How Important Is Sex In a Relationship? 1

How Important Is Sex In a Relationship?

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Can a Relationship Survive Without Sex?

In a supportive relationship, there are many advantages to having more sex. How important is sex to a relationship? High rates of sexual intimacy are linked to changes like lower divorce rates, lower blood pressure and reduced stress.

In as much as there are no one-size-fits-all rules regarding the ideal sex frequency, in this article, we’ll share insight that’s based on the latest research. This article delves into the importance of sex, why it’s important to have sex and the benefits it may have.

This article also covers the challenges a sexual couple may face and what they can do if they want to increase the amount of sex in their relationship. 

What’s The Ideal Frequency For Sex?

When considering how often sexual partners should have sex, a 2015 study found that to an extent, general well-being is related to sexual frequency. Satisfaction in the relationship improved from having sexual intimacy once a week but decreased beyond this point. A single sexual encounter is consistent with the current average.

However, our busy schedules may get in the way of having more sexual contact. Adults in 2010 were having sexual intercourse nine fewer times per year compared to the frequency in the 1990s.

The frequency of sex often decreases with age, and sexual activity in older adults also remains significant. Generally, older married couples mostly have sex quite often than unmarried peers within the same group. 

Why Sex Is Important in Relationships

Can a relationship survive without sex? Yes. Sexual intercourse isn’t always necessary to maintain a relationship. However, it can be a crucial part of a healthy and fulfilling relationship.

How vital sexual intimacy is varies from one individual to another. Some people feel that being a sexual couple is very important. Others feel that other types of connection and intimacy are more vital.

Some of the reasons why sex is important in a relationship may include:

  • Feeling a sense of closeness to your partner
  • Desire to sire children.
  • Showing sexual affection to your partner
  • Finding sex fun and pleasurable
  • Relieving pressure and sex.
  • Feeling sexy and a sense of confidence. 

Studies show that having sexual intimacy plays a role in an individual’s overall well-being. Having sexual intercourse is mostly linked to a deep sense of affection. When sexual partners experience deep affection they are likely to engage in frequent sexual activity.

Decreased Sexual Drive Is Common With People As They Grow Older
         Decreased Sexual Drive Is Common With People As They Grow Older

What Are The Benefits of Sex In Relationships? 

In addition to the individual benefits that sexual intercourse contributes to you and your partner, regular sexual activity supports a healthy relationship in multiple ways. For instance, oxytocin released during sexual intercourse enhances a sense of bonding and promotes emotional intimacy.

Sexual activities in a monogamous relationship increase emotional connection and your level of commitment to your significant other. Expressing love through sexual activity increases the chances of couples staying together. As a result, sex is highly associated with a lower divorce rate. 

Psychological Benefits of Sex

There are multiple emotional and psychological benefits of making love. (sex is strongly linked to a quality life). Some of the benefits of having sexual activities: 

Better self-image

Sex can boost one’s self-esteem minimize feelings of insecurity and contribute to better perceptions of ourselves.

More Bonding

Brain chemicals released during sexual intercourse including endorphins decrease feelings of depression and irritability. Another hormone, oxytocin alias the hug drug increases with sexual activity and nipple stimulation. This hormone contributes to contentment and calmness.

Improved Sleep Quality 

Orgasms trigger the release of the prolactin hormone which contributes to sleep. 

Higher Rates of Happiness 

A 2015 study that was conducted in China depicts that better quality and consensual sex increases happiness. 

Stress Relief

Chronic stress contributes to lower sex frequency. However, sexual activity is sometimes considered to be an effective stress management technique. Sexual activity reduces stress response hormones for instance adrenaline and cortisol with the effects lasting well into the following day. 

Physical Benefits of Sex 

Weight Loss

Having sexual intercourse for half an hour burns about 200 calories. The rewarding brain chemicals released during sexual intercourse may subdue food cravings and support weight loss. 

Positive Cardiac Effects

Penile-vaginal sexual activity has been connected to lower systolic blood pressure. High blood pressure increases the chances of heart disease and stroke. Sexual activity increases oxygen delivery and nutrients all over the body, lowers blood pressure and dilates blood vessels as well.  

