Dr. Aline Zoldbrod is a well-known Boston-based licensed psychologist, individual and couples therapist, and an AASECT certified sex therapist. She is the author of three commercially published books about sexuality and relationships. Her book, SexSmart: How Your Childhood Shaped Your Sexual Life and What to Do About It has been translated into four languages and was recognized as one of the top three sex-help books of the year. She is an adjunct faculty member at the University of Michigan Sexual Health Certificate Program. You can find her at sexsmart.com.
Tags: sex | long-term relationship | hormones

The Transition From Lust to Love

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Wednesday, 27 June 2018 04:11 PM Current | Bio | Archive

In long-term relationships, it is critical to negotiate with your partner to make sure that you are getting the kind of touching you want at intimate moments. This is true for all couples, gay or straight, rich or poor, old or young.

There is a critical transition that all couples must make when they go from the “hot” hormones and neurotransmitters associated with the early stages of lust to the different chemicals produced after the initial drama of falling in love fades — between six months to two years after the beginning of the relationship.

Those early, lustful feelings can come close to insanity. One of my dear friends used to say “When you fall in love, you have this idea that if you can just join with this other person in your life, every single problem you have will be solved.”

During that early phase of relationships, you spend all your time anticipating the next opportunity to be with him/her. It’s no wonder, then, that in the beginning, sexual excitement comes easily — no matter how your beloved touches you.

After all, you’ve been dreaming about touching each other for hours, days, or maybe weeks. It’s almost as if you’ve been having constant foreplay that whole time.

But once you’re in a stable relationship, the normal stresses of life come back to the forefront of your mind. You may even be living together, and just the thought of your partner is no longer adequate to get your heart throbbing.

You have your normal activities accomplish — like bills to pay. Romance gets pushed to the back of the line, and getting turned on takes more work.

(If you want to read more about this important transition, and what is needed to keep sex interesting, please check out the writings of Dr. Helen Fisher.)

When those initial, easy feelings of lust fade, couples are often baffled. People tend to think that there is a problem in their relationship, that they have chosen the wrong person.

Part of the formula of being able to anticipate enjoying sex with your long-term partner is the knowledge that you’ll be able to anticipate getting the kinds of touching you like.

There is nothing wrong with you and your partner’s union that is making sex less of an easy turn-on later in your relationship. It’s an inevitable transition (as Dr. Helen Fisher outlines).

You just have to make the time for communicating about the kinds of touches you need to get turned on. (And then you have to find the time and the privacy to act on what you learn.) One way to make this task easier is to use my BodyMap technique.

I hope that you try this technique. And I would look forward to hearing from all of you about your new, more successful experiences with intimate touch.

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There is nothing wrong with you and your partner’s union that is making sex less of an easy turn-on later in your relationship. It’s an inevitable transition.
sex, long-term relationship, hormones
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2018-11-27
Wednesday, 27 June 2018 04:11 PM
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