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Communicating With Your Partner

An intimate relationship doesn't have to include sexual intercourse. You and your partner may want to set aside more time to spend together, to communicate openly and to enjoy other ways to experience physical closeness — touching, kissing, cuddling, holding hands, giving each other a massage or taking a walk together.

Discussing experiences, feelings and concerns with your partner. Giving each other the chance to talk and listen will be an important part of maintaining or improving your quality of life. Your partner may have his or her own concerns, such as being afraid of hurting you during sex, feeling guilty or selfish for wanting to be intimate with you or not knowing how to talk about his or her feelings. You may also want to talk about seeking help from a professional, such as a couples counselor.

If sexual intercourse is important to you, yet one or both partners are having difficulties with sexual desire or performance, consult with your doctor to rule out any physiological problems. A sex therapist can assist in solving certain difficulties. The American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists can help you find a therapist or you can ask your doctor for a referral.

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