Stagnation in the bedroom is a matter of lacking the ability to grow and develop a more enhanced experience due to an oblivious sense of self and partner. Being a stagnater does not mean idiocy just an inability to improve due to lack of awareness. This can be avoided by being more attentive to your partner as well as gaining a better sense of both of your vulnerabilities and needs during your intimate moments.
Have you ever experienced doing the same sexual routine over and over? Do you feel that your routine is effective enough that it does not need to be altered? Have you seen that your partner does not respond to you the same way in the bedroom? Are you not able to pay attention to the nuances of your partners verbal and non-verbal cues in the bedroom? Are you ready for a revamping and a change? If so my stagnater friend, keep reading…
START HERE (Sexlosteem Stagnater):
Having Sexlosteem may not be a stagnaters concern in the bedroom. They are skilled enough to get the job done and will have limited complaints about their performance…in the beginning. They very well may enjoy the ride as well. If you fit this mold, you may want to pat yourself on the back…but before you do that, consider reevaluating your experience overtime and think about where those darn sparks went. Read the next set of statements and see if you can relate:
- I don’t ever get complaints.
- I have time at this moment to initiate but in fifteen minutes I have to be done.
- Our sexual routine works; there is no need to change it.
- As long as we are having sex regularly, how we initiate is not important.
- I don’t have to think about what I or my partner likes because I already know.
- We are having good sex so there is no need to put additional energy into thinking about it.
- We have a sex pattern that we always fall in to.
- Sex…orgasm…that’s it.
- Great sex is all about performance.
- I change positions often and my partner is always accommodating..
- I don’t need to stop and think about my feelings, what is there to think about!
- My partner enjoys it and I get pleasure out of it, that’s good enough for me.
The sparks may have left from you not being aware of your partner’s needs and connecting to them on a more intimate level. After reading these statements, if you identified with any of them, you may be considered a stagnater. If you are not sure if you can identify or not, the true test of identifying yourself as a stagnater is your reaction to reading the statements. Did you find yourself not having a reaction at all? By that I mean, when you read the statements you didn’t have a rise in negative or positive emotions or put any energy toward it because the statements just didn’t speak to you. If this was your reaction, than this issue may not apply to you.
Are you a Stagnater?
If for chance you became defensive, started justifying, or denying some of the previous statements, you might want to consider being a part of the stagnater club and reading further. The energy you released in your reaction might be the result of your denied self seeping through. To get a better understanding of the denied self click here: denied self.
Characteristics of a Stagnater
First, a stagnater can be either male or female at any age. A stagnater’s focus primarily lies in the performance, that they think works for them and their partner, rather than the nuances between the act and experience. What the heck do I mean by that?? For starters, when you are a stagnater you become so complacent in your routine, regardless of the effectiveness, that you might miss your partner’s verbal and non-verbal cues that will give you clues as to what works or not currently and overtime; hence the nuances that help you improve your technique and intimate connection overtime.
What happens when you ignore those clueless cues?
Negating these cues can lead to an experience that is depriving and awkward overtime. For instance, what you do in your intimate moments at age 28 has a different appearance at age 58 due to physical and sexual changes of the body overtime. So what you thought made you feel like “the man/woman” from your original sexual routine may not be as effective with your partner after years of the same routine. Not only will the routine become stale, but your partner’s body may not respond the same with lubrication or limber capability as it once did.
You have the ability to become aware of you and your partner’s vulnerabilities, likes, abilities, and desires throughout your sexual experiences…if you take the time to actually focus in. By focusing in you gain the ability to grow and please your partner in the long term.
For instance, you and your partner have great sex for five years. One day your partner comes to you and states, “I want more. I want to feel a spark. I want you to do the things I like. I want to feel passion”. But wait, you are confused because up until now you hadn’t realized that there was a problem. However, in your partner’s eyes, in this case, they could set off fireworks, light a rocket, and start a fire in the bedroom all at the same time during sex and you wouldn’t even notice the chaos because you are not in tune with your partner’s cues and signals. Opening your awareness of your partner’s cues will allow you to overcome your developed plateau. This will take effort on your part by listening to your partner and creating a physical, emotional, and sensual awareness that will result in growth and a more enhanced experience between you and your partner.
