Sexual CPR: How to Revive Intimacy In Your Long-Term Relationship


Staying connected to your partner through births, deaths, and all of the life circumstances in between is challenging. Maintaining a sexual connection in that long-term relationship can be particularly tricky. While everyone is unique, in my work as a Clinical Sexologist, I have found that many women share common concerns or questions when it comes to sex with their partner.  

Are we having enough sex?

While some magazines may insist that there is a specific number of times per week you need to be physically intimate with your partner in order to be in a healthy relationship, I disagree. What makes a relationship healthy is how you handle the times when you’re not on the same page when it comes to sexual desire and drive. Men and women each have varying sexual needs at points throughout their lives. The trick to making a relationship work is finding someone who is open to talking about it when he wants sex and you’d rather take a nap every time. Or perhaps your partner is the one who’d rather snooze than snuggle.

If there’s one partner who wants to be intimate frequently and the other partner who doesn’t feel the same, start a conversation about what’s going on to make them feel this way. What does the partner who is less sexually driven have going on in their life? Perhaps they’re exhausted, stressed, or feeling disconnected from their partner. Anyone who has experienced a significant change in sex drive should also have a physical exam. While “ruts” in sex lives are most frequently caused by simple things that you can change in your day-to-day life, you should make sure there isn’t a medical cause for your loss of mojo.

What do I do if we’re in a “rut”?

Often, the solution to couples having more physical intimacy is for them to spend more uninterrupted, undistracted time together. Try spending an hour of quality time together once the kids are asleep. Remember: quality time does not mean sitting next to each other on the couch looking at your tablets and phones! This may sound difficult because of busy lives and schedules but improving your sex life takes time and effort.

Feeling detached or unsupported by a partner can also lead to low sexual desire. In order for many people to become physically aroused, they need to have sexual thoughts. If a person has negative feelings toward their partner, such as resentment, anger, or frustration, this can frequently overshadow any possibility of feeling sexual about them. To work on these types of issues, someone should consult, individually or as a couple, with a counselor or psychologist.

Hormone imbalance, particularly low testosterone in men and women can also lead to low levels of sexual desire. Typically, to determine if this is a factor, a visit to a family doctor, OB/GYN, or urologist is the first step. They can test your hormone levels and, if there is an imbalance, recommend appropriate treatment.

When women don’t have sex or masturbate for long periods of time, the drive to have sex usually goes down. For this, I often recommend that women find a way to “jump start” their desire. This could be done through activities like masturbation, sensual massage, imagine having sex, watching movies with sexual content, or reading steamy stories or books. These activities can wake up previously dormant sexual feelings.

I don’t have an orgasm during sex. What’s wrong with me?

Less than half of women have orgasms caused by intercourse. Less than half!

About one-third of women experience regular orgasms during sexual intercourse. Roughly the same number of women can reach orgasm but need extra stimulation (from themselves or a partner). And nearly one-third of women have never had an orgasm during intercourse but can manage to have one by other types of stimulation, such as oral or manual activities. How a woman reaches an orgasm has nothing to do with her mental health or emotional maturity.

While there are many ways a loving partner can help a woman reach orgasm, in the end, a woman is responsible for her own sexual pleasure. That does not mean her partner should not be involved. Communication between partners is very important. It is up to the woman to inform her partner of her likes and dislikes in their sexual adventures.

Be sure to check out my other blogs in the JMB Talk Sex Series:

There is No Stork: Having the Real Sex Talk with Your Kids

The Truth About Having Sex After Having a Baby

About the Author

Noelle PomeroyNoelle Pomeroy, PhD, LMHC is a Clinical Sexologist and Licensed Mental Health Counselor. She owns Jacksonville Center for Sexual Health located in Julington Creek area and Ponte Vedra Beach. Dr. Pomeroy lives in Mandarin with her husband and two daughters.



Twitter: @jaxsexualhealth



Thank you to Jacksonville Center for Sexual Health for sponsoring this post.


  1. Keeping intimacy in a relationship can be difficult so I don’t think anyone should feel like they are abnormal if they are having difficultly with their relationship and keeping the intimacy there. Things like us not having orgasms through sex is so common as you say. There is also no right answer about how much sex you should have, everyone have different levels of libido.


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