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Co-Creating Sexual Intimacy: When Your Partner Doesn’t Want to Have Sex

Not that long ago, I found myself sitting in the place of the wise woman and wounded lover.

I found myself hurt and angry, sexually starved, but also hurting for the man I deeply loved.

It can be one of the hardest things to be pushed away, and yet to know that looking after your own needs might result in further hurt to another who’s already hurting.

When I met my partner six years ago, it was as if we had created each other to order. We complemented each other in so many ways—similar values and views of life, a shared dedication to spiritual growth, a sense of adventure and a commitment to not restricting each other.

Our sexual connection was immense. He read my body like a book, as I did his, finding all the secret points and chakras by intuition, and bringing each other to realms beyond anything we’d ever experienced.

We attracted to us our children and the home we currently share through the deliberate combining and focusing of our shared energy. They were magical years.

But nothing stays the same.

My wonderful husband suffered the strain of two young children, sleepless nights, financial pressure and his own stuff emerging. He retreated into himself, leaving a gap where our intimacy used to be.

It was a double-whammy too—I have the skills and experience as a healer to both support and understand some of what he was going through. I also had enough wisdom to know that whatever the way forward might be, it didn’t involve repression, denial or coercion.

I looked deeply at what I really needed and why. I filled whatever gaps were there that I needed to attend to myself—more of what I loved doing, looking after myself, exploring my sexuality alone—including re-looking at what role sex played in my life.

But there still remained, after all, a need and a love for deep, sexual sharing with another.

As my partner came back into more balance with himself, we talked—about his lack of interest in sex, about my desire for more in my life and about how we might respect what we had while also honoring our own individual needs.

As a result, I am in a more mature place. I know now I’m capable of staying open to a partner while also finding deep sexual fulfillment (with his permission) elsewhere. I know that I can live without having sex with my live-in partner while still sharing in other ways. I know that I’m capable of deeply and intimately loving many men in a real and expressive way while not necessarily being sexually active with all—and without all, necessarily, leading to any kind of ongoing relationship.

I also know it’s not easy to find a man who is truly comfortable sharing (or living) with a woman who actively embodies both Kali and angelic energies. 

I know, too, that our dedication to love is what allows us to explore what we need within our relationship and from sex. Our willingness to embrace both our journeys has opened our hearts even wider than before.

I’m sure he would tell his own story—of how sex and intimacy become just one more burden; of how hard it was to see his partner hurting yet be unable to meet her needs; of how difficult it was to acknowledge that she might need to find another source of intimacy outside of the relationship; and of how uncomfortable it felt to have his boundaries consistently, though lovingly, challenged by a partner who wouldn’t quit.

I could say so much more here—about the need for absolute integrity and self-honesty when it comes to dealing with these issues, and about the role of tantra in smoothing out differences in sex drives and more. But I’d also end up regurgitating huge chunks of my recent book. I don’t believe there is any one arrangement that works for every couple. Each has to find their own way of relating.

And even when we find an arrangement that seems to work, inevitably even that is going to change. Yet the more we are willing to openly share the joys and challenges of our relationships, the more we can encourage others to find fulfilling ways of tackling the messy business of co-creating sexual intimacy.

About the Author:

Freya Watson is a mother, writer, shaman, yoga teacher and author of The Beautiful Garden, which explores ways of reaching beyond the ordinary to raise intimate relationships into the realm of the extraordinary. In her spare time, she reads, dances, travels, messes about with oil paints and takes photos. You can find her blogging at her website, SingingFlute.com and on Facebook .

 

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