A 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.
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.
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.
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.