Typical sex advice focuses only on sex acts. While having a toolbox full of sex positions, role plays, fantasies, and sex toys helps you (re)create an intimate, exciting, & fulfilling sex life, most of what impacts your sex life long-term has nothing to do with sex at all. Take stress, for example. Stress can be a total relationship & sex-drive killer. To the rescue? My latest fave tool for how to deal with stress in a relationship.
For the best sex, context matters.
How you’re feeling, where you are, the level of trust, & connectedness to your beau in that moment, etc all matter.
Take tickling. Think about a time when you felt loving towards your partner, maybe you were lounging around on a Saturday afternoon sharing a blanket on the couch, and they started to tickle you. Laughing & giggling ensued, maybe more!
Now think about a time you felt stressed, tired, or just plain pissed off. Your beau goes to tickle you to make you smile and…how do you react? I’m going to go ahead and guess it ranges from not well to goddamn awful. Amiright?
If you think back to the best sex you’ve had, and then the worst, you’ll notice similar patterns.
Go ahead – close your eyes and remember it fully. I’ll wait!
This is why you’ll hear us sex educators & therapists answer your question about sex drive with details about attachment style, the primitive vs developed brain, stress management, and more in response to a seemingly simple question like “How do I get turned on quickly?”
The answer, one more time:
Create the right context: low stress, high affection, & explicitly erotic.
For most people, this is the context in which they experience the best sex, strongest orgasm, and maximum pleasure. The key word here, of course, is “most.” If one (or more) of these doesn’t work for you, then take the advice and adapt it for your unique situation. Your sex life, your way.
Creating this context is easier said than done. You live a beautifully full life with your relationship, job, volunteering, self-care, social life, & more. You don’t necessarily have the time (or budget) to unwind with all those “expert” recommendations like a long hot bath, mani-pedi, and massage.
Of course, the question then becomes HOW. How can you incorporate context-making activities into your daily life, so they’re habits not one more thing on your ever-growing To-Do list?
How to Deal with Stress in a Relationship: Unwind Together
One simple, practical way I’ve been loving is using essential oils.
The beau & I have been using essential oils since fall of last year. I was hella skeptical at first, but knew from experience that lavender always calmed me down and from my neuroscience studies that smell is the most powerful sense. Part of the beau’s work involves aromatherapy so he was open to it, making it an easy addition to our lives.
To be clear, I’m not here to preach that essentials oils will cure everything, fix your relationship, or magically solve your sex drive differences, low sexual desire, or boredom. But what you can use them for – what I do use them for – is to manage your context so you more easily create that lovin’ feelin’!
For us, stress is the easiest & most obvious target for this sensual intervention. Having something that works on a subconscious level to help us unwind and let go of the frustrations of the day, means less time spent doing our own de-stressing and more time spent connecting.
To that end, the beau & have loved diffusing
this brand new Unwind blend (note: Unwind is being reformulated. In the meantime enjoy Peace & Quiet)while spending time together at the end of the day. It’s a super easy thing to have in the background while we watch TV, talk about our days, cuddle, etc.
- Copaiba calms the mind from everyday ups and downs
- Cedarwood comforts, rejuvenates, & strengthens
- Lavender calms and soothes
- Vanilla reduces mental fatigue & is a mild aphrodisiac
- Lime boosts mood & provides a pick-me-up
The scent is at once refreshing and calming. The lime & vanilla stand out the most to me and make me dream of keylime pie with a dollop of freshly made vanilla whipped cream. MMMMMM.
Every time I take a whiff of
Unwind Peace & Quiet, another of the ingredients hits me – the woody Copaiba & Cedarwood, lightly floral lavender, sweet vanilla, and zingy lime. No one scent overwhelms the others, keeping this perfectly balanced. You have to admit, there’s a beautiful synergy there since the oil’s goal is to help you find balance too.
In the comments tell me, How do you unwind with your beau?
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