The Hook Up: 1-19-2011


My partner and I have been together for four years now, and have been in a domestic partnership for three. We have a wonderful partnership and it only gets better each day but — I’ll get to the main point — the sex is fading! Sometimes it happens only once a week, once every two weeks, sometimes once a month. Obviously it was very frequent, almost non-stop the first two and a half years.

I know all about the dreaded Lesbian Bed Death and I have a few theories about it that I think may be affecting us. 1) The minute we step foot in the house, all clothes come off. But not for “sexy time.” Just because it has become a habit. There is almost no moment in the house when we are clothed. It’s just comfortable for us to be naked at home. 2) We shower together all the time. Not to be romantic; just because we don’t feel like waiting for the other so we just shower together (and we have two showers). It’s just another habit that just seems normal for everyday things.

So, all that being said, do you think nonstop nakedness and showers have kind of killed the romance between us? How can we bring sexy back into our partnership? Help, please! – Losing It

Anna says: I don’t see a direct correlation to being naked a lot/showering together and a lack of sexual desire. It’s possible, I s’pose, that you’ve reached a plateau in your four-year relationship, since doing the same routines over and over again can lead to monotony and stagnant desires. Also, not to be clothes-minded or anything, but there is something to be said for the obstacles of zippers, fabric, and whatnot. If there’s total access to your body at all times, I can see how that may lead to a slight decrease in everyday arousal after a while. But, as one friend put it, “You’re conflating sexual desire with the sexualization of body parts we usually keep hidden.” Nudity can be erotic, but it doesn’t have to be. And it’s certainly not the only driving force behind why we get it on. I think a bigger question for you would be this: are you less attracted to your partner now that she’s naked a lot of the time? If the answer is no, then the issue is more complicated.

Another obvious route would be to talk to your partner about what’s going on. Is this a one-sided frustration for you, while your partner is perfectly happy with the amount of sex you’re having? Before we strip down this problem, (see what I did there?) there are plenty of other factors going on in your lives that might be impeding your fun nekkid time, like stress at work, family problems, sedentary lifestyle, hormonal changes, new medications, etc. If nothing else is hugely pressing in your life, you might simply have hit a snag in the rich tapestry known as long-term relationship sex.

Our lives ebb and flow constantly, so it makes sense that our libidos do too. Perhaps this is a time in your lives when you’re supposed to crochet a lot of doilies, or write a novel, or learn how to spin plates, which is, coincidentally, also a really handy sex move to have in your arsenal, for later. Try not to fixate too much, but don’t ignore it either. Have those sometimes-awkward talks with your partner about expectations, meeting each other’s needs and all that good stuff. I’m not going to tell you to purchase fuzzy cuffs and a spreader bar or anything, because I hated when people used to tell me that a little lube would solve all my sex problems, but variety is almost always a good thing.

So get on that, or you know, a crochet needle (not like that, you dirty birds).

Hailing from the rough-and-tumble deserts of southern Arizona, where one doesn’t have to bother with such trivialities as “coats” or “daylight savings time,” Anna Pulley is a professional tweeter/blogger for Mother Jones and a freelance writer living in San Francisco. Find her at and on Twitter @annapulley. Send her your Hook Up questions at

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