New Year’s sex

Did you have sex with your spouse, mate, lover, partner this weekend?

I always thought sex on New Year’s Eve was a given in a relationship, kind of like the free space on a Bingo card. But after we had children, my spouse seemed to think the little ones were a great excuse to stay home and go to bed early.

I wouldn’t have objected if “going to bed early” meant some extra quality time for us. I enjoyed sex, and my libido remained strong through most of our relationship, even the difficult times. Furthermore, more time in bed meant more time to connect, catch up and enjoy pillow talk. Sex can help keep the lines of communication open.

And sex acts as a barometer in a relationship. It’s not the most important thing, of course, but it’s often a good indicator of how things are going. Regular sex — or desire, the potential for sex, for each other — indicates the passion and love are still alive, that there’s still a connection.

My own appetite for sex with my husband was certainly an indicator of how our relationship was going. I put on a few pounds after our second child and, along with the added demand of a new baby in the house, our sex life dwindled. I didn’t feel great about my physique, and my husband’s lack of desire certainly didn’t provide reassurances to that end. But we blundered on.

A few years later, it was a bit of a surprise to me when my husband charged, “I’ve already given up sex. What more do you want from me?!”

Wow! By this time, I was already convinced our relationship was doomed. Add to that the fact that he hadn’t seemed interested in me in months. I couldn’t even look him in the eyes, much less imagine sharing myself in that way any longer.

I responded, “You’ve denied me emotional intimacy for months. How could you possibly think I could be physically intimate with you?”

For women, sex and talking, sharing and connecting emotionally are two sides of the same coin. One is unlikely to happen without the other. And, in my experience, women are likely to want to communicate and connect emotionally before sharing physically, while men often prefer the physical before they open to the emotional. Herein lies one of the great balancing acts, the yin and yang of intimacy in a relationship.

So, if you haven’t already, log off and have some slow and steamy New Year’s sex, along with a side of snuggling and pillow talk, to begin the year right for your relationship.

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