I have often said that sex in a relationship may not be all that important, but the conditions that make you want sex in a relationship are critical. As I approach mid-life, I am seeing more-and-more often, couples who are no longer wanting to have sex in their relationship. And the results are devastating.
First, what I mean by sex not being important, but the conditions that make you want sex being critical. While I love sex, I actually think there are many great relationships – especially amongst older people – that survive really well without it. But what is absolutely essential is having the condition that can lead to sex. In my experience, the couples who have great sex are those who: (i) respect each other, (ii) know how to have fun together, (iii) carve out time for their own adult relationship, outside of their time with their kids; (iv) are open and honest enough with one another to share fantasies and desires, sexual and otherwise. Most of these relationship characteristics/features are not really sexual in nature, but they are things that, when present in a relationship, tend to: make you want sex with your partner and make you want to make sex interesting and entertaining, which makes you want to continue to have sex with your partner.
But, and I hate to say this, I am seeing more and more couples my age who are lack these features in their relationships. They are consumed with parenting and have no ‘couples’ life outside of parenting. They natter and bicker with one another to the point that most of their interactions are curt and critical. They never have real conservations about real things.. they talk logistics and they bitch about stuff, but never really converse. And, they don’t have fun together.
The result.. weak relationship and no sex. It breaks my heart to see it, because these are often good people who – deep down – love one another. But they are losing the day to day battle to find moments for love in their lives. And the result is devastating to their relationships.
I have a very good friend going through this right now. She is apoplectic because she is not having sex. She has told me repeatedly of the things she is doing to try to seduce her husband.. sexy movies, new lingerie.. the works. And as counterintuitive as it sounds for a guy to say this, my main advice was to drop the new sex toys and simply carve out 30 minutes every evening and either go for a walk, have a glass of wine or juts hang out together. In other words, rebuild the conditions that made them both want to have sex with each other in the first place. And then the butt plugs and porn can come out!