Extreme scenario of what stagnation looks like
A couple attended therapy and was asked, “What is it that your partner likes you to do in the bedroom?”. One partner said a few things and the other partner stated, “Well everything”. At an extreme case, the stagnater may reply by staring blankly, not able to recall or even have the knowledge of the answer. This often happens when a person is not tapped into their senses when engaging in sexual activities. For instance, Donna recalls an intimate moment with her boyfriend Jeff:
Jeff and I always have the same experience when we engage in foreplay. He sucks my breast too hard, I jolted, he continues, I physically move my body so that we are face-to-face, and then we have great sex. It was not until therapy that we discussed that routine and discomfort. He said that he did not realize that I jolted or even felt discomfort from the sucking.
Sometimes it is hard for the partner of a stagnater to express their discomfort and perceived staleness in the bedroom to protect their partner from hurt feelings and crushed pride. As seen in this example it was also difficult for the stagnater, Jeff, to become aware of his girlfriend’s discomfort by not being aware of her cues (jolting, physically moving).
If the couple eventually enjoyed themselves, what is the problem you might ask. From the outside looking in, it does not appear to be an issue especially if both partners have a happy ending; however, it becomes and issue of boredom, loss of connectedness to partner, and a staleness with intimacy overtime. The partner of the stagnater may become fed up with their partner’s inability to recognize that they are sucking on their breast too hard; not sucking the penis hard enough; or not realizing that thrusting at a certain angle results in bruising their insides.
As if ignoring your partner was grounds for an intervention, so is ignoring yourself. You may not be aware of experiencing a heightened level of intimacy because you are stuck in your own comfort and unwilling to acknowledge the presence of the underlying feelings, needs, moods, connection and awareness of self. Without experiencing the physical, visual, behavioral and emotional awareness to self, how can you experience it with your partner?
Practice awareness by opening your senses to awaken your feelings, thoughts, and sensations that align with your intimate behaviors. For example, ask yourself, “What do I feel when my partner touches me here?”, “I like it when they do…but would like it more if they were to do…?”, “I just felt a shiver, does that mean; do I like what they are doing or not?”; think about the smells in the room and from your partner that are intriguing to you, the sounds your partner likes that turns you on, the sight of your partner’s body movements that are sexy and drives you crazy, and so on.
So I’m a Stagnater, what the heck do I do next…
Although you may not suffer from Sexlosteem, you may want to enhance your sexual experience. This will take an increased amount of energy and participation in thinking and exploring. If you are ready to increase your experience, the Six Sense Strategy below is particularly helpful for stagnaters. First step is to identify which of the five senses your partner likes and you can use the skills below to shift and enhance it in the bedroom.
Six Sense Sex Strategy
The clichÃ© that “men are visual creatures” has some truth in it but consider the possibility of woman being visually stimulated creatures too as well as the consideration that some men not at all. But have you ever stopped to think about what you actually find visually stimulating? There is not one way that visual stimulation occurs. Each person has their own definition of what is visually stimulating for them if they are visual creatures. Here are some visual stimulants:
If you saw your partner in drab attire including wearing sweats, holes in their pants/socks/undies, granny panties or droopy boxers, or in a snuggy are you likely to be turned or or not? Or would it matter to you? Some men appreciate watching their woman dress in lingerie and walk seductively toward them; others like to see their woman with his button up shirt on and thongs underneath; others may prefer an over sized sweatshirt with nothing underneath.
On the other hand, some women who are visual appreciate their mate being neat with clean under garments on. Others like seeing their men in costume in gear for a role play. Lastly, some like to see their partner in just an army boot or utility belt in the nude.
Body Type and Physical Features
Perhaps you are turned on by your partner’s mere body type. For instance, you are turned on by their robust, svelte, average weight. Maybe their height does something for you. Are there features that tickle your fancy? Some people are stimulated by the shape of lips, ears, nose, toes, breasts, booty, thighs, calfs, legs, biceps, stomach, color of skin, etc. Is this something that gets you stimulated?
Would you be visually stimulated by an image that your mate sent you through text? Does looking at suggestive magazines, watching pornography, or making your own sex video stimulate you (note: to the extent that it does not impair your sexual function in the absence of using these media outlets)?
Do you enjoy seeing you and your partner getting it on? Some people find this stimulating and become more aroused watching themselves; some watching their partners facial reactions to the experience.
