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After flying the flag fastidiously about the benefits of a great sex life, some of you may wonder if I’ve finally awakened from my slumber to smell the strong coffee. Actually, I never lost sight (or rather smell) of it and the entire story about relationships must always be told. “Great Sex”, “Greater Orgasms”, “Find Your G Spot”, “Drive Him/Her Wild In Bed” and the like, are some of the headlines that scream at us relentlessly from the pages of fashion magazines and tabloid newspapers.

These articles make great promises of the things we can and should do to spice up our love lives and are filled with so called “guarantees” (that is follow the instructions and you’re guaranteed sexual bliss). Then there are those blogs about sex like this one, which some find amusing, mildly offensive or highly informative. Whatever the case, many of us find ourselves enthusiastically imbibing the latest info on sex because we hope to make our love lives and relationships so much better; never mind that some of us will deny this motive.

But what happens when the orgasms have been coming with increasing regularity, yet when they all die down something still seems to be missing? What exactly is up when sex that is mind-blowing, toe-curling and as hot as ever, still leaves a gaping hole in the pit of your stomach? If this is the state in which you find yourself, it is more than likely that you have been using sex as a be-all and end-all in your relationship. In other words, you expect that the pleasure which sex brings, will be the plaster or bandage for your many relationship “sores” or sore-points. You believe that the hotter the sex, the more successful it will be in melting all your troubles away, especially when those problems are smack dab at the centre of your intimate relationship.

If you’ve ever been privileged to watch “Disappearing Acts” starring Saana Lathan and Wesley Snipes, you would have enjoyed an intricately woven drama with some of the steamiest lovemaking scenes ever. What is memorable about this movie, however, is the fact that the couple in question, in spite of their overpowering sexual chemistry and great lovemaking episodes, had some significant issues to surmount before what they had could even be deemed a success.

The same is true of several of our relationships out there, including marriages. Very often we connect with someone out of an initial physical attraction. The headiness of that alone could make someone think that they’ve found relationship bliss or utopia. This can then turn into a full-fledged sexual relationship where the sex (premature though it might be) can be great, even though the personal conflicts between the couple often remain untouched. Why ever else would women have sex with men who are still connected to other women? Because they believe (or are at least hoping) that the sex the man is having with them will obliterate the memory of the other woman. This “two-women” or “two-men”  issue for that matter, is a significant conflict that for sure, does not stop sex from occurring in relationships. These relationships are in fact fired by sex but nonetheless remain problem-ridden.

On the other hand, many people believe that once sex is taking place within the context of marriage, then everything else will automatically fall into place. This  is however not as automatic as it may seem. Many marriages are challenged by issues of communication or some other significant problem. Instead of confronting the challenges, however, great “make-up sex” is used to maintain the safety of the relationship.That is, instead of uncovering challenges and exposing weakness, sex is used as a band-aid to recover and keep the lid on explosive issues tightly sealed. This is sort of like, "if I pretend the problem’s not there, then surely it will go away".

Some purists may wonder how could this possibly be. If sex is a deep, spiritual-emotional act, how can two people have a great enjoyable “roll in the hay” even with deep, unresolved issues between them? While I may understand the position of the purists, I actually believe that such sex though “great” is not the greatest (and who’s out there measuring anyway?). The truth is, people often can’t see beyond their expectations. If all I expect from sex is ten seconds of a climax, then as far as I’m concerned, once I’ve had that, then I have had great sex. If, however, what I want, is a relationship that is built on both sexual, emotional and spiritual exposure and honesty, then the climax alone will never suffice. Especially if my spouse and I will roll over and not connect or touch again until same time, same place, next week!

If sex is to move from great to greater to greatest, then relational honesty must be paramount. This is especially true when in a marriage context people have vowed to have and to hold come what may. Being honest in a relationship however comes out of an individual’s personal values (that is, what is important to him/her). If your understanding of relationships has you locked into a place where all that is important to you is the physical aspect of that relationship, then you will continue to operate at the level of your understanding and expectations. This will only change when through personal reflection or knowledge/education you come to an understanding that you should demand more for yourself. If you know for sure, however, that what you want is more than a romp across the sheets, then do not allow fear of confrontation to prohibit you from making your expectations known. While confronting difficult issues often causes initial discomfort, your partner will likely respect you for taking a stand. Even if he/she doesn’t, you will most certainly still respect yourself in the morning.


If you liked this article,read more of Denise's thoughts on sex and relationships on her personal blog: Red Red Apples

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