Sexual intimacy is an important aspect of the relationship; it keeps both parties from having a mutual sense of comfort. Being highly intimate also helps couples become more open with each other, translating to a stronger romantic connection. This is why sex issues should be addressed as soon as possible, or it can negatively affect other aspects of the relationship.
If you and your partner are going through sex issues and unsure of how to manage them, we’re here to help you out. This guide will discuss the common sex issues within relationships and ways to manage these problems.
But before we proceed with the list, we would like to remind you that these are general tips only. This guide is also not a substitute for direct expert assistance. If the sex issues that you have with your partner are highly specific, we highly recommend seeking out a couples therapist, sex therapist, or counselor.
1“We’re not having sex as much as we used to…”
If this is one of the sex issues you have, you’re probably always reminiscing about the past. Back then, you were used to doing it all the time with your partner. Because the relationship is new and exciting, you’re just humping the night away like rabbits. But now, as the honeymoon and discovery phase ends, you may feel that you and your partner are just too comfortable and too busy to have sex.
Now, this might be a short-term relationship problem, as different factors such as work stress or tragedy can tremendously affect one’s libido. Some people are simply not in the mood because of what they’re going through but will eventually get back to their usual sexual selves. With that being said, ask your partner if something is bothering them about their work, family, friends, or other valuable aspects of their life.
If there’s no apparent cause of their disinterest in sex, then the reason for the lack of interest in the deed may stem from a deeper reason within the relationship.
They probably want you to express your love through their love language; they want you to be more vocal with your feelings, help more with the household chores, be more affectionate with them, or gift them with something romantic on special occasions. But because you’re not expressing your feelings through their desired love language, they might be holding onto sex unconsciously as a form of punishment.
The best way to manage this challenge is by communicating gently with your partner. No shouting, cheating accusations, sarcastic remarks, guilt-tripping statements, or other related remarks. Don’t resent them being disinterested in sex and instead ask them why they’re not as enthusiastic as they were before.
If the cause of their disinterest is a certain problem within the relationship, listen actively to what they’re saying and work together to sort it out. If your partner is being heard in the relationship, they’ll soon regain their trust within you and eventually rekindle that sensual flame.
2“My partner likes having sex so much, I can’t keep up!”
If you’re going through this sex problem, you’re probably getting tired and annoyed with your partner, who keeps asking for the deed every night. If you try saying no to them, they may end up ignoring you for the rest of the day or say guilt-tripping remarks. The words “You don’t love me anymore.” or “I just miss you, so I’m doing this…” are something you’ve heard before.
Aside from having sex all the time, you may also experience getting random sexual calls or texts from your partner. Now, there’s nothing wrong with getting a naughty text in the middle of the day; after all, it’s a great way to spice things up. But if this is happening almost daily, it may end up being annoying in the long run.
This is one of the trickiest sex issues, as the cause of this problem can be rooted in different causes. The first cause is mismatched sex drives. It’s normal for two people to be excited about having sex for the first few months. But once the honeymoon phase is over, the excitement will slowly go down, and everyone’s sex drive will be back as usual.
If you’re someone who is on the mellow side of things and wants to have sex a couple of times in a week only, it’ll be a big issue if your partner likes having sex all the time, as they’ll need to get pleased more often than what you prefer. If this is the cause of the problem, you’ll need to have a serious discussion with your partner and try to compromise to fit within each other’s sexual appetite.
On the other hand, if your partner suddenly becomes hypersexual, you might also consider if they went through something tragic. Sometimes, sex can be used as a coping mechanism to walk away from personal issues.
One of the good examples is a subplot in the third season of Netflix’s Sex Education. (Spoilers ahead!) When Cynthia and Jeffrey’s pet cat died, Cynthia used sex as a way to distract herself from the loss, asking her partner to make love to her every day. They eventually had a discussion, and Cynthia became her normal self in terms of her sexual drive.
If your partner is just becoming too sexual, you may want to ask them about what they’re going through and help them work through these personal issues.
3“I feel pain every time we’re having sex.”
Experiencing discomfort or pain during sex is one of the common sex issues in a relationship. It can be caused by physical conditions or disorders such as the following:
Sexually Transmitted Infections
People may experience pain during sexual penetration if sexually transmitted infections such as chlamydia, gonorrhea, or genital herpes.
People with vaginas going through menopause may experience painful sex as the change in hormones can cause the vaginal lining to losing its normal moisture.
Some people with vaginas may have this condition, which causes their vaginal muscles to automatically tighten during sex. This makes penetration harder to achieve due to the immense discomfort of the person with this condition.