Now that you have some idea of what can be visually stimulating, experiment with your partner by paying attention to their attempts to turn you on by using visual stimulants. Do you notice that sexy lingerie that they put on just for you? Have you noticed the physical position that landed you both in front of your reflection? If your partner is no longer attempting to visually stimulate you, it may be in part to your rejection of their advances by you not paying attention to it. Let them know it is okay to try again by nudging them with a new piece of lingerie, boxers/briefs, etc.
After identifying you and your partners visual stimulants, decide how you can incorporate it into your intimate moments. This can be done as foreplay or during your intimate moments where you slow down and appreciate these visual stimulants by embracing the thoughts and feelings you have during this step.
In our primal stages of development as humans, our pheromones used to be our guide to picking our mate. Since then, we have adapted to using perfumes, deodorants, scented lotions, and hair products that stimulate our senses. Have you ever thought about the smells that put you in a good mood, relaxes you, or stimulates you? Identify the scents that you like on your partner that puts you in an enhanced mood before, during, and scent memories after sexual intercourse. Scent memories are memories that are tied to scents. Do you ever recall remembering a lover because of the scent they wore? If so, it is like that. Some scent memories may include, but are not limited to, sweat, perfume, scented candles, oils, hair products, cologne, lotions, etc.
When thinking about smell, it is also important to notice what is a turn off. For example, some people tend to like engaging in sexual intercourse or intimate cuddling in the morning. This can be detrimental if one or both partners have smelly breath or a pungent body odor. Also, if after a long day at work you initiate sex not thinking about your putrid body odor, this may pose a problem for your partner. Remember, this is about enhancing the experience for you AND your partner.
When identified, try including this in your intimate moments with your partner and become aware of how it enhances your experience. If your partner likes it when you smell clean, initiate taking a shower together before you introduce sex. You might also want to wear that special cologne/perfume/oil that just drives your partner to ecstasy, and so on.
Foreplay and Food
So you may wonder what taste has to do with all of this. Well, taste can also enhance your experience during moments of intimacy. Have you ever heard of aphrodisiac foods? These are foods that are supposed to increase sexual desire. For example, oysters have been said to stimulate this desire due to its shape which is similar to the female vagina. Can you identify foods that put you in the mood or make you desire sex? For some, substances like chocolate, asparagus, bananas, figs, and avocado may do the trick. Some of these choices may have a physiological effect that increases blood flow to the genitals, while others have a psychoactive effect due to the mere suggestion of their phallic shapes.
Body and Taste
Some people may not a connection to food in this way, and in those cases there are other methods of identifying what you like to taste during intimate moments. For instance, the taste of sweat from your partner’s body, the minty taste in your partner’s mouth after they cleaned their breath, or the soap residue left from their shower may be some of the appealing things that do it for you.
Now consider the taboo topic of taste…genitals. Do you like the way your partner tastes? Does your partner like the way you taste? If you or your partner can answer no, you might want to experiment with your diet. For instance, some foods may contribute to your non-tantalizing come or vagina smell. Acidic vegetables (e.g. some greens, asparagus, tomatoes) can produce a foul odor whereas some fruits can enhance the smell and taste of your genitals such as pineapple for example. Switching up your diet can also effect your taste when you sweat as well. The idea here is to experiment to see what works better with your body and getting feedback from your partner.
Whatever your preference, try to identify your taste interest and incorporate it during your intimate moments. For example, eating oysters first to set the mood; using syrup, chocolate, whipped cream on your partner’s most tantalizing body parts; sharing a shower/bath with your partner…you get the idea.
Understanding your comfort zone: Giver/Receiver
Are you more comfortable being the giver or receiver? Start to pay attention to your response as your partner strokes your body, gives you massages, or embraces you. Do you feel uncomfortable accepting pleasure because it brings up feelings of guilt? Or do you find yourself always in the giver mode because you fear you may be rejected if you ask for what you want? These questions will only be answered when you gain awareness of your pattern.
Another thing to consider are you and your partner’s vulnerabilities in the bedroom. As humans, we develop a coping style to protect ourselves from being hurt, rejected, criticized, or anything else that invokes fear in us. Being intimate with your partner is no exception. With this in mind, creating a safe place in the bedroom will allow you and your partner to feel safe enough to experiment and grow. For instance, your partner may feel too vulnerable to ask for what they want and how they want it; they may be self-conscious of their body; they may feel too submissive to try domineering techniques; or perhaps they feel that they don’t want to feel pleasure because they are afraid of looking animalistic when they express enjoyment.
