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The “S” Word - More than Just Sex - Part 1

By: Shae Reid

It’s such a taboo topic to discuss, sex. Such a natural occurrence, yet when we speak of sex, it makes us feel as though we’re being “dirty”. We understand the nature of sex, the reasons we do it, and the necessity; but what about the role of sex in a relationship? Does sex help our relationship more than we think? Everyone has a different relationship with their own partner. I can say from experience working with couples that no two relationships are the same. Each relationship needs many things; love, honest communication, trust, loyalty, friendship, fun, and the list could go on! But what many people don’t think about, is that relationships need intimacy and sex to survive.

Intimacy - close familiarity or friendship; closeness. Intimate relationship - An intimate relationship is an interpersonal relationship that involves physical or emotional intimacy. Physical intimacy is characterized by friendship, platonic love, romantic love or sexual activity. In the “new relationship” phase, which is usually about two years in, intimacy isn’t usually a problem. But after that, we tend to become more comfortable, busier living life, working, etc., so we forget about the intimacy part of the relationship. We may not think about it, but intimacy takes work! Sometimes we’re too tired, too busy, too irritated, too stressed to think about sex and intimacy, and that’s where things begin to fall apart.

Each individual in the relationship should make it a priority each day to incorporate some sort of intimate act between the two. It can be something as simple as a little makeout session just before bed, cooking dinner together and simple catching up on each other’s lives, a few minutes of cuddle time before sleep or upon waking. Though the relationship does need sex, and sexual intimacy does help a relationship to stay strong, being intimate does not always mean having sex.

The “S” Word - More than Just Sex - Part 2

By: Shae Reid

What’s the difference between a relationship partner and a roommate? It’s not a riddle, but a serious question. The answer is sex. Sex is the difference between having a partner you share a relationship and life with, and having a roommate with whom you share a house and a refrigerator. Is sex an important part of having a relationship with a significant other? Again, a serious question, to which my answer is yes! Sex is vital in a romantic relationship between partners.

Sex is so much more than a physical act between two people. It’s a special and individualized connection that those two people share. One may have shared the act and connection with others previously, but never the same with one partner as another. Besides the physical intimacy brought about by sex, other levels of intimacy are reached as well; one of which I find to be very important is communication.

So now you’re probably thinking “Well duh, I communicate everyday; we communicate everyday.” I’m sure you speak to one another, but are you actually communicating anything worthwhile? While communicating about day to day life is definitely important, it also gives the relationship that extra kick if you communicate about the intimate aspects of your lives together as well.

When we are in a committed and sexually intimate relationship, it is imperative that we talk; yes, even about sex. It may seem awkward if one is not used to conversing about the topic, but what better way for your partner to know what you like (or don’t like) than to simply tell them? And what about experimentation? If you don’t communicate about the topic, how will you know if your partner is willing to try new things with you, or what their limits are for trial and error?

Ladies, how many of you have faked an orgasm before? According to an ABC News study, an average of 48% of women have faked an orgasm; and that’s only the one’s who were honest about it! So, why fake it when you can simply talk about how to make it better, and actually enjoy it? If you fake getting pleasure, your partner will continue to think what they did was great, and that you loved it! Therefore, your partner will continue to do the same things, while you continue to fake it; it’s a vicious cycle that no woman wants to get into. I understand sometimes the absence of pleasure is physiological and/or medical, but I strongly believe talking about the issue is the first step.

See where I’m going with this? Communication is key! Everyday communication, likes/dislikes, good and bad; whether it’s basic communication about the relationship, or about sex and intimacy, communication is very important to help the relationship stay healthy and continue to grow in a positive way.

So what if it’s difficult for you as a couple to have this discussion? What if you’re tired of having a mediocre sexual relationship, but can’t bring yourself to have “the talk” with your partner? Well that’s where a sex therapist comes in and can assist in leading you into your new sex life! A sex therapist can provide so much that the relationship may be lacking, and can assist you in finding what can help get that spark back. But again, it all starts with communication!

Self-Care

It seems like just yesterday school was getting out for the Summer! Each year, I feel that Summer vacation gets shorter and shorter. As we all know, the first few weeks back at school can be chaotic and stressful. Getting back into the swing of things can be a challenge. The self-care that we indulged in during the Summer, can seem like a distant dream. It doesn’t have to be! Below is a short list of self-care activities that you and/or your child can do, that doesn’t take up much of your day. Don’t be scared to SCHEDULE self-care into your weekly schedule. It is just as important as those other things on our to-do lists!

  • Coloring
  • Talking with a friend
  • Lunch with a friend
  • Going for a walk
  • Watching your favorite TV show
  • Bubble bath
  • Deep breathing
  • Massage
  • Read a good book
  • Look at the stars
  • Anything that stimulates your senses
  • Cook your favorite meal
  • Watch the sunset
  • Light your favorite scented candle
  • Cozy up under your favorite blanket
  • Listen to your favorite song

“I have come to believe that caring for myself is not self-indulgent. Caring for myself is an act of survival.” -Audre Lorde

-Rachel

Supporting Loved Ones

How to support our loved ones through difficult times

Have you ever thought to yourself, “How can I help?” I know I have. I often have family members ask me, “What can I do to help him/her through this?” Though there is no one answer that cures everything, there are some things that we can do as caregivers/family/friends that do help when someone we love is going through a hard time.

  • Express your care and support - They do want to know that you love them, it makes a difference.
  • Be involved in therapy when needed - Ultimately this is their therapy and it’s their decision, but when they ask, please come.
  • Don’t try to fix, police, or take charge of their problems - Ultimately, they have to be the one to take responsibility for their issues. However, an empathetic nonjudgmental ear is welcome.
  • Spend quality time together as a family or as a couple everyday - I know we live in a busy world, but sharing quality, positive time together, helps to normalize our lives and nourish us physically and emotionally. It’s great to not ALWAYS concentrate on what’s going wrong, but to focus on what is going right!
  • Encourage them to utilize their healthy coping skills-The key word here is encourage.
  • Remember, we don’t want to fix, police, or take charge of them and their recovery. Offer to do the skills and healthy activities with them (going for a walk, practice deep breathing/meditation, etc.).
  • Focus on coping with your own challenges in a healthy and effective way - We can’t pour from an empty cup. So take care of yourself too!

As we work on becoming better versions of ourselves, it takes time. Ultimately, showing our love and support in a nonjudgmental tone often goes so much further than we think!

-Rachel

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Flower Mound Counseling, PLLC
2901 Corporate Circle, Ste 100
Flower Mound, TX, 75028
(972)910-2044
info@flomocounseling.com