Confession: My Sex Life Isn’t Perfect

I’m always in the mood for sex & it’s always amazing.

As I increasingly share my work as a sex blogger (or an aspiring sex educator) to more individuals, I become much more aware of the winking smiles and subtle comments about how lucky my partner is. Call me naïve, but I didn’t realize how pervasive this “nympho” stereotype was for women like me. I didn’t realize that simply because I was more open about my sexuality and have worked very hard to educate myself, that my personal experiences in the bedroom would be glorified to those around me. And I certainly didn’t anticipate that I would begin to internalize other people’s expectations for my own sex life.

Over the last couple of years, I’ve actually had a lower than “normal” libido.

The truth is, my sex life is not always full of rainbows and bunnies (i.e. reliable, mind-blowing orgasms from the near-constant sex I’m having). Sure, the fact that I’m knowledgeable about sex and comfortable discussing it means that my partner and I are able to communicate very effectively. We’re not shy about telling each other what we want/need, and I’m sure that does make our sex life more pleasurable than some other couples’. However, we are two real people in a real relationship, and no part of life is perfect.

We’ve been together for four years and sometimes work/school, bills, and our two fur-children simply wear us down. Certain oral contraceptives have both increased my depression and decreased my libido. Sometimes we might go a couple of weeks without having sex and I don’t even realize it. And sometimes when we do have sex, fireworks just aren’t there.

If I’m not interested in sex, I have failed as a romantic/sexual partner.

I’ve put a lot of unnecessary pressure on myself over the last couple of years. When I first noticed that my libido wasn’t what it used to be, I would consent to sex without really desiring it. (Eventually my partner called me out on it and asked me to stop.) I have tried so hard to get in the mood only to end the night in tears, because I “failed” and feel broken. And I’ve often found myself worrying that I’m more interested in learning about sex than I am about actually having it.

Through all of this, my partner has been the only other person to know how guilty I feel for not wanting to have sex all the time. He knows that when I try to joke about being a “bad girlfriend,” I’m trying to make light of how I actually feel. He has seen my insecurities get the best of me when I worry that my lower sex drive will eventually cause him to leave our life together — despite his multiple reassurances. Until now, I have been way too embarrassed and ashamed to ever let that imperfect part of my sex life show outside of our relationship.

Part of being sex positive is accepting myself & my sexuality — even when it’s not sensational.

This summer, I shared a couple of videos on my Twitter. In one, Kitty Stryker talks about having a low libido and the realities of not-so-great sex. In the other, Sarah talks about how she has learned to accept that she doesn’t have a very high sex drive. I watched these videos and was amazed at how perfectly these two women expressed my own insecurities and concerns.

Then Penny wrote a blog post on “Sex Blogger Life,” and her first point was that she wasn’t a nympho. And Beck wrote her own Wicked Wednesday post, sharing that she is also a real person in a real relationship that isn’t just about sex. I want to thank both of them for their honesty and openness. It was very comforting to relate to fellow bloggers in this way, and I realized that I had fallen into the same trap as many of my friends. I had been concentrating on other bloggers’ erotically written intimate experiences, amazing masturbatory sessions, and seemingly endless orgasms…unfairly comparing myself to sexual ideals.

There’s a sexual rule of thumb that I discovered while reading Secrets from the Sex Lab by Judy Dutton that has helped to take some pressure off sex. Therapist Paula Hall has dubbed it the “2-6-2 Rule” and it basically means that out of every 10 times you have sex, 2 will be absolutely amazing, 2 will be so bland you wonder why you thought it was a good idea, and the other 6 will be somewhere in between. So while I am still trying to actively rediscover the joys of sexual experience (through self-pleasure, foreplay, toy reviews, blogging, etc), I know that I can only do that by learning to relax. I have to stop expecting every sexual encounter to be mind-blowing (and blaming myself when it’s not). I have to stop obsessing over the frequency that my partner and I have sex. Most of all, I have to embrace my own unique sexuality — whatever that may be.

If I refuse to judge others for their sexual choices, why have I been judging myself?

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