Getting stuck in a sexual routine

Where did my libido go?


The routine that kills!


We all know it, sexual routine tends to kill desire. After a few years, we get tired of having sex with the same person, the same way & being able to predict the next move from your partner. We all know the mantra: “We must add variety to our sex life if we want to continue having it”

What does it mean to add variety to our sex life?

Yeah…that isn’t very clear for a lot of people. Do we have to buy sex toys or do Christian Grey stuff (50 shades of Grey)? Buy a Kama Sutra book and stretch before sex? Do we change rooms? Do it in public or get out the whipped cream? And what if you don’t want to do any of those things? Are we doomed to never have sex again?

We can certainly do some of those things to get our genitals going a bit in the bedroom. Although, that is like turning the TV on its side and watching a movie for the 250th time…we can all understand that it is the same film on the screen. We know the ending, the surprises, the jokes and the explosions before they even happen. Nothing surprises us or gives us real joy for what is coming next.

Changing rooms or adding sexual positions to your repertoire or integrating sex toys to your sex life will not make it more passionate and enjoyable. It can bring a bit of variety, but it will not last long over time if it is the only thing you do to add variety.

So, what are we suppose to do?

Too many times in my office, I see couples who throw themselves at changing things rapidly in their sexual behaviour, that has little to no significance in depth. They want quick and effective solutions without the effort on their part. But, isn’t that where you would want to put some effort? Isn’t it important to give importance and time to your partner if you don’t want to take them for granted? Would you not want them to take care of you, your relationship and your sexuality together?

But, sex and desire are supposed to be natural!

Well, not really actually! There is nothing natural about sex. We are not born “Sex Bombs” (as Tom Jones used to say), we become one. Think about your first sexual relationship. Were you confident, charming, competent, natural and seductive the first time? Did you know how to kiss properly in your teen years? Probably not! Our first times are awkward, embarrassing, full of uncertainties and insecurities. Over time, we become better at it and gain confidence. Eventually, we hit the wall of sexual incompetence…again. Tadaah! This is where the next phase of your sex life begins.

couple therapy, therapist, sexologist, sextherapist
Find the joy of sex again

Changing the paradigm of sexuality

You certainly know what sexual performance is right? This is what makes sex satisfying and energizing. Being with a partner who knows what they are doing and has the proper techniques is a sure shot for success in bed. This formula works for the first few months or years to increase sexual arousal at its highest and it is the quickest way possible to orgasm. Although, it is exactly this way of having sex that kills sexual desire
When we aim for sexual performance, we do what we know works to reach orgasm. Touch here, touch there and BOOM, you get an orgasm. Other times, you retouch here, you retouch there…and peeewwww…Nothing really happens. This happens over months and years where there are ups and downs, but sexual satisfaction is on a constant drop.
This is where sexual routine starts in long term relationships. When the objective is to sexually arouse yourself and your partner, we use formulaic approaches in a repetitive manner with small variations that slowly but surely work less over time. This creates anxiety and insecurities because we feel incompetent, undesirable and nervous when we have sex. Nothing to get your sex drive high.
Erections are harder to obtain or are half soft, lubrification is less abundant, orgasms are rarer or none existent. Desire and passion are being drained out of the relationship because sexual satisfaction isn’t part of sex anymore. Spontaneity and surprises are far and few and seduction is very rare. We sometimes desperately try again with the same formula hoping to get different results.

Sexual connexion & presence

What really brings change and variation to sex is your capacity to change the tone and dynamic of the relationship during your lovemaking. If we introduce sex toys but we keep the same attitude, with the same anxieties and our sexual performance mantra; we are making love the same way, except that we have a piece of plastic in our hands. If you change the eye contact you have, your touch, your intention and the manner in which you flirt with the other person you are bringing sex to another level. You are changing the relationship you have with your partner!

  • Do you look your partner in the eyes during sex? (1 minute or more)
  • How do you feel connected to your partner during sex?
  • What do you think about while having sex? What is your internal dialogue during sex, from start to finish?
  • When does sex start for you? (Flirting, kissing, being naked, penetration, oral sex)
  • When does it end?
  • How do you flirt and create sexual desire in yourself and your partner?
  • What type of variations do you bring while flirting? While having sex?

  • How would you describe your sexual style? (intense, horny, soft, tender, affectionate, funny, playful, genitally oriented, passionate, emotional, loving, flamboyant, etc.)
  • How would you describe your partner’s style?

  • What makes sex satisfying according to you? ( orgasm, presence with the other person, length, rigidity of the penis, intensity of the connexion, letting go, emotional fusion with the other, etc.)
  • What makes sex satisfying according to your partner?
  • What makes you sexually attractive as a sexual partner? (Why would people want to have sex with you?)

  • What do you like in your partner sexually?
  • What do they like about you sexually?
  • What do you like the least?
  • Do you ever talk about it? Why or why not?
  • What do they least prefer about you during sex?
  • Have you ever talked about it? Why or why not?

Killing the routine!

Sexuality isn’t just a question of backflips and introducing the funkiest of behaviours, although it can be very interesting at times. It is a sexual RELATIONSHIP with the other person. This connexion can be affectionate and/or sexual. When we take the time to feel and take pleasure to all our sensations of our bodies, our connexion and presence to the other person rather than trying to perform…variety becomes easier to integrate into sex.

Learn more about the author

Francois Renaud M.A.

Sex therapist & psychotherapist in Downtown Montreal
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There are 2 comments on this post

  1. Increase sexual satisfaction -
    54 years ago

    […] We often talk about sexual performance when it comes to having good or bad sex. Many people desperately search to be sexually performing in bed so that they can get their ego’s rubbed the right way. They want their partner’s to notice how good they are and leave their mark. Others will find this dynamic to be unfulfilling and transition towards more of a sexual presence to avoid the sexual routine. […]


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