There is a lot of pressure placed on the honeymoon and post-honeymoon sex couples “should” be having. It’s like if you’re not doing it 24/7, each time putting the Kama Sutra to shame, there is something wrong with your relationship. This isn’t true at all. It’s not always incredible, lusty, mind-blowing orgasms right after a wedding. Just because you’ve been having sex for years and feel like you’ve perfected every technique in the book, doesn’t mean your sex life will suddenly magnify X100,000 now that you’re married and dripping (pun intended) in newlywed bliss.
According to psychologist and author of The Men on My Couch, Stories of Sex, Love, and Psychotherapy Dr. Brandy Engler, newlyweds should focus on a few key problem areas to ensure they keep their sex life poppin’.
If you’re finding yourself in a sexual bind and are worried, don’t be. There are a few common problems almost all newlyweds experience from when it comes to sex. Chances are, everything is perfectly normal. Here are three common areas where you might be finding trouble—and how to get around them!
When you’re newly married, the pressure is on to be getting down all the time. It can be super annoying getting those winks and questions from friends and family alike: “I’m sure the sex is amazing!” “You guys must be all over each other!” If you’re not doing it three times a day, it may feel like you’re not doing this whole “newlywed” thing right.
“We live in a culture that tells us we’re supposed to be super sexual all the time — but that’s not the reality for most couples,” Engler says. “However, couples should consider shorter sexual encounters during the week — think 15 minutes — and encounters that aren’t necessarily intercourse. Kissing, touching, oral sex, keep connections going.”
Instead of allowing yourself to succumb to BS feelings of inadequacy, remember that the amount of sex you have isn’t what’s important, it’s about what makes you and your partner happy. Focus on intimacy and reminding each other how much you love each other on a daily basis. If you want to have more sex, try things other than intercourse. Penetration is not the end-all-be-all of sex. Masturbate together or watch each other masturbate. Give your partner a sensual massage. Be together in ways that allow you to feel close, but don’t add unneeded obligations.
Too busy to get busy
“Our daily routines often don’t leave room for sex,” Engler explains. “Most couples are sure to make room for work, exercise or certain social activities, but refuse to think about sex as a scheduled activity.” While people desire spontaneous sex — the kind that takes place on the kitchen floor or right after a hot shower, “our lives don’t really allow for sexual energy to brew because we tend to exhaust ourselves by the end of the day,” says Engler.
Don’t push sex to the back burner. Consider it as important as any other part of your daily life. It brings you closer together and strengthens your pair-bond. Never stop flirting and being sexy with each other. You may be married, but that doesn’t mean things need to get boring. “Think little flirtations — grabs, kisses, whispers in the ear about what will be done later,” says Engler. “These things need to happen in a non-demand manner, meaning they don’t lead to intercourse right there on the spot.”
Keeping the spark alive doesn’t necessarily mean setting aside 20 minutes per day to get it in, it means being sexual and loving with each other as a means of conscious practice. If you or your partner feel like anytime the one of you is being flirtations and it needs to lead to sex, have a conversation about your insecurities. Sex is great, but your relationship should have room for flirtation that doesn’t always lead to getting naked.
The biggest culprit to sexual dissatisfaction in those first few months after marriage is giving into unrealistic expectations of what your sex life is going to look like. If you think that just because you have a ring on your finger you’re going to suddenly have sex in 90 new positions a week, against every surface on planet earth, you’re going to wind up disappointed.
It’s also not particularly realistic to think that being married erases any lingering sexual concerns you may have faced pre-nuptials. If there were concerns before, they will remain if they aren’t addressed. Whether that be a difference in libido, trouble with lubrication or ED, getting married is not going to fix everything. It’s wonderful that you found the person you want to spend the rest of your life with, but marriage takes work. Be ready to do that work if you want to improve your sex life.