Looking at what we are bombarded with on a daily basis, it’s no wonder that you’d want to know how important sex is in a relationship. There’s all the ads selling sex in addition to the actual product—the nice watch, the party, the romantic vacation, and the bottle of champagne. There’s TV shows and movies and songs and games and books—all promoting sex. It doesn’t end.
Then again, sex sells.
Society places a lot of emphasis on sex—how much you should be doing it, how you should do it, and the when, where, and with whom. But is this realistic?
Imagine you’ve met your soulmate and you are in a happy, loving, and committed relationship. But then they are diagnosed with cancer and are unable to have to have sex with you. Will you leave your loved one just because sex is off the table?
Or what if you develop a sexual dysfunction. Should your partner leave you just because you can’t?
Or what if one of you becomes a sex addict and wants it all the time but the other one doesn’t?
Just how important is sex to the modern couple?
I’m often asked whether sex is an essential part of a relationship, therefore I’m sharing what you need to know about whether sex is important to a romantic relationship.
Is Sex Really That Important in a Relationship?
If you are eager to hear the news that sex is the most important thing in a relationship and you should be doing the deed as often as is possible, I’ve got bad news for you—in the best way possible.
How important sex is in your romantic relationship depends on you and your loved one. No one should be telling you what matters—you know whether physical intimacy is a vital aspect of your relationship and whether you need or want to make love to your soulmate.
The truth is that we are all different:
What the Statistics Show About Sex and Relationships
You may be surprised but sexless relationships aren’t as uncommon as you may think. One study, conducted in 1993, found that nearly 20% of couples in the USA didn’t have sex in the month before the study.
A 2017 study looked at the sex lives of 18-89 year olds in America. The researchers found that nearly 30% of females didn’t have sex in the last year, compared to about 16% of males. Approximately 20% of females didn’t have sex in the last 5 years, while almost 9% of males can report the same.
If you think that no sex leads to divorce, you’d be wrong. A 2012 study reports growing apart as the main reason couples get a divorce; other reasons include communication issues, infidelity, and finance troubles. So a lack of sex may contribute to couples separating, but it is never the only cause.
Benefits of Sex in Your Relationship
That being said, there are benefits for including sex in your relationship. But both you and your partner need to want physical intimacy.
Here are some emotional and physical benefits when sex is part of a healthy, fulfilling relationship.
Sex helps your body release:
Also, sex enhances:
Is a Lack of Sex Bad for Your Relationship?
There’s a lot of misinformation about sex and sex in relationships. You may believe that a relationship with no or very little sex is a very bad thing and/or that there’s something seriously wrong with you.
No sex or having sex only once in a while isn’t bad for your relationship—if that’s what you and your loved one want. A sexless relationship is defined as one where you and your partner don’t engage in sex or only make love 10 times or fewer in a year.
Sexlessness may define your whole relationship or parts of it.
There are many reasons a couple may choose to have a sexless relationship, including:
If you and your partner doesn’t have sex at all or only once in a while, it doesn’t mean your relationship is devoid of love. A sexless partnership can be just as fulfilling and loving and healthy as one where the couple does have sex—whether that’s a lot of love making or only doing it regularly.
It’s most important that you and your partner are content with your relationship—whatever that may look like for you both.
A successful relationship is one you create uniquely—not one where you strive to follow Hollywood’s standards for relationships or sexual performance or satisfaction.
However, if you want sex more often and your partner doesn’t, then that does create a problem, which can easily lead to distress if you don’t talk about it.
Can a Sexless Relationship Go the Distance?
So a relationship where sex isn’t on the table or a priority can be healthy, but for how long?
That depends on the couple involved.
As long as both partners are on the same page regarding their libido and sexual needs, there’s nothing wrong with them or their relationship, whether they engage in sex frequently, now and again, or not at all.
Should one partner’s sex drive change, it’s vital to have a discussion about your needs, how they can be met, and whether both of you are still content with a sexless relationship.
Is a Sexless Relationship the Same as One Lacking Intimacy?
A relationship in which there’s no or little sex happening isn’t the same as a non-initmate relationship. Intimacy covers more than just the physical aspects of a relationship, and physical intimacy that includes sex is just one of these aspects.
A relationship is fulfilling when you build intimacy on all fronts—spiritual, emotional, experiential, creative, intellectual, commitment, conflict, communication, crisis, recreational, work, and aesthetic.
So while sex may not be part of your relationship, you can still foster all the types of intimacy.
Yes! Even physical intimacy. It encompasses more than just hot, passionate, sweaty activities between the bedsheets. You can kiss, hug, and connect in other physical ways too.
Ways to Improve Physical Intimacy
Improving physical intimacy is important for relationships where sex is a big part of the relationship AND those relationships where physical intimacy doesn’t include or lead to sex. It helps keep the spark alive.
You and your partner can start with foreplay early in the morning. This doesn’t need to culminate in the act of making love but it can build intimacy. Engaging in tantric sex, for example, is about the deep connection and achieving mindfulness while you and your partner enjoy the sexual journey.
Other acts of physical intimacy include:
Final Thoughts on Relationships and Sex
There is no one-size-fits-all kind of relationship. How important sex is in your relationship with your true love is something only the two of you can answer — together.
Sex is only ONE expression of love, connection, and how well you click.
A relationship without sex can be just as meaningful, fulfilling, healthy, loving, and successful as one where the couple has sex regularly or hangs from the chandeliers every night and morning.