Do you see the desire actually come back in these couples who don’t want to have anything to do with sex and then actually start scheduling it? Do you see that turn around at all?
Absolutely. Absolutely, because once they can get past the who initiates, and the withholding sex because they’re angry, and the resentment, and once they can connect emotionally, and actually they physically start having sex, it comes back. Really, desire is something that needs to be worked on at times. It doesn’t always come naturally. It can, for some couples, but especially couples that have been married 15, 20, 25 years, desire is a conscious decision.
What creates desire? Distance creates desire a lot of times, so we tell our partners, especially if we have couples that are enmeshed and are doing everything together all the time, give each other some space. Give yourself the time to want your partner, to miss your partner, to desire your partner in that way.
The sensate focus exercises, which are touch exercises, are also crucial for this, and are really, really effective in allowing your body to do what it naturally does. Sex is a natural response. You can’t force it, so when you do these sensate focus exercises and you get rid of all of the expectations of having to have sex, sensate focus is all about touch.
The first couple of times that we engage in these exercises, we’re not even having sex. We talk about, don’t even think about having sex. All you’re focused on is being in the present moment with your partner, touching their body, exploring their body, and just being present. That in and of itself, when you do that enough, nature takes over and the personal naturally has that desire.