When Sex Becomes a Chore, and How to Change Things Around.

As lovers, we want to be good for our partners.

We want to please them. We want them to have an amazing sexual experience with us.

It’s very natural and it has two major reasons:

  1. We truly do care for them and when they enjoy themselves, we enjoy it too. When they feel pleasure, we get aroused. Because their pleasure is ours, at least to some extent.
  2. We also want them to recognize that we are good lovers. Because then they will love us even more… It’s very difficult to leave someone with whom you have great sex, isn’t it?

Being great in bed for our partner is an awesome trait, but there’s a catch.

Sometimes, in an effort to please our partners, we might be neglecting our own pleasure.

There’s a world of difference between pleasing our partner because it excites us, or because we want to be good for him, and pleasing our partner so he gets off our back. After a while, if we regularly have sex with our partner and don’t fully enjoy it; if we have sex when we don’t really want to, things start to go pear-shaped. Sex is becoming a chore.

It happens more often than you’d think.

Perhaps you have young children that demand your constant attention, and sex is not high on your priority list.

Perhaps you are stressed in life because you recently started a new, challenging role at work and you don’t have the capacity to relax into sex.

Perhaps you are way too busy and just rather sleep.

Perhaps sex hasn’t been that enjoyable for you lately and you’re simply not that excited anymore.

Whatever the case might be, sex has become a chore. It’s another thing to do so your partner feels that you still love him, and so he doesn’t go wandering around sort-to-speak.

And you might think that’s OK because that’s part of what relationships are all about: you need to make some sacrifices here and there for the sake of the relationship.

The thing is, if you have sex with your partner only (or mainly) in order to please him – it’s actually not good for your relationship.

He might not be telling this to you overtly, and he might not even be aware of it himself, but he can tell that you’re not there. He can tell that you are only having sex to please him and that you’re not fully in it yourself.  He might be enjoying the sex, but on a different level, he is not getting the thing he wants most: feeling connected to you.

If you’re having sex with your partner only in order to please him, you are sending him the subconscious message that he can use your body for his own satisfaction. It’s quite objectifying, really, when you come to think about it. And, you are also letting yourself down, sending your subconscious mind a signal that you are not important enough to care for your own needs.

If you’re doing this for a prolonged amount of time, there’s a good chance your relationship will actually suffer from it. You are doing this because you’re trying to maintain the relationship – where, in fact, you are most probably hindering it. Your partner might be fooled for a little while, but when a loving partner makes love with your body, while you wish you are not really there – even if he does his best to please you and even if you are both experiencing an orgasm – the connection is what your partner will soon be missing. Objectifying sex has its place in a loving long-term relationship, as part of a fantasy play or as a quickie every now and then, but not as the only form of making love.

What can you do though? Your partner wants to have sex, and you really do want to please him, but you are also exhausted/busy/don’t feel up for sex tonight.

I won’t lie to you. There is no quick fix. I will, though, mention a few things that you might not be aware of, which will help you find your own solution to this situation.

Find time for yourself:

Of course, you heard it a million times before. And I know it’s easier said than done. If you have young children around, if you have a highly stressful job, if you are really occupied with life and there’s no way out, this tip of finding time to invest in yourself might sound frustrating. But really, it is so important. As a mom to a young daughter, I know exactly how difficult it is to find a time slot that is only for me. And there could be weeks where I feel I don’t even have the time to breathe. But whenever I can, I take that time off. A yoga class. A walk in nature. One of my favorite tricks of claiming “me time” is when I’m walking down the street: I lift my head up, and I’m looking at the distance. The top of the trees; the clouds; the architecture of the highrises. For some reason, doing this for only a few minutes feels so relaxing and calm and my mind forgets for a few seconds the long “to do” list. This is my moment of “me time”. Find your “me moment”.

Make time for being affectionate with your partner:

This is not about sex. This is about affection: holding hands. A kiss on the cheek. A soft gaze into the eyes. A stroke of the hair.

Your partner wants sex, but what he craves a lot of the time is touch. A strong connection that is facilitated by a physical bond. You need to remember, that most men don’t experience any platonic touch from their family and friends. Here’s a very interesting read about how the only touch that is acceptable for men in our society is sexual. But it’s not necessarily because they only want sex. They simply miss out on everyday touches that a lot of women do get to experience. This is especially true if you are the main caregiver of babies or young children: if you are having tons of cuddles, kisses, and playtime, your body is most probably full of oxytocin (the “love hormone”) that you are already satiated, and don’t feel the need for more touch. But your partner doesn’t get as much physical attention and his needs for touch haven’t been met. Keep that in mind next time your partner wants a cuddle.

Get your priorities straight:

If you have a very demanding career, and a busy social life, or you’re the main caregiver for your children – the relationship with your partner can sometimes get overlooked. After all, he should be there to help and support you. But please consider that in order to have a satisfying, meaningful, close intimacy, you need to pay attention to your relationship, too. When you want to make progress and be great in your career, you make a big effort to excel and exceed the expectations of your clients/boss/colleagues. Same with your relationship: if you want it to thrive, you need to invest in it. Not just “give your man what he wants” so he doesn’t feel neglected: you need to be great. That means you need to find the time to truly connect with him. He is your long-term investment. After you retire, after the kids have left the nest – he is the one you want to be there for you. But you need to be there for him now. I mean, really be present.

When it comes to sex – don’t do it for him:

I can’t stress this point highly enough. Don’t make sex a chore to tick off your “to do” list.

Don’t have sex just to please your partner. Not on a regular basis, anyway.

It might feel counterintuitive, but this is really important.

If you have sex on an ongoing basis without truly enjoying yourself, you are not really there for your partner. Your partner might want more sex than you want it at this stage of your life, but instead of “giving him” what you assume he wants, it’s better to communicate with him about how to help you restore your libido. Perhaps together you can find some creative solutions to get you more “me time”, to be more affectionate together, and to prioritize your connection as lovers.

When you have invested in all the previous 3 points that I mentioned (“me time”; affection; prioritization), sex will find its way back into your life. Your libido will have time to re-establish itself when the conditions are ripe.

When you have sex for your own pleasure, when you have sex because you really want to, your partner will notice. When you really do enjoy yourself, your partner will feel more connected to you. This is what he is craving for.

Learn how to connect to your own pleasure:

Knowing what actually creates powerful, connecting, meaningful, pleasurable sex life is of utmost importance. If you’re not totally sure what I’m talking about, have a look at the free e-course I created exactly for that: How to truly, wholeheartedly enjoy lovemaking.