Alice,

What do I do about a man who no longer kisses me during sex? We still have sex on a regular basis, but he no longer looks at me while we have sex. He always covers his face when we are together. It has been months since he has kissed me. I am starving for affection. I happen to be in love with this man.

— Chapped lips

Dear Chapped lips,

To find out why the smooching has stopped, you may need to start moving your lips for a different reason — to communicate by way of talking. A dose of healthy communication with your partner about your sexual and emotional needs and desires may lead you to a better understanding of the current situation.

Before you start the conversation, consider ruling out any physical reasons why your partner has stopped kissing you. It's possible there's a simple reason for his change in behavior. Maybe he developed cold sores and is embarrassed or doesn't know what to do about them, or he could be worried about his breath (or yours). Since it takes two people to kiss, have you tried initiating kissing him? If yes, how did he respond? Has this behavior been more recent or has it been going on for a while? Where there other changes in your relationship? This will give you a little more information about the situation.  

After you’ve had a chance to reflect on possible reasons for this lack of lip-locking, it may be worth it to consider how to approach the conversation. To start the conversation, try letting him know that you really like kissing and that you like to look at him when you're having sex. Let him know that you've been missing this affection and that it means a lot to you. You can also let your partner know how this lack of kissing makes you feel and how it has affected your relationship. Give him a chance to respond; find out if this is just a phase he's going through, if it has been an unconscious behavior on his part, or if it's evidence of something else that may be going on in your relationship.

If after having this conversation, you find that you’re still not satisfied with the smooch level or you and your partner feel as there are some unanticipated complexities or challenges to overcoming this disconnect, another option is to consider enlisting the help of a professional. Sometimes they may be able to help mediate between you and your partner about relationship and sexuality issues. You can talk with a mental health professional to set up individual counseling or couples counseling to further explore and process any changes in your relationship. 

Since you love this man, talk with him, let him know how you feel, and find out what's going on in your relationship. It can bring you closer or give you the information you need to move forward. It may bring you closer — it’s possible that your partner just wasn’t aware of your desire for more physical affection and having the conversation will bring your lips that much closer. It may also bring to light more information to consider together and fodder for strengthening your relationship in other areas. All in all, both feeling comfortable to bring these concerns to your partner and actually having a discussion about them is key to any health relationship.

Sealed with a kiss,

Alice!

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