My mom always said (well not always, but definitely several times) that in a relationship, if the sex is good it’s no big deal, if it’s bad, it’s everything. I’m pretty sure she’s right about this (and several other things too...Shout Out to Moms!) and if you’ve ever been in an unhappy and unfulfilled sexual relationship you probably know this too.
Until my psychiatrist (for the record and because my husband of 29 years might read this, I was there for help with my anxiety, depression, PTSD and eating disorders - our sex life is just great babe and I tell people about it all the time. Everything, all the time!) told me, I had no idea how many sexless marriages there are. I spent the next several years asking every woman I know (and that woman who sat next to me on the flight from Pisa) the following questions….
1. How often* they had sex with their spouse?
*If they said at least once a week I left them alone and we moved on to discuss where to find the best sports bra, or something.
2. Do they have a lover*? If so how often do they do it**?
*If they’re a really good friend I absolutely ask them this.
3. Did the lover come as a consequence of a sexless marital relationship?
4. Did the sexual relationship with the lover lead to the sexless relationship with their spouse?
Turns out OMFG….
“If a couple is content with intimacy less than once a month, and happily married, I doubt they would refer to themselves as having a sexless marriage… and neither would I.” - Susan Yager-Berkowitz (marriage “expert,” for what that’s worth….)
In addition to my very sciency survey conducted on bar stools, sofas, airplanes and in the DMV line, I did a little research (like 2 hours surfing the web) and this is what I learned.
- A sexless marriage is a relationship in which they have sex less than 10 times per year, or less than once a month.
15% - 20% of marriages are sexless.
Married people under 30 have sex 111 times per year.
Married people over 30 have sex 68 times per year.
Married people have sex only 6.9 more times per year than people who aren’t married.
Just 20% of those in sexless marriages are under 40.
30% - 50% of women say they have little if any sex drive.
20% - 30% of men say they have little if any sex drive.
There’s a thing called hypoactive sexual desire (HSD) wherein a person has a consistent lack of sexy feelings, thoughts and fantasies.
25% of Americans have HSD, to varying degrees. ⅓ of those are women and ⅕ of them men.
Some of the causes of sexless marriage are:
Someone’s feelings have been hurt.
Someone’s pissed (the American way).
Someone’s been rebuffed too many times.
Someone’s gotten too busy and therefore neglectful.
There is a serious communication problem going on.
“Sex and sexual expression change along with the longevity of a relationship, ebbing and flowing during a lifetime……... It’s natural and you can get back to the flow easily.” - Judith Steinhart (Clinical sexologist “expert”, for what that’s worth….)
If you’re not happy with your sex life, here are some tips, techniques, tasks, and chores (yes, I mean chores…) to try:
Remember liquor is not the answer.
Fucking talk to each other.
Figure out if sex is a deal breaker for each of you.
Go talk to a professional.
Try not to fart a lot.*
Have a good laugh together.*
Share a sexy memory (one with said spouse…)*
Don’t poop in front of your partner.*
“In a long-term marriage, you have to pay attention to keep the sex going. It won’t keep going by itself.” - Tina Tessina, PhD (marriage “expert,” for what that’s worth….)