Building Bridges

Issue # 27 of 43 

David LeClaire
By: David LeClaire

What Makes Sex Sizzle or Fizzle?

Just the act of having sex was a big deal when you were a teenager. But then, so was driving. Most adults have by now had sex a multitude of times, and even driving has become a necessary evil at times. So while actually having sex may no longer be a big deal, why is it so many people have fantasies on a regular basis? Because we're not satisfied with the kind of sex we have.

I truly believe the basis for pleasure and satisfaction in the sexual arena comes down to one basic thing - what it means to you.

You can share a sexual experience with your partner and have it be exhilarating or leave you yawning. What's the difference? What you experienced. If you felt your lover was passionate, involved, intimate, and hungry for you, chances are you also felt excited as a result. If you felt they were going through the motions and not very into the moment, I would venture to guess that you were less than satisfied, even if you achieved the big O.

When we fantasize, it usually involves being with a lover that desires us, and the excitement we feel at least temporarily feeds our unquenchable thirst. Rarely does a person ever fantasize about being in a ho-hum situation. It's always hot, always more intense than what we normally have in long-term relationships.

So yes, we can have sex and it can be OK. We can have sex and share the big O with someone, and that can be OK. So it's not the act of sex alone that we need, we crave the passion, the thrill, the knowledge that sparks are flying.

Why is this distinction, which seems to be relatively common sense, such a big issue? Because, of course, most people find it impossible to keep that kind of intensity over many years with the same partner. They find themselves wondering why their sex life seems to be going flat, wondering why they are dreaming about encounters, and sometimes fearing their love may be fizzling since it's no longer sizzling.

Keep in mind that this is all quite normal. And that there are no miracle cures or magic potions. Remember that you communicate to your partner many things unintentionally, such as your desire, or lack thereof, when it comes to making love with them. Routine, predictability, and lack of enthusiasm and overall interest say a lot. The number of times you have sex is irrelevant if the passion is not there. We need to feel our bodies are appreciated. We need to feel our partner is excited about being intimate with us. We need to feel some heat, not just the right technique.

Many men tell me they have to convince their wives to have sex. Surely the same is true for many women. How much of a turn-on is that? OK honey, if you really want to, I guess we can......... zzzzzzzzzz. Do you think there are some fantasies present in those relationships? Some people feel that if they just have sex 5 times a week their partner should have nothing to be upset about. But if it's just routine, it still won't be enough.

The next time you are in bed with your partner, think about your energy level. If you were single and with a brand new lover, would you be more enthusiastic, more involved, more giving? Why not try to bring some of that passion that you know you have in you back to the surface? You may not feel like ripping each other's clothes off, but you can at least make the effort to be more like the lover you would like to be in your fantasies and probably have been in your past.

Again, remember - it's not the sex you crave, but what it means to be with a lover you desire and who desires you.

David LeClaire has spent much of his time teaching at community college and private school, and lead communications training for Fortune 500 companies. Now a popular and active Seattle area sommelier, this graduate of Central Michigan University led seminars for a wide variety of organizations. LeClaire is the author of "Bridges To A Passionate Partnership." He can be reached at

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Text © 1998, David LeClaire. Part of the original Sideroad.
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