A sex therapist reveals the most common issues couples face in the bedroom

Are you guilty of any of these?

sex therapy
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Are you guilty of any of these?

Found yourself in a sex rut? You know, the kind where you'd gladly eschew morning sex for an extra 15 minutes asleep and the only action your bed's getting is breakfast in it.

So, we already know the most popular time to have sex in the week and how many times a week you should be having sex, - but what about the biggest relationship challenges all couples face in their sex lives?

Well, we talked to Janice Hiller, a clinical psychologist who specialises in relationships and sexual issues, about her thoughts and relationship advice...

The most common sex issues couples face

Usually it’s about differences in sexual needs and sexual desires. So, one person will want sex more than the other. And, if a man has erection difficulty, he can lose interest in sex and might want to avoid it so that could be reducing his sexual drive, too. And, for for women, it’s often the case that they get distracted, pre-occupied or self-conscious. Low self esteem can be a big issue. Any sort of distraction or anxiety will tend to make people lose interest in sex, especially women who can get easily preoccupied with something that's anxiety provoking.

The affects of a bad sex life on your relationship

It depends whether the couple can discuss their problems in the bedroom with each other. If they’re able to talk about it, then there can be some tolerance, sympathy and understanding - and they can maintain their closeness and intimacy. If it’s not discussed then the resentment can build up and people can feel very rejected. It's really important to avoid that sense of rejection by just telling them what’s going on.

Sex in a long-term relationship

What happens is people get into a routine and drop the exciting bits that they went through at the beginning and then it becomes a pattern that isn’t really satisfying. Dropping foreplay and moving onto intercourse too quickly so there isn’t sufficient arousal can also become a pattern that people get into and it’s just not interesting enough.

Overcoming issues in the bedroom

Be aware, think about it, talk about it and watch what’s going on. Don’t flip into a pattern that’s unsatisfactory and reduce the novelty. Also just talk and stay close and be intimate. Remember those times when the relationship was developing and you spent time really looking at each other, talking and sharing things? Go back to that.

Honesty in the bedroom

You have to know your partner very well to get the timing right. Moving too quickly can be shocking and upsetting. Just think very carefully about what you want to achieve by saying something like about fantasising about someone else. If it’s to just relieve some guilt, then I don’t think that’s a good enough reason for risking and destabilising the relationship. Manage your own guilt but if there’s some objective then think very carefully about getting the timing right and make sure you know your partner well enough to think about how they might respond. And, don't introduce anything new to the bedroom at a sensitive time. Talk about it during the day or when something has prompted the conversation.

Delphine Chui