Stuck In a Sex Rut? Here’s How to Get Out

Stuck In a Sex Rut? Here’s How to Get Out

May 20, 2024Team NORMAL

In every long-term relationship, there may come a time when the initial flames of passion begin to wane, leading to a rut in intimacy and sex. 

This phase can be disheartening at first, but it's important to remember that it's a common experience that can be overcome with effort, understanding, and a willingness to reconnect. 


  • It’s common for sex to be put on the backburner in long-term relationships
  • Focus on emotional intimacy and small accessible moments of physical affection where you can
  • It may be the right time to explore new fantasies and desires with your partner

Communication is key

The foundation of any successful relationship is communication, especially during challenging times. Sit down with your partner and openly discuss the feelings of disconnect you've been experiencing. Focus on sharing your own feelings and thoughts, rather than blame or accusations, and offer suggestions where possible.

“I’m feeling lonely at the moment, and I really want to feel more connected to you. I think it might help if we prioritised a special ‘date night’ each week…”

can be a lot kinder to say than,

“You never take me on nice dates anymore, you make me feel so lonely…”. 

This dialogue will create a safe space for both of you to express yourselves and better understand each other's perspectives.

Focus on quality time over quantity

Rekindling intimacy doesn't always require extravagant gestures like covering the bed with rose petals or whisking your partner away to a hotel suite for the weekend. Instead of focusing on grand gestures or spending every waking moment together, emphasise the quality of your time spent.

Plan a date night you’ll both love, whether at home or out on the town, or take a weekend road trip to create new memories and remind yourselves of the joy you bring to each other's lives. When you’re between the sheets, focus less on how frequently you have sex and more on how fulfilling the sex is for both of you. If you’re experiencing physical pleasure, getting to indulge your desires, and feeling fulfilled and happy when you’re finished, we think it doesn’t matter so much how often you’re having sex—just that you’re having a good experience when you do.

Rediscover emotional intimacy

Intimacy isn't just physical. Emotional intimacy plays a crucial role as well. If you and your partner are stuck in a pattern of only talking about whose turn it is to do the dishes or take the dog out, set some time aside to hear each other’s thoughts and feelings—as you likely did at the beginning of the relationship. Engage in deep conversations, taking time to share your hopes, fears, and dreams. Vulnerability can bring you closer and remind you of the unique bond you share.

Remember that sex isn’t the only form of physical affection

Too often, we focus solely on sex and forget about all the other forms of physical affection that can make a huge difference to the way you feel in a relationship. Where you can, engage in small acts of physical affection throughout the day such as holding hands, hugging, giving each other massages, or even just resting a head on each other’s shoulders. These gestures can help rebuild the sense of closeness that may have diminished over time.

Focus on new sexual horizons

If you’re experiencing a ‘dead bedroom’, don't be afraid to reinvigorate things by exploring new realms of your sexuality together. If there’s a sexual fantasy or desire that you’ve always wanted to try, now may be the perfect moment to give it a shot! Be open to trying new things that both you and your partner are comfortable with.

Prioritise self-care

Sometimes, personal issues can seep into a relationship and contribute to an intimacy rut. Prioritising self-care (beyond just a bubble bath and face mask) can help improve your overall well-being, making you more present and engaged in the relationship. When both partners are taking care of themselves, it creates a positive environment for rekindling intimacy.

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