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Prescriptions for Sexual Frustration

You want it more, he or she wants it less. Sexual frustration affects almost every couple. So how do you get past it?

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Singles are not exempt from frustration and anxiety about their quirks and kinks. You may not be locked into sexual negotiation with one partner, forever, but then again, new partners don't know what you want, and you may have some explaining to do.

"You have to learn to be creative with your sexual communication," Violet Blue says. All too often, when people get together, they share everything about themselves -- their tastes, pet peeves, histories, and habits -- except for what pertains to sex.

"They think they know what the other person is thinking and wants to do," Paget says. "Invariably they're not accurate."

You catch her eye. She comes to you, and you tumble into a passionate embrace. Sultry notes from a tenor saxophone rise in the background. You tear at each other's clothes. The air quivers with the heat of your lovemaking.

That may be the scene, but we often forget how it was set.

"All the things that people use as an example of spontaneous sex," Paget says, "those things were all planned."

Phone calls were made, dates and times agreed upon, email checked, work wrapped up, teeth brushed, privacy secured. Most people rarely find themselves swept into a totally unexpected sexual encounter, and they may become frustrated because they don't do enough planning, expecting that kind of spontaneity.

It's a major pitfall for parents. If your sex life has withered since you started a family, the reason may be that you are not fitting sex into your schedule. "Couples who weather the storm of parenting, and make their relationships work, they absolutely make their intimacy and their relationship a priority," Paget says. "They do not assume that their sex life is going to occur spontaneously."

You don't have to go so far as to pencil it into your calendar, but at least make sure your partner knows when you are available.

"The act of having sex begins with someone saying, I want to," Violet Blue says. "You have to say, I want to, and this is what I want to do."

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