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Sex Goals
Sounds strange, but setting sex goals within your relationship can have a very positive impact. Dr. Trina Read explains how setting sex goals can muster up magic.

Before your sex life is on fire, you've got to find the spark.

Jack and Jill are not happy with their sex life. After an initial year of hot, wild, bunny-like mayhem, their sex life turned into a dull routine. To add insult to injury, having kids made their sex erratic to the point of non-existent. They’ve long since learned that sex does not magically happen. Even still they are stymied by a lack of time and energy and have thus spiraled into apathy. Their heart-breaking reality is that they love each other and want to keep an intimate connection but don’t know how.

In this universal relationship catch-22, superficially it seems like Jack and Jill have a one-way ticket to lifelong sexual misery. Interestingly, they are simply at a crucial sexual juncture and consciously or unconsciously must make a tough life choice.

The first, most common and by far easiest choice is to throw all their energy into a distraction such as their job, kids, volunteering, computer or TV. Their distraction becomes the "responsible" excuse why they’re not working on their sex life. In this scenario, both feel and act like victims—not the best way to revive a flagging sex life.

The second least common and much harder choice is to take a frank inventory of their sex life and with unshakeable resolve move forward to change what is not working.

How can you take this high road? Oddly enough, by pulling a chapter out of business acumen and creating sex goals. A sex goal is exactly as it sounds: a long-term objective you want to have happen within your sex life.

A good starting place is to craft a specific vision of what you want the end result to be. What does your perfect sex life look like? Or how would you describe a perfect sexual encounter? The more detailed you are, the easier it will be to paint a memorable picture in your head—sometimes it's the only thing that keeps a couple hanging in when times get tough.

Be aware, a gigantic mistake would be to create a self-defeating uber-goal like, "We’ll have sex two times per week." There’s too much unresolved sex-baggage that needs to be worked on before you can comfortably go from no sex, to anticipating, wanting and having sex twice a week. Instead, having sex twice a week might become your end vision.

Therefore, mini-sex goals are a more realistic approach. Turning long ingrained relationship ruts around has to be done with small, incremental baby steps that are easy to digest, take on, show progress and do not require major life upheavals.

An example of a mini-sex goal would be making a commitment every day to show some type of non-sexual, affectionate contact. This can look like a lingering hug, kiss on the cheek or bum squeeze. This mini-sex goal is easy, doable and cements a solid foundation to tackle bigger sexual challenges. Once you have moved to making your mini-sex goal an unconscious habit, only then can you move on to your next mini-sex goal.

At this point you might already be discouraged and thinking, "What? No instant gratification?" That’s correct. Creating new healthy sex habits that’ll last a lifetime neither come easy nor fast because they can only grow organically. You will see a positive change—just not on your time line.

Remember to get a "buy-in" from your partner. Your sex goal is not something to be done in secret. Healthy communication, negotiation and mutual respect need to take place if your end vision is to come to happy fruition.

Next is the most exciting and also most discouraging part of the equation: putting your mini-sex goal into action. This initially appears in the honeymoon stage where "goal-haze" gives you an artificial sense of "We’ve got this thing under control." You and your partner are focused, enthusiastic and excited about the new idea.

However, after the haze wears off and unresolved sticky issues start popping up, there’s a huge propensity to avoid one another and go back to your old sex routine, thus plunging you into a deeper level of helplessness.

Knowing this, it’s a good idea to do progress check-ins from time to time. Your agreement might be to sit down every three months and reflect upon how much growth (if any) has occurred. Ask each other whether of not you put in a good effort. Did you allow each other to slide back into your old sex habits? What went well? How can you keep up the momentum? In the end, do everything to keep the lines of communication flowing.

Ultimately, the choices you make will be reflected in the quality of relationship you experience. Remember, sex goals do mean work and give a beacon of hope where there was once none.

Dr. Trina Read has a doctorate in human sexuality. Dr. Read is also an international speaker and offers a free sex audio tip weekly on her website www.trinaread.com/t-sextips.

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Over 1 million couples turn to Hitched for expert marital advice every year. Sign up now for our newsletter & get exclusive weekly content that will entertain, educate and inspire your marriage.

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