There are two types of causes for this one, first is the primary vaginismus, which is for people that never experienced painless vaginal penetration. The second one is secondary vaginismus, which is for people who used to have painless sex but ended up with vaginismus. This is due to aging effects, traumatic incidents, gynecological surgery, and the like.
People with vaginas may experience painful sex due to endometriosis. It’s a condition wherein the endometrium, the tissue usually inside the uterus is growing outside it.
Genital Irritation or Allergy
This happens when your genitals come into contact with ingredients that you’re allergic to. It may happen while using new condoms, sex toys, lubricants, stimulants, intimate soaps, and other related items.
People with minor or major deformities in their penises, whether caused by a genetic condition or previous trauma, can make sex uncomfortable and painful.
This is a rare condition for people with penises. If you have priapism, you may experience prolonged erections for up to four hours and incessant penis pain.
Aside from physical causes, genital pain during sex can also be caused by mental conditions, such as sexual performance anxiety, wherein sex can cause extreme distress. Not using lubricants and not having enough foreplay can also become a reason for experiencing painful intercourse.
With that being said, we recommend analyzing your past sexcapades. Do you feel anxious and tense all the time? Is your partner in a rush when it comes to foreplay? Are you using lubes, or is your partner getting offended with the idea of using them? After figuring out the probable cause of your discomfort during the deed, have a heart-to-heart discussion with your partner about it.
4“I always feel pressured to perform well in bed.”
Here’s one of the sex issues within the relationship that most of us can relate to. With the availability of erotic videos online, it’s now easy to access tons of sensual videos. But with the easier access to erotic content comes with some cons, one of which is the pressure to perform in bed like an adult video actor or actress.
We can all agree that porn is definitely not a reflection of reality, but we can’t help but compare ourselves to the wild scenarios in those videos. As we wanted to replicate the wild sex shown in these erotic vids, we focused sooo much on making our partners orgasm, even at the expense of our own pleasure.
Most people also think that god-like skills in the bedroom is necessary for the relationship to prosper. We’re afraid of losing our partners because we’re not wild enough to please them, so we end up feeling pressured to keep up.
One of the best solutions for this problem is not just to cut down on porn (if pornography is the sole cause of the immense pressure) but also to have a heart-to-heart talk with your partner and ask for their feedback. You may find out that you’re just being too hard on yourself, and you’re actually good at sex. And if you’re not that good in bed, at least you can get insights on what your partner wants during sex and work through improvement.
5“My partner isn’t affectionate during sex.”
One of the common sex issues within relationships is the dwindling passion and affection during the deed. Different people have different needs when it comes to skinship. Some people love being clingy during the deed, while others are on the wilder side of things and focus on non-vanilla aspects of the act.
For this one, the best solution is to communicate your concern to your partner; tell them how the lack of passion in the bedroom is making you dissatisfied and frustrated with the deed. You can then talk about activities that involve both kinky and passionate activities, such as roleplaying. If your partner starts getting defensive and flipping you out for such a simple request, then consider that a big red flag in the relationship.
6“My partner doesn’t want to do a specific activity that I like.”
Another common bedroom issue is the mismatched preferences between couples. For instance, a person is interested in impact play and wants to get spanked and whipped by their partner. However, their partner isn’t interested in hurting their partner during sex.
Here’s the thing, different people have different interests in the bedroom. Never pressure your partner into saying yes in sexual activity and respect their boundaries. What you can do is talk through the dilemma and compromise.
Let’s go back to the previous example. Instead of going for whips or paddles, the person into impact play may ask their partner for tickle play instead. They can just ask their partners to tease or “torture” them with ticklish items such as feather ticklers, floggers, and similar items. It may not be as intense as whips and paddles but still, satisfy the person’s kinky need for sensory play.
7“We’re so pressured to make a baby, and it’s affecting our sexcapades.”
This is one of the sex issues that is highly common for married couples. When you and your partner decide to have a baby, sexytimes will happen more often. It’s incredibly romantic and fun at first— who doesn’t want to have it almost every night, right?
However, as the months go by, romantic sex may turn into a stressful obligation during ovulation. Not conceiving after a couple of tries can also frustrate both parties, leading to a rocky connection.
If you and your partner have some difficulty conceiving and are causing some strain on the relationship, you need to step back and discuss what’s going on. Remember that pregnancy can occur differently per person. Some may have it easy, while others may need to take a lot of sexy sessions to get it in.
