Alysha Jeney, LMFT, looks at a lack of sex in relationships, the layered cake metaphor and what sex positivity looks like.
A lack of sex in relationships can vary from trust issues to health related dysfunction. Sometimes circumstances such as having a new baby or struggling with infertility can throw everything off. Or maybe you just not know what you like or are struggling with feeling sexually confident. There are moments, however, when the “reasons” for the lulls are not as easy to identify and often couples will enter therapy seeking the answers.
Imagine a romantic relationship is like a layered cake. Each layer builds off of each other and without one, the entire cake feels incomplete.
The answer to “Why aren’t we having sex?” can often involve a missing ingredient(s) somewhere within the layered cake. Here are the layers:
The first layer is the foundation, which is friendship. This could entail respect, kindness, fun, commonalities, trust and appreciation.
The second layer is emotional connectedness that is more intimate than with a friendship. Maybe this entails emotional vulnerability, compassion and understanding. It can include feel seen, validated and reassured by your partner.
The third layer is nonsexual physical intimacy. This can include flirtatious love taps, long