Sex in Relationships: how to keep the spark alive

sex in relationships

Sex in relationships often starts with an animalistic erotic intensity far beyond anything ever captured on film. (Sorry, webcammers.) This usually shifts to a less frequent and intense exchange of bodily fluids. Paul Martin says relationships require time and effort. This can be lost in the exhausting reality of day-to-day life.

Paul Martin is the Senior Psychologist at the Centre for Human Potential.

Emotional dynamics can negatively impact sex in a relationship. Resentments that build unnoticed over time can create a sense of distance and reduce the desire for intimacy. Take time out to talk about resentments before they build. Park your emotional reactions and consider the other person’s emotional needs before responding.

Spicing up sex in a relationship by introducing additional sexual partners can work. However, if done before resolving underlying issues, or after sex totally dries up, it can turn a crack in the relationship into Krakatoa.

Pedestrian domestic routines can also gradually come to dominate a relationship. Given how busy many people are, sex stops being a priority. So, weird as it might sound, scheduling erotic time is essential. Something simple like massage and sensual touch to kick things off. If you rely solely on spontaneous sexual arousal to initiate sex, you may wait a very long time.

Communicate about your sexual needs to your partner. People often believe their partner should intuitively know what they like. So, they fail to make their needs clear. If certain things actively turn you off, say so, but nicely.

Sex also takes a back seat during periods of stress. Talk to your partner about creating some soothing intimacy to relieve the stress. If you find it hard to talk, leave the house — walk and talk. The conversation won’t seem so intense.


A lack of sex in a relationship can lead to a vacuum, open to filling — by cheating. Quick and easy to do. But rebuilding trust can take a long time and involve a lot of drama.

Human sexuality is complex. It’s connected to much of who we are: our bodies, emotions, thoughts, past experiences, confidence, self-esteem, body image and past shame. So, if you struggle as a couple to rekindle the moist pulsating pink aspects of your connection, it can help to book couples or individual counselling with a psychology practice that specialises in LGBTIQ+ issues such as the Centre for Human Potential.

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Paul Martin

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