It is important for you to be aware of and accept you and your partner’s vulnerabilities in order to create a safe space to become vulnerable and grow intimately. I suggest using a touch exercise that incorporates verbal feedback to encourage a safe space in the bedroom:
1. Touch exercise: Conduct this exercise with your partner without the pressure and expectation of sexual intercourse. Do a full body massage using your hands, lips, and tongue. You can either start from the feet up to the crown or vice versa. Avoid the genital areas. Spend about 3 minutes on a particular body part. Use different techniques and intensities. Allow your partner to respond to the touch by asking, “Which feels better, A or B”. After you get the answer, ask your partner why it felt better to increase your awareness of what they like to do in future intimate moments. Practice being the giver and receiver. Then answer these questions:
- Am I aware of how my partner likes to be touched?
- Was I able to accept my partner’s critiques and modify them to please my partner?
- Am I more aware of how I like to be touched?
- Was I connected to the experience by allowing myself to feel vulnerable?
- Can I duplicate this during our moments of intimacy?
For more exercises about touch click: Sensate Focus.
2. Verbal exercise: while engaging in sexual activity:
- Be specific and tell them how what they are doing is making you feel
- Be honest by letting your partner know if something is unsatisfying
- Ask your partner for feedback and learn from it
When you become aware of these interactions, you will begin to notice how the power shift allows your partner to express their sensuality and how you respond to it. You will also be able to use touch to make your partner feel connected to you and allow yourself to be vulnerable in the process and motivated to change your techniques to enhance you and your partners experience.
Are you aware of the sounds that turn your desire a notch up? Some people like to hear music as a means to put them in the mood to engage in intimate moments. For example, having soft music playing in the background, love songs, or jazz will set the stage of relaxation. This can reduce tension and anxiety around sexual intimacy which can allow each partner to become more involved in the experience itself rather than the performance of it. Here are some examples of how sound is used in the bedroom:
Verbal sounds during sexual intercourse can be a turn-on for some people. For example, hearing your partner whisper that they “like it”, or hearing them talk dirty or sweet while engaging in sex can “drive you crazy” with pleasure. If these things are not interesting to you, you can try character voices or sounds depicting that character. How about a story telling session where your partner is setting a scene and you are playing it out as you both go along?
Some people prefer less talking and more moans or other bedroom noises. Consider the sound of the bed rocking against the wall or the creeks of the wooded floor. How about the sounds of your bodies as they clash together.
Does the sound of people in the other room; next door; downstairs make your experience more exciting? Do you have the urge to crank up your sounds or keep it quiet so that they won’t find out.
Whatever your choice of sound make it clear to your partner that you want them to continue the sound effects and how it turns you on. Think about how to assess sound effects to make your experience enhanced. How can you make it safe in the bedroom? One way is to encourage your partner to continue or merely introducing it to your partner and giving kudos when they attempt it. By your partner knowing this, they have a sense of what you like and would be more inclined to continue.
Lastly, if you find yourself in the same routine you may be putting your partner in a stale sexual experience. Become aware of your experience with sex. Is it humorous, serious, passing of time, or an emotional experience?
Try switching things up by choosing different settings, positions, varying between coitus, cunnilingus, fellatio, and anilingus (sexual intercourse, oral sex performed on female, oral sex performed on male, oral stimulation on anus). Gain insight on what positions your partner likes and dislikes. Some partners may not be to fond of oral sex. If not, what are some other ways that you can receive or give pleasure negating this? These questions vary and will be important to you communicating with your partner about this.
Which positions give you the most pleasure? What emotional expression comes to the surface when being vulnerable and opening up these senses to explore your sense of pleasure. With that information, how can you use that to move your experience forward with the emphasis to grow with your partner?
Answering these questions will allow you to become aware of your emotional connection to this experience. Challenge yourself to connect to your emotions and overall awareness to be a better partner and to enhance your own experience.
If this is all new to you, than give it a try to boost your stagnated state. These exercises will allow you to tap into your emotional awareness, hence increasing your sexual experiences. Connecting emotionally during intimate moments allows you to become vulnerable to the process, open your awareness to you and your partners needs, and enhance the interaction between you and your partner.