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How to know if there's enough sex in your relationship

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[howdini, get yourself a guru] I'm Lisa Birnbach for howdini.com. How much sex is enough sex to keep a marriage health? The answer may be less than you think if the sex is good. Esther Perel is a psychotherapist and author of the book Mating in Captivity, Unlocking Erotic Intelligence. She's here to talk about everything you ever wanted to know about not having sex. Esther, thank you for coming to howdini. >>Thank you for having me. When you are thinking about you and your partner, and you think, "Hmm, we didn't make love this week and maybe we didn't make it the week before either," is that going to necessarily create a problem to feel comfortable and free to make love the next week? Not necessarily. I think that the couples who actually struggle, are the ones who work with the pass/fail approach. You tried, it didn't work, you wait for the next six months, rather than you tried, it didn't work, you try again tomorrow. It didn't happen the last two weeks, you look at your partner and say, "What's going on with us? I think we need a break. I think we need a walk. I think we need a drink. I think we need some fun." And you reengage with that person and you just say, "God, where have we been?" or, "What do you think is going on?" and you are able to actually have a conversation. It doesn't work well when instead of having a conversation that is inviting and connecting, you blame. "You're never interested in me." >>Right. "You don't pay attention." You, you, you,--that dynamic, of course, can happen in every area of the relationship, then you will be sure that you can wait another two weeks. So there is no number one should keep in one's head in terms of frequency? But how can it be normalized like that? Because what's problematic with the question is that sex is reduced to foreplay, intercourse, orgasm. Sex is when you have measurable results with the end, this big finale that you know proves to you that sex has occurred. But there is a whole realm of sexuality that is sensual, that is touching, that is kissing, that is licking, that is kissing, that is caressing, that doesn't end with orgasms, and that doesn't get included in the statistics. So you have couples who can be very physical with each other, sexually physical with each other, but they are in a stage or they have an illness or they are older or they are struggling with something and, no, they are not having that narrow, genitally focused, quite male oriented definition of sex. And then you say they are sexless couples. I think we need to broaden our definition of sexuality, and then maybe we will actually see that there are a lot of people who are sexually engaged with each other. No, they're not having what we have defined as sex. So people could actually feel a lot better about themselves and about the physicality of their relationship if they widen their view to all kinds of touching and kissing and so on? I had a woman call in this week. The husband is early 60s; he's starting to have some erection difficulties. And her question is, "Shall I mourn the sexuality of our relationship? Is this the end? Is it never going to happen again?" We don't have one sexuality in our life. We have multiple sexualities. But when you have limited yourself like that--there is only one way and you rely on one thing, for it to happen--when that thing isn't working as well as it used to, you suddenly think that there is no other places to go. How would you define 'better sex' as opposed to 'more sex'? It's about the poetics of sex; it's about feeling desired and desiring. It's about feeling afterwards that you've gone to that other place and back. It's about that moment where you experience at the same time generosity and self-absorption. You're at the same time totally inside yourself and inside the other, and something magical happens there. That's what people really yearn for most of the time. They don't--to have the once a week thing is not that complicated. It can take 3 minutes, which is the average in many relationships. Is there a diminishment of sexual desire that you can absolutely, as an expert, say, "This marriage is through"? I think that when one person really yearns for it and the other is not responsive, at some point there is a red flag. So interesting, Esther. Thank you so much. Thank you. >>For howdini.com, I'm Lisa Birnbach. [howdini-www.howdini.com]

Video Details

Duration: 4 minutes and 24 seconds
Country: United States
Language: English
License: All rights reserved
Producer: Howdini
Views: 136
Posted by: howdini on Jan 11, 2011

How often do you and your partner have sex? The answer might be more often than you think depending on how you define sex, according to author and couples therapist Esther Perel.

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