Are You in a Sexual Rut?

rut is defined as “a usual or fixed practice.” Sometimes, this happens in marriage: Life around is so busy and we don’t have a lot of time and energy carved out for physical intimacy so we get to the bedroom and order up “the usual.” It could be the same position, the same activity, the same moves, or perhaps the same 1-2-3 combo.

My husband and I are very much like this about restaurants. We have our go-to places with certain items on each menu that we like. At most, I enter a familiar restaurant and ask, “Should I have the A, B, or C?” I never try X. It’s too risky, and after all I know I like A, B, and C. Why chance it?

So does that count as a routine or a rut?

Routines are fine in your marital intimacy. You do have some things you’ll like more than others and, although numerous magazines and websites claim otherwise, there really are a limited number of positions you can strike without dislocating a joint and activities you can perform that get your body humming instead of screeching. Marital intimacy should not be about introducing ever-weirder and challenging things into your sex life.

It’s the rut that makes us feel “meh.”

You get to the bedroom, do your 1-2-3, and you’re done. Even if you climax happily, you feel like there’s something missing. You may wonder, “Is this it?” Perhaps you revisit those conversations with your permanently single friends who warned you that getting married would mean having the same sex with the same person over and over and over until your eyeballs fell out. (Never mind that many of those single friends aren’t getting any sex.) You know you’re physically satisfied, but emotionally? Relationally? Spiritually?

So how do you get out of the rut?

Back to my restaurant analogy. (And why do I always compare food and sex? I need to ask my psychiatrist friend if that means anything . . .) If you want to get out of a food rut, you have three choices:

1. Go to another restaurant. No, I am not comparing your spouse to a restaurant! You’re taking your spouse with you to the new restaurant. We’re talking about your setting. Change it up. Perhaps you make love in a different location or spruce up the atmosphere or add music to the background. Change the mood of your lovemaking, and it may feel like a fresh dining lovemaking experience.

Modern chaise lounge

A different location?
By Kippelboy, via Wikimedia Commons

2. Order something different from the menu. “And now for something completely different . . .” Throw out the old routine and introduce something different this time. Maybe it’s oral sex or a hand job or a different position. Or even start with a full-body massage or a bubble bath together.

Photo of bubble bath

Bubble bath?
Photo from Microsoft Word Clip Art

3. Add something special to your usual order. Since you really like what you’re already having, you can order it again and just add a little extra spice, garnish, or dessert. Tweak what you’re doing by asking questions about how things feel to your spouse and adjusting your approach accordingly. Shift your body a little, add candlelight or scented lubricant, or wear something a little adventurous for you. Think of it as the main entrée plus. Your usual plus something else. Like adding gravy or salsa.

Mannequins in lingerie shop

Add a little something?
By WestportWiki, via Wikimedia Commons

Also, talk to your spouse. See what they might want to change about your routines so that you don’t end up in a rut. Maybe they have some fresh ideas that you haven’t considered.

To get out of your sexual rut, be willing to shake it up a little, try something a little different. Maybe your “something different” isn’t even sexual, but rather affectionate or sensual. Maybe it’s spending more time talking or touching. Maybe it’s playing a game in bed (Strip ____ usually works).

Just throw off the rut and get fresh with your spouse! You’ll likely be happy with the results.

14 thoughts on “Are You in a Sexual Rut?

  1. Greg

    “Perhaps you revisit those conversations with your permanently single friends who warned you that getting married would mean having the same sex with the same person over and over and over until your eyeballs fell out.”

    Having to have sex with someone over and over again!? What an awful, terrible problem I wish I had! *sigh* All I can say is that those (imaginary?) single friends need serious psychiatric help.

    “(Never mind that many of those single friends aren’t getting any sex.)”

    There’s your answer. Jealousy/envy takes on many strange forms (and none of those single friends should be getting any sex until they’re married…).

