How To Deal When Everything In Your Relationship Is Great—Except The Sex
Two years ago, my new husband and I found ourselves in a difficult place. Though deeply in love and thrilled to be together, sex was a struggle. As healthy, confident, experienced and open-minded adults, we were stumped. In our three years together we'd been through hell and back and even spent over a year in traditional couples counseling. Therapy helped, but one issue remained the same. Each year together we were shown more and more how we were the "perfect" match for each other and our love deepened, yet sex continued to be difficult.
How do you deal when everything is perfect except sex?
Early on, we knew we'd always do things differently than the average couple and that our union, marriage, and relationship would be more about conscious relating and spiritual growth and less about following the rules set by society. Yet, we wanted the deep, passionate sex that everyone longs for. We continually asked ourselves: How do you make it work with a partner who may have different sexual needs than you when you know in your heart that they are your ideal match?
Eventually, we threw up our hands and, after almost ending our union several times, accepted things as they were. We decided that we'd rather have a life together with hit-and-miss sex than not be together at all. And then I met a tantra coach and everything changed.
I've always been a risk-taker and I'll do whatever it takes to be happy. So I signed up for a program with a local tantra and sexuality coach to learn more about my own body. I had learned a little about tantra in my yoga teacher training and I figured I'd start with connecting more to myself with hopes that it'd help my marriage.
Although in the West we see tantra as all about sex (more of it with more people), I learned that it's all about authenticity and being completely present in every moment. You don't even have to have sex to practice tantra! Over the next year a new world was opened to me and my relationship was forever changed. Here are some tools, techniques, and tips I learned along my journey:
1. Tantra and sexuality coaching
If you're feeling stuck sexually or at your wit's end with your sexual connection in a relationship, I recommend working one-on-one with a tantra coach or sex educator. You may find there are many things you didn't know about sex coaching. Working with a tantric coach can be really helpful if you're processing the aftermath of an affair or you sense you have energetic blocks when trying to connect sexually with your partner. In addition, if the female orgasm seems like an impossibility, a tantra coach can help.
Maybe my greatest lesson was this: How you do sex is how you do life. So improve your life and you'll improve your sex; improve your sex and you will improve your life. In my case, I'd worked for years on improving my life and still the sex was an issue. Tantra coaching was the final piece to the puzzle. In your coaching program you may find, like we did, that you need to go beyond verbal coaching and experience bodywork sessions. These may include pelvic release, lingam or yoni massage, and orgasmic meditation training.
2. Orgasmic meditation
Orgasmic meditation (OM) is a practice that combines the power and attention of meditation, with the deeply human, transcendent experience of orgasm. I found this practice beneficial in reconnecting with my own body and hit the reset button on what it means, as a woman, to receive love and pleasure from a partner.
I can say from experience that "OMing," as it's called by practitioners, will help you wake up to the experience of life more deeply. When regularly practicing, food tastes better, colors are brighter, and life feels a little less heavy. Do my husband and I practice this every day? Not anymore, but it helps to do so in the beginning. Now we use this practice as a tool if we get into a sexual rut and/or need to wake things back up again. You can learn how to OM by watching this video or find out if there is an OM circle meetup in your city.
3. Read these books.
In addition to the above, my husband and I found books useful throughout our journey. They helped us expand our thinking about sexuality, conscious relationships, tantra, and what it means to be in a committed relationship or marriage in today's modern world. I recall many days when I felt so overwhelmed by all the change I was experiencing on the inside and felt alone.
It was during those times, when I didn't feel quite ready to talk to others, that I found comfort in books. The three books that affected us the most are The Future of Love by Daphne Rose Kingma, The Way of Superior Man by David Deida, and Mating in Captivity by Esther Perel. I've turned to each of these books as guides to help me stay open, vulnerable, and connected as I make new decisions and continue to forge a new path of love for myself, my husband, and our family.
At the end of the day, I truly feel that tantra coaching saved my marriage. Though at the time, while going through deep transformation and change, I was wrought with fear, anxiety, and mixed emotions, I've found a new way to connect and experience pleasure. I can now say that my husband and I are more loving, more sexual, and more connected than ever. We learned that we aren't broken or incompatible and that things are never hopeless if you're willing to be vulnerable, grow, and change. And most of all, most "issues" with sex are problems of the mind interfering with the body.
Today, we couldn't be happier and are in the midst of planning a celebration of our union with all of our friends and family. It's not easy and we continue to do the work. What matters most is the shift in thinking that your partner is responsible for meeting your needs or "giving you an orgasm." The truth is, there is no savior. There is no knight in shining armor. It's you. You are the lover you've been waiting for. Focus on opening up to all areas of life more deeply and you'll find that love, in all its forms, will be available to you.