Written by: Cally Worden
There is an assumption that sex forms an essential part of any marriage or long term relationship. Books, magazine articles and endless web pages have devoted text to the subject. But for some couples, getting busy between the sheets is way down the list of relationship priorities and sex, is at best, occasional and sometimes non-existent. This certainly isn’t the norm, but who’s to say there is anything wrong in it?
Intimacy, not Sex
Connecting with your partner is about so much more than just sex. Physical closeness is important for emotional relationship security, but this can be achieved in so many other more subtle ways – hand holding, cuddling on the couch, snuggling up in bed in your PJs. Other actions such as taking time to walk together, prepare and share a meal in unison, or discussing stories and feelings also create a bond that binds a couple just as effectively as a physical workout. Sex is intimate, sure, but it’s not the only way to remain close.
For a relationship where sex is infrequent to work, it is vital to have good communication with your partner. Not everyone has the same libido and if sex has become the exception rather than the norm, then it’s time to have a chat.
You and your partner may find you are both happy with the status quo, and choose together to only indulge in sex when you both really feel inspired, however infrequently that may be. This works for more couples than you may imagine.
A Change for the Better?
Most new couples have sex fairly often. As time passes and the initial rush of first love (or lust!) wanes, life generally begins to take over again with work, stress and children, all adding to the complications. It’s completely normal for couples in a long-term relationship to have sex less often as time goes on. For some, this comes as a relief. Not because they don’t fancy their partner – far from it.
Many couples in low-sex relationships report feeling closer than ever to their significant other. It can simply be the case that you just don’t fancy sex as often as before. And that’s totally okay, as long as you and your partner can find a rhythm to your sexual encounters that satisfies you both.
No hiding between the sheets
Sex can be a great release for frustration and pent-up emotions. It can also be loads of fun, and boost feelings of well-being and self-esteem. One downside to regular sex, however, is that it can easily be used as an escape route down which to hide from serious issues in a relationship. Slipping under the duvet as a way of avoiding difficult discussions is not uncommon, and in these instances, sex in a relationship can do far more harm than good in the long term. In a sexless partnership masking issues with sex is not an option. Couples have to work harder to find ways to meet each other’s emotional needs, and that can make a relationship stronger than ever.
What’s clear from this is that sex in a relationship is not necessarily a given and, most importantly, nor should it need to be. Many couples live very happily in harmony without having sex regularly, or even in some cases at all. Whatever works for you I say.