Swoon Podcast Episode #22 – Bad Blood: Sexual Gridlock & Conflict

Are you ready for a life and relationship that makes you swoon?

Every Monday, join Julie Jeske and Gina Senarighi, sex therapists, pleasure specialists, and relationship coaches, as they break down what everyone needs to know about sex, relationships, intimacy, love and desire.

Whether you want fresh and honest information about sex and relationships or tools to create more fulfilling intimacy and pleasure, this podcast is going to help you connect meaningfully with yourself and your lovers.


This week:

Episode #22 – Bad Blood: Sexual Gridlock & Conflict

Sometimes sex has gotten so complicated that couples stop talking about. What do you do when you and your partner are in a sexual stalemate? Today Gina and Julie discuss what to do when sexual gridlock happens.

This episode covers:

  • What happens when you and your partner are in a sexual stalemate?

  • What is stonewalling and how do you know it's happening?

  • The difference between sexual tension, resentment, blame, and stonewalling.

  • How people can go years without sex when they get stuck in a sexual stalemate

  • What is often underneath sexual frustration or anger.

  • The role of personal accountability when it comes to sexual gridlock.

  • How to shift out of a negative feedback loop.

Quotes from the episode

“They're not talking about it, but you can feel it, it's so intense. There isn't any talking about joy or pleasure, all they talk about is how bad it is so then they avoid talking about it. It becomes this giant, invisible mountain between them.”

“People feel real shame about their frequency of sex – it's not uncommon for people in these stalemate potions to have a very low frequency of sex and really low fulfillment when it comes to how fulfilling or pleasurable it is.”

“Blame is a flag that accountability is needed somewhere in the relationship.”

“How bad should it get before going to therapy? At some of the first signs of blame and stonewalling, that's a good time to go to therapy.”

“It's OK not to want sex – when it comes to stonewalling you might not even be checking in about if you actually want sex – you might just be mad and using withholding sex/connection as a weapon and not budging from your position.”

“It can become a negative feedback loop – you do this, so I do this, so you do this, etc – and all the things we are doing, we feel like we are protecting ourselves from pain or we are the victim, but really it's just contributing to the disconnect or the mountain of frustration between us.”

“Partner #1 If only YOU would ___________ then I would want to have sex with you. 

Partner #2 I you wanted to have sex with me then I would want to do __________.”

“If you look at how you are contributing, you can shift it. One of you has to be willing to move or soften or change the cycle.”

Resources from the Podcast

It's going to be really hard, nearly impossible, to break out of the cycle without a third party to help you shift the dynamic. Check out therapyden.com to find a therapist who will help you facilitate a new conversation.

Mating in captivity

Gottman Rapoport Conflict Blueprint

We discussed step one.


Your Swoon hosts

Dr Gina Senarighi, PhD CPC is a sexuality counselor and communication consultant specializing in healthy boundaries, passionate relationships, jealousy, and infidelity. She supports non-traditional couples all over the world as a retreat leader and certified relationship coach.
Connect with Gina

Julie Jeske, LPC is a sex and relationship counselor. She has a private practice where she helps clients increase intimacy, ignite passion and deepen their connection to themselves and others. Julie especially loves to help women discover who they are sexually. Through counseling, online classes, or in-person retreats; her clients learn how to talk about their sexual and relationship desires, and explore ways to make them a reality.
Connect with Julie


Every Monday, join Julie Jeske and Gina Senarighi, sex therapists, pleasure specialists, and relationship coaches, as they break down what everyone needs to know about sex, relationships, intimacy, love and desire. 

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