Sensate Focus

In couples and sex therapy, one of the best suggestions we give some couples who struggle with sex is to not have sex. Seems counterintuitive, right?

After all, how are couples supposed to work on their sex life or create better sex if they stop having it?

We suggest abstaining as a temporary measure. It helps alleviate the pressure of sex. Think about it. When sex isn’t happening or if it’s happening awkwardly, it can occupy a lot of your mental space and emotional energy.

If you’re the seeker, you might constantly look for sexual signs or windows of opportunity, the right way to approach your partner without annoying them, or to get a “yes”. 

If you’re the avoidant partner, you might wonder “what’s wrong with me?”, seek ways to discourage physical contact or feel anxious about whether your partner will ask again tonight.

Loss of libido, a sense of rejection, different levels of sexual desire, sexual dysfunction or different sexual needs can make you feel mentally and emotionally consumed, put stress on your relationship and an unconscious pressure on both of you.

When we suggest abstention, it alleviates that pressure. There’s no more figuring out what to do. As you adjust to this new arrangement, we slowly introduce new, evidence-based ways for you to physically re-engage that likely carry far better results. 

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