young multiracial couple experiencing relationship problems, dead bedroom concept

How to navigate a dead bedroom and reignite your sex life

If your sex life has slowly diminished, you might have found yourself searching for “dead bedroom cures”. However, fixing a lack of intimacy isn’t so simple. Couples should approach the issue with patience and understanding, and today, we’re going to discuss how.

Read on to find out more.

What is a dead bedroom?

“Dead bedroom” is a term used to describe a couple that rarely or never engages in sex. Most partners initially enjoy sex at the start of their relationship, but over time, their desire drops or communication falters.

How often do couples have sex?

There’s no “normal” when it comes to sex frequency. Some people might enjoy sex every day, whereas others prefer to have sex a couple of times a month.

Rather than comparing yourself to other couples, reflect on your feelings and whether you are feeling like sex has significantly decreased or stopped. A slight decrease in sex frequency is common in long-term relationships.

Navigating the stigma surrounding dead bedrooms

Medical professionals don’t actually refer to this issue as a “dead bedroom”. The term is informal and not a diagnosis. This is because “dead” can add extra shame or stigma to the situation.

“Dead” also makes some couples feel like their relationship has lost its spark. But this isn’t always the case. Many couples still find each other attractive and care for each other, and the lack of intimacy may stem from a completely different issue.

Consent and boundaries in dead bedrooms

While exploring sex and relationships, it’s critical to note that no one owes anyone sex. Your partner doesn’t have to sleep with you even if you’re in a long-term relationship. Sex must be between two consenting adults. To ignite a dead bedroom, both parties must give enthusiastic consent.

young multiracial couple experiencing relationship problems, dead bedroom concept

The most common reasons for a dead bedroom

If your sex life has stopped out of the blue, you might be confused and ashamed. However, there are plenty of common reasons couples may experience this situation:

  • One partner is overworked, stressed, or tired – For example, one partner is the main parent, one partner is working more, or perhaps someone has just given birth. These everyday situations leave us feeling mentally and physically exhausted, and sex is often the last thing on our minds
  • Life satisfaction – We’re more interested in sex when we’re happy. If one partner is experiencing a dip in self-esteem or optimism, they’ll be less likely to have sex
  • Issues within the relationshipEmotional issues within the relationship can affect sex drive. These usually include fidelity, communication, and trust
  • Mental health – Mental health conditions can affect sexual interest and arousal, such as traumas, anxiety, and depression
  • Sexual satisfaction – If one partner doesn’t thoroughly enjoy the sex, they’ll be less keen to take part
  • Shame and stigma – Sexual stigma is still prevalent in certain communities and cultures. This can leave people feeling embarrassed about having sex and talking about it with partners
  • Physical health conditions – Alongside emotional and mental causes, your physical health can affect your sexual desire. This can stem from sexual health conditions, chronic illnesses, hormonal changes, and medication side effects

What to do and what to avoid if you have a dead bedroom

If you’ve noticed that your sex life has come to a halt, don’t worry. There are plenty of ways to work around this problem and heat up the bedroom again. However, make sure you do it with kindness and not resentment.

How to address a dead bedroom

Building sex and intimacy back into your relationship is possible. But you must approach the topic with kindness and empathy.

Both partners must be willing to work together with compassion and love. A lack of sexual intimacy can cause feelings of rejection and hurt, so looking at the situation from your partner’s perspective can help you understand their situation better. You should also try not to resent or blame your partner for the issue.

Because of these complex feelings, it can be easier to work through issues with a sex therapist, couples counsellor, or sex educator.

You should also take time to explore the potential causes of a drop in sexual desire. Getting to the route of the problem will help you find an appropriate solution.

How not to address a dead bedroom

You should not address the issue with judgment, blame, or resentment, as these aggressive strategies might worsen the problem. It may also make your partner less likely to discuss it in the future, as they’ll expect to be attacked or blamed for the issue.

young multiracial couple experiencing relationship problems, dead bedroom concept

Tips for communicating with your partner

Ready to talk to your partner about the issue? Here are some tips to help you with communication:

  • Pick a good time for both partners – Ideally after work, without distractions, and without conflict. You shouldn’t bring up a lack of sex during a fight
  • Listen to what your partner thinks – While getting your feelings across is essential, you don’t know how your partner feels. Use active listening strategies to show understanding
  • Keep the tone positive – Use a positive tone and talk about how good the sex can be rather than talking about what’s wrong with your sex life. E.g. “I want to feel close to you again” rather than “You never have sex with me anymore.”
  • Provide solutions – If appropriate within the conversation, you can offer strategies to help. This could be sharing childcare responsibilities, making doctor appointments for possible medical conditions, or investing in some sex toys to bring some excitement back
  • Suggest professional help – Talking about sex and desire can be tough for some. In some cases, a sex-positive therapist can help you communicate with professional strategies

Enter into the communication without any expectations. Make sharing your thoughts and feelings the primary goal. Otherwise, your partner may feel extra pressure.

The takeaway

Having little or no sex might be upsetting to you, but it’s not a medical issue. However, you can take steps to work towards a fulfilling sex life again. Always remember to respect your partner’s wishes and boundaries and approach all conversations with kindness and patience.

Learn more about sex and relationships on the Vivastreet blog.

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