You also need to remember that sex isn’t just about reproduction but also a way to strengthen the intimate connection. Take some time not just on the penetrative part of the deed but also the other intimate parts that lead up to that steamy penetration— the sensual touches, intense kisses, the breathtaking oral play… savor each moment.
We also recommend seeking medical professionals and getting the best treatment option to speed up the conception process. You can also consult a couples therapist about the negative feelings you both have as you try to make a baby.
8“I’m so conscious with my body every time we’re having sex.”
One of the common sex issues that couples have is body issues during the deed. If you or your partner negatively perceive your/their body, it can lead to sex avoidance or sexual anxiety.
There’s also a higher chance that a person with low self-esteem will not be fully satisfied during sex, as they’re focusing on the activity but simply watching over it. This is called spectatoring, in which a person sees themselves in the third-person perspective during the deed.
Suppose you think that your body image is affecting the way you have sex and experience pleasure. In that case, you need to start making small steps in loving yourself. Appreciate what your body can do. Take some self-love exercises. Touch yourself and be in tune with your body. Recognize the root cause of the negative perception. Surround yourself with positive people that admire you beyond your physical attributes. Those mentioned steps are some of the things that you can do towards self-love.
If your partner is actually the reason why you’re having body image issues, then consider this as a red flag. Talk to them about it. For example, they like joking about your belly during sex, even though they know that it’s one of your biggest insecurities.
Express your frustration and see how they react. Are they listening to your concerns and communicating properly? Are they being too defensive and calling “dramatic” for your request?
If they’re communicating properly and listening actively to what you’re saying, there’s a higher chance of making things right. If they’re being awful to you for expressing your frustration, you might want to consider ending the relationship.
9“Premature ejaculation is the biggest hindrance to our sex life.”
Premature ejaculation is one of the common sex issues among couples and has resulted in many unsatisfying sexperiences. Medical professionals may recommend exercises and medications to combat this challenge, but there’s another way to manage this without relying on meds or exercises— more foreplay and oral play.
Here’s the thing, if you have a female partner, keep in mind that the pleasure center or the most pleasurable part of their body isn’t inside the vagina. The clitoris, rich in about 8000 nerve endings, is located at the upper part of your vulva.
All you need to do is play with this area right before the penetrative part of the sex. Use your fingers, tongue, nose, and sex toys to please this area. Make sure to take a lot of time to play with the area— you’ll soon find your partner arching their hips over immense pleasure.
10“I’ve never experienced orgasming with my partner.”
Another common sex problem within relationships is the lack of orgasms and satisfaction between parties. Some give honest feedback to their partners, some may resort to using sex toys, while others… just fake it.
However, faking orgasms will only exacerbate the problem, not solving it. If your partner finds out that you’re just faking your Os, they may feel betrayed for lying.
This is why for this sex issue, you simply need to address it gently with your partner. Don’t mock them for not making you cum, but instead express the things you want to experience in the bed or activities that may lead you to orgasm more easily. You can also try love toys such as couple vibrators for additional sensations.
11“Erectile dysfunction is affecting our sex life.”
Erectile Dysfunction is a condition wherein a person with a penis has difficulty starting and maintaining an erection. It doesn’t just affect one’s sex life but also hurt their self-esteem— knowing that you can’t get it on must have been nerve-wracking, especially if you’re doing it with someone you love.
Same with other sex issues, there are ways to manage this problem. This includes talking to a medical professional and getting the best treatment options. As for the person whose boyfriend or husband is going through this condition, we recommend being a supportive figure as your partner goes through therapy, exercises, and medications. We recommend to focus on non-penetrative parts of the deed. Go for sensual massages, oral play, roleplaying, and related activities.
12“We never discuss anything sex-related; we’re both uncomfortable with the topic.”
This is probably the most common sex issue of them all. Due to the stigma surrounding sex and pleasure, most people are uncomfortable talking about sex, even with their partner. This can result in unsatisfactory sexual experiences, couples unaware of the concept of consent, couples that don’t establish boundaries within each other, and the like.
Here’s the thing, sex is a natural activity between partners. You’re not a slut nor a pervert for expressing your sexual desires. Don’t let the stigma surround sex stop you from experiencing the blissful pleasure that you both deserve. Besides, talking about sex and intimacy is sharing vulnerability with one another, strengthening the connection you have with your partner.
Having sex issues is a normal occurrence in a relationship. Couples will always have ups and downs; it’s part of the journey. However, couples should always have the initiative to work through these sex issues, so it wouldn’t escalate further. Learn to communicate and openly express your feelings to your partner— it’s the key to healthy sexperiences.