Sometimes, you can't see something until it's too late. But with these expert tips, falling into a sex rut doesn't have to be one of them. Here are five signs that signal you're headed for something far worse than any ol' dry spell.
1. You're not touching one another in non-sexual ways.
Non-sexual touch leads the way for sexual intimacy, says Kat Van Kirk, licensed marriage and family therapist and certified sex therapist. In fact, she says, couples who are more physically affectionate non-sexually tend to have more sex than couples who aren't. Why? One reason might be that all touch releases oxytocin, the bonding hormone often needed to jumpstart arousal. "If you aren't touching on a regular basis, then a sexual rut may be in your future," warns Van Kirk.
2. You see a pattern of relationship disturbances.
Bickering affects your bedroom activities. "When relationships aren't going well and there are constant disagreements, hurt feelings, or lack of resolution about issues in general, sex tends to suffer," says Van Kirk. "It has also been shown that people will often consciously or subconsciously withhold sex when they aren't happy." Going to bed angry and often, Van Kirk says, could be the shortcut to a sex rut.
3. You can't remember the last time you had sex.
Warns Van Kirk, "If everything seems fine in your relationship but you simply can't recall when you had sex last, then a sexual rut may be afoot." When couples get caught up in every other aspect of their daily lives, they can often forget to add sex to their already long to-do lists. "This can lead to feeling less sexual about yourself and your partner," Van Kirk says. "If you can't remember, then it has been too long."
4. You're feeling shut down sexually.
If you're often turned down when you're turned on, you might lose your desire to get it on. "Just like sex begets sex, not having sex can begin a cycle of lower libido and less arousal," explains Van Kirk. "Partnered sex needs to be prioritized in your relationship so that your relationship gets the sexual maintenance it needs in order for you to feel healthy and happy."
5. You're having sex the same way every time.
Variety is the spice of life, they say, but it's also the spice of your sex life. "The term 'sexual rut' may also include couples that are having sex but they are having sex the same way or at the same time perpetually," adds Van Kirk. "Many couples state that sex becomes mechanical or a chore as a result. This can be very limiting sexually and can dampen a couple's spark for one another in the long run," leading to a sex rut.