FROM THE FUCKBUCKET: “What does one do when desire fades?”
Jump ship? Fan the flames? Re-invest? Redefine? The answer to this question depends on two things:
- what you did when desire was strong, in addition to playing with that desire
- what the individual parties want going forward
Itâ€™s fine if you spent all of your time and focus during the hottest-n-heaviest part of the relationship on expressing your desire. Just know that when the boner-jumping feels less urgent, youâ€™re going to be left without solid ground to build on.
If you’re in a relationship involving sex and you feel that youâ€™re probably going to want to keep it going for as long as possible, the best thing you can do is to dedicate some time, even in the middle of all the humpery, to Not-Sex.
Explore all the ways that you connect and play, whether thatâ€™s in the kitchen or out in the wilderness or supporting each other with your separate ambitions. This is called being multi-faceted individuals in a multi-faceted relationship; it is being something more than two fuck muppets in a never-ending orgy.
Fuck-muppeting sounds funâ€”well, I think it does, but I just made up that phrase, so what do I know?â€”but eventually the orgy does end, and if you havenâ€™t spent any time playing around with other bits like your mind, then when the sun rises metaphorically on the detritus and soaked sheets and youâ€™re like, um, what do we do now, you will have some ideas ready to go beyond a brunch full of awkward silences.
Okay. Now say youâ€™ve arrived at that point, where youâ€™ve woken up after a year or ten and you donâ€™t feel that desire for each other anymore. Youâ€™re having a good time learning Vietnamese cooking or deconstructing Star Trek together or exploring the Appalachian trail, but when you put down that tent for the night, you do not bother unzipping the sleeping bags, if you know what I mean. What now?
First of all, fading desire doesnâ€™t mean dead. You may be able to get it back, with couples therapy or individual therapy or sex therapy or workshops or self-help books or specially designed playtime or trips to the regional kink convention. Probably try some combination.
(Pro tip: Donâ€™t think about opening your relationship as a way of spicing things up.)
If you decide thatâ€™s an important part of your relationship that you donâ€™t want to see go away, then itâ€™s time to do what you probably didnâ€™t spend enough time on before now. Get serious with the desire; examine it. Find other sources for it in each other. Hopefully you have already been talking with each other. Well, keep doing it, now more than ever.
If you decide that desire is an important part of romantic relationships but donâ€™t want to try to bring it back to this one? Thatâ€™s a valid decision, too. Maybe you feel like your relationship is fine in a more platonic way. But be honest about whatâ€™s happening. I have heard people say, â€œoh, the fire went out,â€ but they donâ€™t acknowledge that they were part of letting that happen.
Fire doesnâ€™t keep going on its own. It needs fuel of some sort, and air to breathe, and room to move. I hope the desire metaphor is obvious here.
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