More about this episode

A Conversation on Sexual Dry Spells

If you find yourself caught in a sexual dry spell with your partner, you're not alone. 17 percent of American couples admit to being in a sexless relationship, but experts say the numbers shouldn't discourage you. Some studies indicate 90 percent of people believe the quality of sex with their partner could improve over the years in a long-term relationship.

Experts urge couples experiencing a dry rut to not pressure each other to have sex—instead, have an open conversation with your partner about why they, or you, are not feeling sexually active.

Transcript

Dr. Judy:

Opinions. We all have them, especially when it comes to love and sex. So what happens when two people who've never met get to share their opinions in an open and honest conversation? Maybe they learn something about the other person and maybe they learn something about themselves.

I'm Dr. Judy and this is “Well, in my opinion.” Today, we're asking the question, “How do you get out of a sexual dry rut?”

Brennon:

It depends if it's worth it or not.

George:

Yeah, it depends if it’s worth it or not.

Brennon:

I guess randomness, you know?

George:

Oh my god, are you the type that would be like, “Babe, let's go to the bar, you wear a wig and a different dress and I'm going to come up to and you can be Cynthia and I'll be John. And you know, you'll role play and maybe hook up in the bathroom and you'll take her home and be like, “My wife cannot know.”

Brennon:

Sure.

George:

And then as soon as you climax, you rip everything off and be like, “Babe, that was hot.” Like that kind of situation?

Brennon:

Yeah, sure, I can do that.

George:

I would love that. I would love to watch that. Do you like sex in public?

Brennon:

Definitely.

George:

Okay. Like in a car? Anywhere.

Brennon:

Anywhere.

George:

Anywhere you can do it without getting caught, you know, catch a felony.

Brennon:

No, let me try to get caught. Why not?

George:

Oof. No!

Brennon:

What do they call them? Benches? Picnic tables! Fuck it.

George:

Oh my God.

Brennon:

I fell like a lot of randomness can help spark more into a relationship. Whether you tried to do oral sexual Home Depot or something like that. Like just throwing something in there that's out of the ordinary.

George:

I also feel like sometimes people genuinely just fall out of attraction to one anothe. Like physical attraction. Know what I mean?

Brennon:

No. I don't think so.

George:

You don't think so?

Brennon:

No, because that would be gone in a day.

George:

I feel like another way to spice up a relationship—I mean, role-playing is definitely one thing. I like to wear cute little costumes. I'll be Spidey boy. I'll be whatever. You know what I mean?

Brennon:

See but what if he doesn’t. What if he’s like “Meh, I don’t know.”

George:

That's fine. I won't do that. I'll literally just be completely bare and like chained to the wall.

Brennon:

But now what if it’s at the Home Depot and you're like, “Babe, should I blow you?”

George:

I'm trying to think if I’ve ever done it at Home Depot. Where have I done it?

Brennon:

Well, you know what I'm saying? Then it's like, “Oh my God. Ah.”

George:

There's actually a lot of room in a Prius. That's all I have to say. There's a lot of room in a Prius.

Brennon:

Or like an elevator? Stop the elevator? You know what I’m saying?

George:

Oh my God. I want to have sex with you. What are you doing? Oh my god!

Dr. Judy:

If you found yourself in a sexual dry rut, you're not alone. Seventeen percent of American couples currently admit to being in a sexless relationship. For everyone in the sexual dry rut, there is hope out there. A study of US couples found that ninety percent of people believe that the quality of sex could improve over the years in a long-term relationship. So hang in there.

Tanya:

Hm. Well, I guess I can answer this, having been in a relationship off and on for 19 years.

Hana:

Oh my gosh.

Tanya:

The way you maintain intimacy—I mean, again communication is huge and understanding that people evolve and they may evolve into this now versus what they were five years ago or 10 years ago. So it definitely requires a lot of effort, a lot of attention, a lot of listening, a lot of communication.

Hana:

Love is a choice, in my opinion.

Tanya:

So is happiness.

Hana:

Exactly. Everything in life is a choice. But when you're with someone from 19 years, you're not going to get butterflies when they text you. You're like, “Fuck they say now?” You know? So the butterflies go away and you think the spark is gone, but really what it means is that you're comfortable with them.

Tanya:

You know them.

Hana:

Exactly. Sometimes when you get too comfortable, you get bored. And I think it's really just about reminding yourself who they are, and also just being also being present with them. And also making sure that you still love them for who they are and not wishing that they were a different version of themselves. Because, like you said, people can evolve into somebody completely different than who they were five years ago.

Tanya:

Yes, absolutely. Easily.

Hana:

And you can't be constantly clinging onto their old self if they've already shed that skin. And if you can't love them for who they're becoming and who they are, and you want them to be somebody else, then you shouldn't be with them. Sometimes you need to let go of that.

Tanya:

Sometimes you just evolve in different directions. You evolve to that and you evolve to this.

Hana:

And sometimes people grow together and they grow an even stronger bond.

Tanya:

My parents have been married for almost 50 years and my sister has been with her husband for almost 30, and my best friend has been with her husband for 30. And so I've seen these hugely long relationships where you they've gone through it and they've evolved. They're different people, but somehow some way they were able to evolve together. And there's other ways to find intimacy. Cooking breakfast for someone or a foot massage

Hana:

It’s the little things.

Tanya:

Just sitting and listening to them when they have a bad day or something. All these things are intimate things.

Hana:

So also when you're just around somebody all the time, you just get used to what they look like and just what they are.

Tanya:

I mean separation is great. Space is one of the best things you can do for a long relationship. Even if it's like a week or a month and they go visit someone.

Hana:

So you can miss them. You want to miss them. If you're with them too much, I think that that can be a problem.

Tanya:

Yeah, I agree. I'm a space person quickly. I'm like you been around me for three days straight. Can you get out of my house? Having your own set of friends or having your own hobbies that you like to do. That's important because you want to bolster who you are as a person. You don't lose who you are just because you're in a couple. So I think it's really important to continue to develop yourself and evolve in that way. And you're a better mate when you're happy because you have your art class or dance class and he has his—he goes duck hunting with the boys. I don't know.

Hana:

You have to be your own person. They're going to get bored if you're just literally a reflection of themselves. It’s like you experienced yourself all day anyways. You want somebody who has a fresh perspective that can—if you're asking for advice, they can come from a completely different place.

Tanya:

And I think that definitely helps cure any dry spell you're having intimately. That space helps a lot. It helps a lot.

Hana:

It's funny because using space to rekindle the intimacy, you would think, “Oh, we need to try and do more things to become sexier. Let's spend more time together.” No! It's actually the opposite. It's very interesting. That's so true. I never thought about that.

Tanya:

Well the reason that you're having the issue is because you're lacking something with them. You need to commune with yourself and understand what that is, and then you're better in the couple, and that’s how it happens.

Dr. Judy:

It's important to not stigmatize yourself when you're in a sexual drive rut, it happens to everybody. So really you have to ask yourself why you're in this sexual dry rut and find some way out of it that doesn't feel like it is the sole focus in life. I think that's sometimes when people are in a sexual dry run and they're still dating, then that becomes an all-consuming focus and it takes the focus off of the more important things about dating, like if this person is actually a good partner and do you even want to see the person after this sexual encounter if you ended up having it? So it's really important to take a step back, not put too much pressure on yourself, and know that the sexual dry ruts don't last forever.

I'm Dr. Judy and this has been “Well, In My Opinion.”

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