    Re: food and sex comparison–rumor has it there’s supposedly some kind of correlation between how you feel about a body of water (lakes, rivers, waterfalls, etc.) and how you feel about sex (but don’t go looking for it in a medical journal). lol

  2. Jennifer Wilken

    This is me and my husband to the T in a rut and a big one. And for the last couple years his libido has plummeted and I think this is a big part of why. It’s so bad we’ve went back to being shy and afraid to step out of the “rut” even with things we did regularly before. But that’s going to change I’ve already decided before reading this I’ve got to do my part to get us out of this, this post was God saying “you better stick with it!” Lol.

  3. Anonymous

    Several years ago my wife and I wanted to try something new and we came across a game for couples called Bliss. It is a fantastic game that focuses on building relationships and communication, and not just sex (even though there is plenty of that). The game is highly customizable to fit your comfort level, has several add on packs (including one specifically designed for Christian couples), and is available on iPhone and Android. I hate to sound like I’m “pitching” a product and assure you that I am not being paid for this, but Bliss was a game-changer (no pun intended) for my wife and I.

    1. J

      I’m not keen on product-pushing comments either. LOL. But my husband and I also tried Bliss, and we thought it was fun. I didn’t know it was available as an app now. We used it when it was just a computer thing. Thanks!

  4. Anonymous

    This is me and my wife to the T. We are going threw the same thing except it’s my wife who is shy. Any advice from a womens perspective on how to spice it up would be great. I’m not givin up either. This last post was so funny to me when I read it. The one thing we can do for one another is pray for each others marriages in our prayer time.

  5. AndrewTheLesser

    When my wife had to stop working for health reasons we had to make due with much less and eating out was one of the first expenses we cut. We eat out so rarely now that I am afraid to go outside of my “go to” menu choices. With A, B, and C, I know I will enjoy it, but with X, I just don’t know. Its too risky.

    I think the same may be true of my sex life. (I often make the food-sex analogy myself) My wife and I have sex once a month on average, so I am afraid to diminish my enjoyment of the moment by trying something new that I may be only mildly successful at, and then have to wait a whole month to try again. To be honest, I would trade a once-a-month 5 course dinner of Fillet Mignon for a once-a-day chicken sandwich.

    So I guess what I am saying is that it depends on perspective… being in a rut does not bother me much since the frequency is so low. If it were more frequent, I might feel differently.

  6. Christa Sterken

    After 25 years I found this post amusing, in the sense that this conversation flows commonly among friends. I will have to rethink the “plus” for my entree on a rare upcoming trip

  7. Anonymous

    I think my husband and I are in a rut, but the problem is, I can only orgasm in one position! So that limits us quite a bit! Sometimes we’ll try to start in a different position, then move to the “good one” (him on top), but the quick change right at the end doesn’t always work well for me. I would love to be more adventurous, but he feels so bad when I don’t orgasm. Any suggestions?

    1. J

      Yeah, tough situation. Because what can you do? It’s not like you’re trying to be all “just this one way, buddy!”

      I’d suggest two things: (1) Would he be willing to help you orgasm before he enters? Then he could feel satisfied that he got you there, and you could both progress to intercourse just for how good it feels to you and his climax. (2) Could you introduce the “adventure” in other aspects? So what if it’s the same position if you’re doing it in a different place or wearing something provocative or playing “Tiptoe through the Tulips” in the background for something entirely new? It doesn’t have to be position, but you can find other ways to spice things up. Hope that helps!

      And, by the way, I totally love it when husbands are devoted to making sure their wives enjoy sex so much. But MOST women don’t have to have orgasm every single time to enjoy the experience. If you don’t, you might try to explain that to him. You’ll sound like an alien from Planet XQ13 to him, but he might believe it even if he doesn’t understand it.

    2. Amy

      Does your husband think you are in a rut? I only ask that because after I read this post I started worrying that things weren’t spicy enough in the bedroom for my husband and when I showed him the post, he read only the title and replied, “well, I’m not in a rut!” Haha! So, that made me feel better.

