Not In The Mood? Why You Shouldn't Waste A Second Feeling Guilty About Skipping Sex Tonight
It boosts our health, helps us feel connected to the one we love, and triggers a cascade of feel-good, happy-making hormones. Despite all that good stuff, sex can sometimes feel like a chore—like something wehaveto do to keep away the relationship boogeyman.
"When it comes to sex, we are bombarded with information that can easily lead us to feel inadequate," says Patricia Johnson, co-author (with her longtime husband) ofPartners in PassionandGreat Sex Made Simple.
But despite what we hear and read about sex, there is no "right" amount, says Kristen Carpenter, PhD, director of women's behavioral health at Ohio State University's Wexner Medical Center.
Johnson agrees: "The issue is not what other people are doing or how you measure up compared to the national average; it's about whether or not you're enjoying what you're doing and whether you're making the most of it." (Is menopause throwing off your sex drive and how you feel about your body? Then check out for simple, natural solutions.)
Don't Force the Issue
Think about the last time you felt really sexy. Chances are good that stress, pressure, and resentment aren't part of your memory—for a reason.
Forcing sex when you're not in the mood creates all sorts of unsexy associations, which can lead to emotionally harmful and uncomfortable sex, says Elizabeth Shuler, LPCC, a sex therapist in Fort Collins, CO.
Furthermore, insisting on sex when you're not into it "can build resentment over time and create more physical and emotional disconnect between two people," says Judy Rosenberg, PhD, a licensed clinical psychologist and author of the forthcoming bookBe the Cause: Healing Human Disconnect.
Instead of thinking about when you last had sex—and when you'll have it next—try to stay in the moment, says Ryan Dawson, an individual and family therapist in Boulder, CO. "If you're preoccupied with all the pressure you're putting on yourself about what your sex life should be like, it has a tendency to turn you toward your internal dialogue, which is often a harsh critic," he says.
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