There are all sorts of reasons couples\’ sex lives have stalled. Sometimes, it\’s just a matter of identifying where you got off track so you can make adjustments to resume a satisfying sex life. But in the end, there is really one main reason couples don\’t have sex:

It\’s not enjoyable. The reward they get from having sex is not enough to justify going to the trouble.

Think about it. As a couple, you\’d have sex more if it were worth it. Sometimes it\’s just easier to go with the status quo than to identify the issues. Of course, if there are physical reasons you\’re not having sex, you should see a professional. But often sex is not enjoyable for a host of other reasons. Here are a few:

1) One of You Is Angry

It doesn\’t matter which one of you—and maybe it\’s both—but if you\’re angry with your partner, sex is not first and foremost on the agenda. An old axiom is ‘Never go to bed angry.\’ That\’s certainly a good idea if you want to have sex. But what if the anger and resentment stem from one partner pressuring the other to have sex? If you have uneven sex drives—and it\’s hard to be perfectly matched—then you\’re going to have to compromise. Talk about how you feel and see if you can understand each other\’s point of view. It will help you achieve a reasonable balance.

2) You\’re Afraid of Rejection

In your relationship, is there one of you who initiates sex more than the other? To a degree that\’s lopsided? If you\’re the initiator, have you been rejected often enough to make you less inclined to ask? Repeated rejection will eventually make it harder and harder to find the courage to initiate. If you\’re the partner who says no, do you resent being put in a position to have to say no so often? This situation can bring you to an impasse. You need to reach an equilibrium that\’s satisfying to both partners. Counseling can help.

3) Techno Slaves Prefer Connectivity

Some people\’s bedrooms are veritable technological palaces. There\’s a wide screen TV, a laptop, an iPod, an iPhone—all for 24-hour connectivity. Sometimes it\’s just easier to remain occupied and entertained by technology than to turn your devices off. These gadgets can beep at very inopportune times, ruining what could have otherwise been a delightful sexual encounter. Interruptions of any kind take your mind off your activity, and your mind is the key to great sex. Think about it. Isn\’t it more important to have a great sexual relationship than to get that text message the instant it arrives?

4) You\’re Too Spent or Exhausted

Many of us lead such busy lives that sex seems like a luxury for those people who have more time. But it is not a luxury. It\’s a critical part of a good relationship and as such, deserves priority. Whichever partner has more time than the other, that partner can help by pitching in with chores. Take a few items off your beloved\’s To-Do List, and you may create an opportunity for better sex.

5) Foreplay Should Be Foremost

Another axiom is ‘The brain is the most important sex organ.\’ Certainly the most fulfilling sexual encounters involve some thought in advance. It can be as simple as a tender touch as you pass your partner in the kitchen—an indication that you\’re thinking about them. Or it can be as elaborate as a bedroom full of candles, romantic music, rose petals scattered on the sheets. You know what your partner will appreciate, or if you don\’t, now\’s the time to find out.

Nancy Travers is an Orange County Counseling professional.  If you need safe, effective counseling services, please get in touch.  You can reach her here: