We're constantly hearing how frequently people have sex and how what's normal for one couple may be totally freakish for another and vice-versa. But one thing seems to be true across the board -- researchers, women's mags, movies, TV all make seem like no one's ever having enough sex. Especially not married people who particularly after becoming parents might as well join a monastery! Pfft.
Meanwhile, the truth of the matter is that dry spells are a completely normal part of any long-term relationship. Of course, we'd all prefer to be having as much sex as we want all the time, but uh, let's get real here. Yet, no one seems to want to admit that they've gone for a period of time without sex due to certain life circumstances, dare they be accused of being in a relationship that's failing. But it's not necessarily a relationship death sentence.
Here, eight sex slumps that are normal, common, and couples survive all the time ...
- You're still recovering from giving birth. Hormonal flux, physical recovery, caring for a newborn, and simply not being into the idea of sex again is one of the most common and easy to understand slumps we don't nearly give enough credit.
- Work stress. Whether you and/or your partner are kicking ass or having your asses kicked on the job, crazy hours and/or lots of pressure to perform professionally can make it especially difficult to get to sex for a while.
- Conflicting work schedules. I know a couple married over 10 years who for over a year have worked completely opposite schedules. He's got a night shift, she's got a 9-5. Surely, there's at least an adjustment period for couples in this annoying boat!
- You have kids of certain varying ages. For instance, raising an infant and a toddler, which can take a sleep-sucking, exhaustive toll that leaves you wondering when the last time you showered was. When you're going to be able to squeeze in a quickie could be the last thing on your mind.
- Depression and anxiety. A bout of depression or anxiety -- whether its seasonal, chemical, environment-driven, etc. -- often translates directly to a dry spell, especially when SSRI meds that affect sex drive are involved.
- Birth control. Funny thing about how birth control works ... Yeah, it effectively shuts down the ovaries, but it can also slash sex drive, and it can be months or even years until a woman can find the one that she feels most herself on. Even after going off the Rx, some women experience low sex drive, which is a direct effect of the pill's tendency to lower testosterone. (Which also can lead to fatigue, lethargy and moodiness. Awesome.)
- You're moving. We tend to underestimate the amount of time, energy, and difficulty associated with packing up tons of STUFF and moving it into another space. This can be a soul-sucking experience that also destroys one's sex life temporarily.
- You're planning a wedding. This naturally stressful experience can often involve a lot of conflicting personalities, money stress, hair-pulling-out over seating charts and ceremony music ... It's not unsurprising -- or strange -- if you're not interested in having sex during what some people will tell you is supposedly the most "exciting, romantic" times of your life.
What's another circumstance that pretty much lends itself to a sex slump? Do you think we need to be more honest about dry spells?