      I suppose for us we are pretty vanilla compared to a lot of couples…we like two basic positions. So, we often start out with intercourse, then he orally brings me to climax since I have never been able to climax thru intercourse alone, and then we finish with intercourse in our second fav position. 😉 We vary some, but neither of us want to do anything really crazy or different.
      I say if it ain’t broke, and hubby is happy and satisfied, then why try to fix it?! LOL

      And I guess I’m in the minority of women who wants to orgasm each and every time. Why should it only be the man that gets all the way there? To me it is not complete without it, not that I don’t enjoy connecting with my hubby in that way, but I feel almost cheated out of it being a whole experience. And that may be due to the fact we only make love once or twice a week because of my husband’s long work hours. I often think if we made love more often (and I would LOVE it if we did) then I may not feel the need to climax each time, but when I know it will most likely be a whole week before the next time, well I want to finish with a bang each time! 😉

    3. J

      Well, Amy, it sounds like you’ve got two happy spouses in your house! Good for you. Keep enjoying your rut-less sexual intimacy!

  8. Anonymous

    I learned, interestingly, that sex and food ARE related. The hypothalamus in the brain is the satiety, or satisfaction center. Sex and food both can lead to feelings of satisfaction. An interesting ramification of this is that if I eat NO sugar or foods containing sugar for a whole day, my sex drive increases!

  9. Anonymous

    I’m glad I ran across this blog. My husband and I are having this argument currently. And yes unfortunately it has come to an argument. He is bored..and I’m onboard with the above comment- “if it aint broke dont fix it”. Past disgressions, I feel have kept me wanting to keep our sexuality to a vanilla emotional connection only- not some hot kinky stuff like he currently wants. and just like other wife earlier I cant orgasm in any other position- he only last for a few mins inside anyway- why change things? We are both very frustrated. I even “handle things” by myself without him recently and he flipped when he found out. This maybe therapist worthy- but I’m at a loss. We will do vanilla for a few months then he brings up a kinky option again. I say I’m uncomfortable with that, he gets mad, we argue, back to vanilla, the cycle continues. Sometimes I think maybe I just dont want to be vulnerable to let him do whatever, I’m always in charge(always have been). He says I need to let loose and relax like we did before kids, but I just feel different. I dont feel like a crazy love sick teenager. I want tender compassion sensitive and that’s it, dont know where to turn. 2-3 times a week is great. any suggestions would be good. (oh and FYI his first wife cheated on him-we both have past that effect us in bedroom)i know a good lesson for my kids!

    1. J

      Tough LOVE, girlfriend: You are both arriving to the bedroom with a my-needs-first attitude. I don’t care if it’s vanilla or kinky, you won’t get a great sex life that way. And you two–and I along with you–want this marriage to have amazing physical intimacy!

      So what’s the fix? Well, there’s no magic button. But on your end, I would suggest that you do take charge of getting that tender compassion. Meaning that you set the environment you’d like to have. Make the date. Be the romancer. Set the mood. Be playful. Let him know how much you want to spend time with him and be affectionate with him. Foster the relationship.

      Then think about sexual things you ARE willing to do. Take deep breaths and make sure you don’t bring resentment into that calculation. What ideas can you come up with that would enliven the sexual experience for him, but that are still acceptable to you? If you focus more on giving him pleasure, you might find yourself experiencing more pleasure as well. I’m not talking full-on kinky, but I’m betting you could spice things up if you tried.

      One last thought: Our bodies and lives go through seasons. I don’t feel like a crazy lovesick teen either. However, you can still feel like a sensual woman. Take time to appreciate your body, think of yourself as a sexual being, dress in a way that makes you feel beautiful, take some time for yourself to have a bubble bath or get a massage.

      Blessings! I have a good feeling that things will be looking up for you two soon.

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