A city just doesn’t get more sex positive than San Francisco. Here one can indulge any proclivity, explore and desire, and learn every sexual technique possible through the abundant variety of classes and workshops offered on every theme imaginable. We have naked runs, naked bike rides, naked parades. We have Folsom Street fair every year, dedicated to public BDSM and Kink. The Castro district is the Mecca for gay tourists and locals. We are a sexy city.
And yet. According to Newsweek, 20% of couples are living in sexless relationships. Yes, even here in San FranSexual. My next few posts are going to explore the sexless relationship, discuss reasons it happens, and how we can get our sexy back, if it’s fallen by the wayside.
I come to this work as a somatic sex coach through a long journey of reclaiming my desire, libido, and sexuality. It’s been my primary personal growth work for the past six years. Today, I’m at a place of feeling free and uninhibited most of the time around sex. I’m exploring pleasure at new levels, and finding unexpected treasures as I survey what my body is capable of. And it wasn’t always like this. It’s been committed work, albeit often joyful, but always work. I am only capable of leading others on this journey because I’m on it myself.
Rewind ten years. I am married, living in a long-term heterosexual monogamous relationship. We never talk about sex. We rarely have it, and when we do, it’s the same as it ever was. There is no sense of exploration, curiosity, playfulness. Often, I feel really disassociated from my body. I don’t have much sense of libido. My masturbation is completely private, not even discussed with my partner. I have shame about it.
At that point I’m tracking my ovulation, and thus have to also track sexual intercourse. So I know that for years that having sex twice in a month meant a good month. There were months we had no sex. There were stretches of months we had no sex. And again, it was never, ever discussed. We didn’t even fight about it, just pretended it wasn’t a thing. Because it wasn’t.
I knew this was problematic. I knew I wanted more from my most intimate relationship. And I hadn’t the slightest idea how to get it. I bought some Chinese medicine to increase libido. I bought a vibrator. I got a subscription to a polyamory magazine. These were all band aids. I didn’t feel like I could talk to my friends about it, because I was sure they were having way more sex than I was, and I was ashamed. I can only guess that these experiences were also painful for my partner, and that he felt a sense of loss and disconnection. Living in a sexless relationship was lonely, sad and shameful.
I write this brutally frank sharing now (I feel really vulnerable) to offer that there is a way back from the disconnect. I wasn’t able to attain that with my spouse. Perhaps if we had had support things would have worked out differently. Ultimately, it took leaving the marriage to begin the journey of reclaiming passion and sex. I don’t think it has to, though. At least, that’s the premise I’m operating under when I work with couples.
There is much gratitude I feel for my sexuality. Sexuality has refocused my life. It has been my road home to myself. And it creates a bridge of connection with my current partner. I won’t lead a sexless life again, especially within my intimate relationships. Sex energy is life force energy. I was dead. Now I’m alive.
Breaking silence about having been in sexless relationship is tough. It’s often wrenching for couples to admit things are not okay, and to seek sex support
In the next post, I’ll write about some ways sex goes away in relationship. How about you? Is sex a constant in your relationships? Does it ebb and flow? Have you ever been in a sexless period? Speaking truth is the antidote to shame. Can I get a holla?