Tips for Surviving Monogamy

In the top 10 reasons why individuals and couples come to me for intimacy and sexuality coaching is the reality that they have simply stopped having sex. Many think that what they need is “Sexual CPR.” They know it is not because they have stopped loving each other, or even think that they have stopped finding each other sexy. It’s just that they are not “turned on” or excited by each other anymore. The problem is time and togetherness can wear down erotic energy in long-term relationships.

If you are in a long term monogamous relationship, and you have stopped having sex, or sex is very infrequent, you may think you are broken or something is wrong with you or your relationship. It might be comforting to know that you are far from alone.

Sexual boredom and the lack of fire are often the reasons why some people reach outside of their long term relationship even though they are still happy with their partner on all other levels.

In a culture that is obsessed with sex, we ironically provide very little adult sex education. Outside of a myriad of “how to” sex books, there is very little in the way of authentic tools taught to us about how to make sex happen when it stops, and how to make it feel good again.

What we need to learn is that sex needs to become a pleasure that we decide to make happen as opposed to us waiting for the heat of desire to take us over. It can seem awfully boring, and certainly not a NY Times bestseller, to preach about how we need to create time and room for sex in our lives when our hormones are not raging for it. If you are waiting to be swept away by fiery passion in a long term relationship, it is possible you will be waiting a long time for your next sexual experience!

But putting conscious effort into what we think should come naturally can be very uncomfortable for many couples. Even couples who seek sexual coaching can have a lot of trouble doing their homework, because homework means consciously choosing to have a sexual experience. It can feel very awkward and uncomfortable to put sex on the calendar for Wednesday night!

But it is also very empowering to be able to consciously deal with sex as we do with everything else that is important in our lives. When we make room for sex, and put sex on the calendar we are making a very important statement to ourselves and to our partner. In making the commitment to mindful sex, we are also declaring to our partners that not only is sex worthy of our time and attention – but so are they.

Knowing that our partners still find us desirable and are willing to plan to show up for us is incredibly important. That kind of conscious love will not only help fuel our erotic engines again, but all of the other parts of our relationship as well.

The biggest resistance I get from couples around “calendar sex” is that scheduling sex is not “hot sex.” Somehow, if we feel like our love-making is not going to be red hot and smoking, then “Why bother?” The fact is that calender sex may not start as hot sex, but it can start as “warm sex”!

Warm sex can be very nourishing and pleasurable and can reward you in a manner that hot sex can’t. Try thinking about showing up for sex as anticipating and savoring a warm, nourishing, slow-cooked, pleasurable meal. And everybody knows that a pot has to warm up before it can boil.

Sex Educator and Sexological Body Worker, Caffyn Jesse offers these tools for conscious and warm sex:

“Why not experiment with expressing a range of emotions sexually: anger, frolic, naughtiness, mindlessness? We can play doctor, play dominatrix, have sex in a car, have a wild affair with our spouse.

When couples choose to explore the path of pleasure, learning and conscious sexuality, an astonishing richness becomes possible. We can share profound bonding, ecstatic awareness, and infinite variety within a single relationship.”

Mark Semple, an Intimacy, Love and Business Coach suggests “Being gentle with ourselves is essential in this pursuit. Allowing ourselves a timeout from the demands of daily life and family. Ensuring we are our top priority and care for ourselves the way we care for everyone else. Exploring our hearts, minds, spirits and bodies to reconnect with our essence and align with that which does get out passion burning and our juices flowing.”

Allow yourselves to explore pleasure again, and challenge each other to move past your sexual limitations. Do you feel a little fear sharing a long held fantasy with your partner? Try sharing it and see what happens! Have you ever experimented with your partner with one-way touch and sensual massage? Bring out the oil! Give yourself the room to explore all of the various ways you can allow pleasure into your life.

You can welcome sex back into your relationship. You don’t have to wait until you solve all of the problems that occur in a long term relationship. Don’t be stalemated by old conflicts, grudges, and who did the dishes last. You might be surprised to discover that when you welcome sex back into your relationship in a conscious and warm way – all of those old issues may start to feel less important after all.

101 Days of Passion: Relationship Revival Tips
Marriage Beyond Monogamy
Can Sexual Desire Be Reclaimed in a ‘Good Enough’ Marriage?


Elaine A.
Elaine Al Meqdad5 years ago

My goodness you would think Monogamy was a disease the way the headline reads. My belief is, that if you really love someone, you have everything you need in that person.

Eternal Gardener
Eternal G5 years ago

Not in need for tips, thanks... ditch the pink glasses ages ago!

Brenda Towers
Brenda Towers6 years ago

The more committed you are ,the more likely it will succeed.

Jennifer C.
Past Member 6 years ago

Thank you.

Irine L.
Irine L6 years ago

The "sex problem" in the relationship is rarely about strictly sex. Odds are, theres a whole lotta worms hiding ynder that can lid. The other person is most likely not providing the emotional or mental aspects to their partner and rhus, the so called lack of sex or the lukewarm sex. Furthermore, like Jane said, the other half mite not exactly be the right other half and no amount of scheduled or unscheduled sex will help that. And yes, the focus outthere is wrongly on the sex just like this article and not on the communication and compromise between partners. The focus has to be on mutual fulfillment and satisfaction in all different areas, far beyond the sexual. Problem is ppl are mostly selfish and only care about whst can be done for them and not vice versa

Sandy Erickson
Sandy Erickson6 years ago

A good relationship is better than good sex and the sex is better in a good relationship. If we love and respect our mate we share in thier lives i.e. work,time apart,comforting...etc 'cause really sex is just sex and it does get boring if that is all there is.

Amber Beasley
Amber Beasley6 years ago

awesome! I think this is a great article.
scheduling sex might not sound good, but once you do it you find out it can actually help. at least for the woman. we've done it before, like when one of us wasn't in the mood when the other was, we would say "let's make a date for say, Friday night". then we anticipate it and think about it and plan it out in our heads until then and it ends up being amazing.

also, I have to say I don't understand what problem the world sees with monogamy. I have the person I want to be with forever and I could never imagine loving or being with anyone else. I think it is the most beautiful thing to make a commitment to one person and grow with that person for the rest of your life. I just don't see why people don't see that.

Jane Barton
Jane Barton6 years ago

I disagree, orgasms are ok by yourself but they are sheer heaven with the "right person". The problem is, the "right person" usually splits and leaves you with a broken heart. It is not reasonable to expect to find your "soulmate" because it rarely happens. Only 1 million out of 310 million people every find the right person for them. It's almost a "myth".

Duane B.
.6 years ago

It's monogamy ... not monotony!! There needs to be a deep relationship (friendship), and a commitment between the partners. If there isn't, there will always be serious problems in the relationship.

Cyrille D.
Cyrille D6 years ago

I agree with the fact that living 24/7 with someone in a serious long-term relationship doesn't help our sexuality. But, I do not think this is the only problem.

You say : "Don’t be stalemated by old conflicts, grudges, and who did the dishes last. You might be surprised to discover that when you welcome sex back into your relationship in a conscious and warm way – all of those old issues may start to feel less important after all."

I'm sorry, but, when something bothers you in your relationship, keeping the "sex" factor on track is very difficult. Sex implies emotions and if your emotionally turned off, you can't be quite turned on sexually. Both things go together.

I've never been able to be sexually active when my partner upset me, hurt me or deeply disappointed me and I don't see that happening any time soon. Why ? Because I'm human. And call me crazy, but, feelings are much more important to me than orgasms (I can get those all by myself !).