When you’re in a sexual relationship, it’s easy to assume that it’s your partner’s job to “turn you on” or to tap into your sexual desires.
But that isn’t always the case. Even if you have strong intimacy and good communication with your partner, you might feel as though they aren’t giving you what you need, sexually.
Unfortunately, that can lead to some discord in the relationship. Your sex life isn’t everything, of course, but it makes up an important part of an intimate relationship. If one, or both people feel as though their partner can’t turn them on, it could cause problems in other areas, too.
What if it wasn’t about relying on your partner to access your sexual desires? What if you could stop blaming your partner for turning you off, or worrying that they aren’t able to fully understand your sexual desires?
Let’s dig a little deeper into accessing your own desires, and what that could mean for your sexual relationship.
Overcoming Sexual Silence
One of the biggest issues people face in awakening their sexual desires is growing up with a “sexually silent” background. So many people still don’t talk about sex or receive the education that can help them learn what they enjoy.
Not only is that a dangerous practice, but it can leave you feeling reliant on your partner without actually understanding what you really want. Or maybe you understand the things you want/need, but don’t know how to express them.
That’s why having a strong, intimate relationship doesn’t automatically mean your sex life is great.
With that in mind, the first step in accessing your own sexual desires is to have a better understanding of what they are. Listen to your body and accept the things you want. Once you are willing to tap into your desires on your own, you can start to share them with your partner.
Really, it’s not about what your partner is doing “right” or “wrong.” It’s also not about what you might do to turn them on or off; it’s a matter of understanding yourself. You can’t expect your partner to turn you on if you don’t fully understand it either.
Create Teachable Moments
Think about the last time you know your partner was turned on by something. How did it feel to see them that way, or to touch them and share that experience with them? Alternatively, think about the last time you were truly turned on. How did your partner react?
Most healthy couples love seeing their partner aroused and in-tune with their desires.
Once you understand what yours are, you can create teachable moments with your partner. That doesn’t mean you have to depend on them to turn you on. It means you can show them what does.
While it might be uncomfortable at first, opening yourself up to admitting your desires can add a level of intimacy to your sexual relationship that you never felt before. This practice is based on Esther Perel’s theory. Dr. Perel has stated the importance of understanding both your emotional and erotic needs. It’s not your partner’s job to fulfill those needs, especially if you aren’t willing to explore them, yourself.
But, once you have, you can show your partner what turns you on. You can guide the way they touch you. And you can do the same for them if they are willing to express their true desires.
Wanting to feel a deep sexual connection with your partner is a good thing—and you can achieve it. But, instead of relying on them to please you, take the time to access your own sexual drives first.
If you want to learn more about Esther Perel’s advice or if you’re simply having a hard time accessing what drives you sexually, feel free to contact Integrative Psychotherapy Group. Together, we can open up those ideas and help you understand more of what your desires truly are.