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Relationship: How is your engine running?

marriage sex

               After attending a conference entitled, “Sex Made Simple”, I have realized sex is complicated. No refund, I sat through all 8 hours of the conference and bought the book. Dr. McCarthy attempted to make it as simple as possible but anything involving two people and gears is anything but simple. If you are like me, activities involving a motor gives you an instant headache and glassy eyes. Thankfully my husband can fix anything, more gears the better. Let me explain how sex and gears go together.

                According to Dr. McCarthy, there are only five gears, perfect I can count them all on one hand. The gears increase our arousal feelings toward each other. Got your attention now. Emoji big eye face. The first gear is Affectionate Touch, next Sensual Touch, leading into third gear which is Play Touch. By the time you hit fourth gear the laughter has stopped and you are moving into Erotic Touch. Final, full throttle into fifth gear which is Intercourse. Simple right? Just like driving a Lamborghini. Eyes are glazed and you may need the brown bag under the seat.
                Can you remember the last time you used words like arousal and erotic in a conversation with your partner? How long has it been since you hit fifth gear? If you drove at that speed less than ten times over the past year, you are labeled “a no sex” relationship. In other words, hand the keys over, signup for a refresher course and then get back on the road. Marital/ Couple therapy can be the refresher course. Trained therapist can help you feel comfortable driving again. You may need a map or even glasses to put things back into focus. No shame in that. We all need tools to help us navigate the winding roads of our relationships.
                Not sure where I heard this quote, “Having sex is no big deal, unless you are not having it”. Sexual relations are the way we bond and increase our desire for our partner. Most couples only use 1st and 5th gear, imagine what the motor would sound like if you hit all five. The song “Born to be Wild” by Steppenwolf just popped into my head. If he knew what I know about gears, he would have changed the lyric, “fire all your gears at once” to “slow down and cruise awhile, then shift”. Hmm, maybe I do know something about gears after all.
                The important take away is that sex is really simple if you intentionally hit the gears the motor will last longer and perform better if it is taken care of. You really wouldn’t drive a car without shifting from gear to gear, you would blow an engine. The sexual conversation is about vulnerability and shared pleasure. Try this next time you are ready to pull the car out of the garage:
--- Female reader: “Honey, I would like to show you what I know about cars.”
--- Male reader: “Baby, let’s go for a road trip.”
                I wonder if this is why so many men like cars?
                If you would like a one page explanation about the five touch gears, please email me, I would be revved up to send it to you.  A simple worksheet can open up a conversation that you and your partner may have been wanting to have for a long time. Who knows, you may start to take the long way home. As always, contact Providence if you need help with the road map as you take your car out for a spin.

Author: Elizabeth Havens, MFT clinical intern-

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