT on Oct 21, 2010

I think that was the best column I've read of yours, Wendy. You said so much so concisely, covering a LOT of ground. Anyone who needs this info for their relationship problems will "hear" what you're saying and they hopefully will explore it further. Good stuff!

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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