Sex Panther: Keeping it Exciting

By SEX PANTHER

Editor’s Note: Throughout the semester you’ll be reading articles from Middlebury students of different identities and experiences on all things sex and relationships. 

This week’s Sex Panther is coming to you from a person in a committed relationship on campus. While there’s a lot to say about how to maintain a relationship at Middlebury, I’d like to talk about the importance of continuing communication about your sexual relationship. Not all long-term relationships include sex, but for many it is an important element.  

At the beginning, everything is new. You’re exploring and figuring out how to be in a relationship with someone else, including the sex part, and there is a lot of room to change things. But when you’ve been with someone for a long time, sometimes sex becomes part of the routine. We hear pretty often that communication is key to any relationship, and sex is no different.

I’m not talking about having conversations about sex just regarding consent (which you still need before every sexual experience no matter how long you’ve been together!!) but in really talking to each other about satisfaction and sexual health in the relationship. 

Checking in about your sexual relationship can help prevent what some relationship counselors call “sexual boredom.” Sexual boredom can occur in long-term relationships when one doesn’t necessarily become less interested in sex, but less interested in sex with their partner as compared to the beginning of the relationship. In my opinion, people in long-term relationships should be getting just as much fulfillment from sex as people in new relationships, and having check-in conversations is one way to promote that.

In order for this to happen, partners should try to be honest with their needs and wants while being receptive to their partner’s. People change and preferences evolve, and while it sometimes feels easier to stick with doing the same things as in the beginning of a relationship, that might be hindering both people from living fuller and more satisfying sex lives. 

If you want to start talking with your partner about this, but just aren’t quite sure how, you can start with simply asking after sex “How was that for you?” or “Did you like when we did this?” This can often pave the way for a continuing conversation. You might be surprised that something you’ve been doing for a long time doesn’t really do anything for your partner, or there’s something that they really like that you didn’t know about. 

It can feel weird. It can be awkward. Even with someone that you are close to. But hopefully, in the end, you’ll come away with a better understanding of each other, and with fuller and healthier sex lives.   

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Sex Panther: Keeping it Exciting