Other Physical Benefits

Being more sexually active is a libido boost and also increases vaginal lubrication. Frequent sexual intercourse is associated with light menstrual periods and less painful menstrual cramps.

Oxytocin Produced During Sex Improves Emotional Bonding
          Oxytocin Produced During Sex Improves Emotional Bonding

In addition, a heightened sense of smell, better digestion, healthier teeth and glowing skin are mostly related to the release of the hormone DHEA by the body after orgasm.

Improved Immune Function

Being more sexually active has positive effects on immunity. Regular sex is likely to lower your likelihood of getting a flu or cold.

Lower Pain Levels 

Endorphins from sex contribute to more than just calmness and a sense of well-being. These endorphins may help to reduce headaches and back pain.

Why Your Partner May Become Less Interested In sex

Decreased sexual drive and intimacy are common with people as they grow old with a decline happening at the age of around 45 years. In as much as you may assume that your partner could be having an affair or has lost sexual interest in you, you should remain open to all possibilities.
More importantly, you should differentiate between lack of sexual desire, sexual dysfunction and hypoactive sexual desire(lack of sexual fantasies). Each of these may have physical or psychological causes but treatments are individual. Once you understand the difference you can approach the problem more objectively and avoid emotional repercussions.

Low Libido

This refers to a lack of sexual drive and can contribute to a decreased rate of sexual activity. Treatment includes discovering the underlying cause of this condition. There are many reasons that contribute to a low libido including:

  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Depression
  • Genital pain.
  • Hormone imbalances.
  • Medication.
  • Chronic illness.
  • Relationship problems.

Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder

Hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD) is a condition characterised by the absence of desire for sexual activity and sexual fantasies. HSDD is the most common type of sexual dysfunction among women and affects 8.9% of women between the ages of 18 and 44, 12.3% affecting those between the ages of 45 and 64 and 7.4% affecting those over the age of 65.

Sexual Dysfunction

Sexual dysfunction is any problem that may occur at any point during the sexual response cycle and prevents a couple from having a satisfying sexual experience. This includes problems with sexual desire, arousal or orgasm.

Examples of sexual dysfunction include delayed or premature ejaculation and erectile dysfunction. Inadequate lubrication or inability to relax muscles during sexual intercourse are types of sexual dysfunction among women.

What Should You Do When Your Partner Loses Interest In Sex?

The first and foremost approach to this situation is to open a line of communication. Approach your significant other in neutral territory where both of you can discuss things calmly and privately.

Express yourself sensitively without any blame. Share your worries within the confines of the relationship rather than asserting how your partner is contributing to the same. In such a situation worry turns to blame.

If Your Partner Is Reluctant to Discuss The Issue

Take charge of the matter and avoid taking things personally. In this case, it’s not about you failing your partner or your partner failing you. Rather, both of you should take ownership of the situation as a couple.

Taking the lead and suggesting couples’ counselling if need be, brings the issue into the light and uses the process to strengthen the relationship rather than hurt it.

If Your Partner Can Share The Problem

For instance, they pinpoint fatigue or stress at work, and both of you should work together to find a solution. Focus on incremental change and seek medical help or therapy if necessary.

If Your Significant Other Doesn’t Know What’s Causing The Problem but they acknowledge the problem exists, suggest a physical exam. Low libido is caused by undiagnosed medical conditions like low testosterone, and diabetes. high blood pressure or a side effect of medications like birth control pills or antidepressants and other prostate medications.

Can a Relationship Survive Without Sexual Desire?

Solving any relationship issue, whether it’s financial, sexual or emotional is a long process and not an event. Therefore it’s necessary to take your time, be patient and seek counselling to ensure your self-esteem and confidence remain intact. Seek help to get your relationship back on track.

Take Away 

Being intimate both physically and emotionally with your partner is vital to having a healthy and thriving relationship. When your partner loses interest in sexual intimacy it is important to discover the root cause.
Once you identify what is causing your partner to no longer want sexual intimacy you might be in a position to help them move past it. In some situations, your partner may require help from a professional to overcome the struggles they may be facing.
Going to an online counselling session together with your partner or on your own is a step to restoring intimacy in your relationship.
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