Let's talk about sex and relationships. Right from the outset, sex can be a significant factor in whether a connection will work or fail. It can be oh so glorious and also fraught with challenges. This week's Sex Stories We Love looks at the different stages of sex in relationships.

First Date Infrequency

There certainly aren't many experiences that can cause such mixed emotions as that of a first date. Excitement? Fear? Confusion? Anxiety? A first date with someone you've had your eye on can roll all of those emotions up into one big ball of nerves. It's been the fodder of countless sitcoms, rom-coms, and real life for a long, long time. At the same time, if you follow other movies and shows, you'll see first dates portrayed as the ultimate sex adventure, with people ending up in bed within hours—or even minutes—of connecting. As usual, the most common experience lies somewhere in the middle. Sure, there must be first date success stories out there, but it seems that most people aren't so keep to get into sexy shenanigans on the first date.

Friends Without Benefits

Jealousy, it is said, is a green-eyed monster. Why green? Well, that apparently goes back to the ancient Greeks who believed jealous feelings occur because of the overproduction of bile which can cause the skin to take on a greenish hue. If that were true, your skin would be a dead giveaway if you felt jealous of your partner's opposite sex best friend. A recent hetero-focused study shows that some folks have real issues when it comes to trusting their lover around their opposite sex friend. Particularly those who are in the limbo of engagement. Single and married folks are less concerned, but engaged people seem to have the most issues. Again, movies and TV have done nothing to help this situation. If you're worried and jealous of your partner's friendship, it seems that might be more going on than just that issue.

Horny...How Often?

Okay, so you've gotten past the first date. You're getting along great. You have no jealous feeling toward your partner's friends. Things are going along swimmingly and you have settled into an amazing relationship. At this stage, you're probably have sex frequently. Like, whenever possible. You're staying up late, starting things off in the morning, and just generally lusting after each other like mad. Maybe you'll stay this way...but chances are, you won't. Life does tend to get in the way of sex in relationships, and that is when communication about sex frequency becomes so important. There's a high likelihood that you and your partner might not be on the same sex frequency schedule. The best way to understand each other is clear, open communication that involves listening and understanding each other's needs.

Dealing With a Dead Bedroom

What did I say about sex frequency and life getting in the way? Well, even if you talk about your sex hopes, desires, and expectations every damn day, that doesn't mean that outside factors and influences aren't going to stress the fuck right out of you. This is known as the "dead bedroom." And the number one culprit of impeding our sexytimes? Work stress. It can be really hard to let the challenges presented by our jobs, be they unruly managers, long hours, or just the struggle to ensure you can pay your rent and eat in these ever more expensive times. It is no wonder that pleasure takes a backseat when these, as well as other influences, such as children, weight gain, and communication break down take hold.

The Ahhhh of the Hurricane

You know what else might stress people out? Sure, relationships can get bad, but an impending hurricane is so much worse. No joke here because as I write, Hurricane Dorian batters the Bahamas and is heading for the southeastern United States. Best wishes and warm thoughts to all who are and who may be affected. That said, if you do find yourself in the path of an upcoming storm and you need to hunker down and stay safe, the thought of riding out the weather while riding your partner(s) isn't all that uncommon. If you find yourself in this situation, stay safe and heed these hurricane sex tips.

Sexy Sofa

Finally, some would say that the height of intimacy and comfort is being able to lounge on the couch together at the end of a long day. But that time need not be restful, amirite? Couch sex...it's a thing.

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