As fun as dating can be, the realities of a sexless relation ship can loom over a couple like a storm cloud on an otherwise sunny day. No matter how happy a couple may seem at first, the harsh reality that they can both enter a dry spell together is something that shouldn’t be ignored. The reasoning behind this shift is often misrepresented by harmful stereotypes -that sex will inevitably dry up in marriage a long-term relationship, or that women simply enjoy sex less than men -while in reality, a couple can fall out of their lovemaking groove for any numbers of reasons.
Whether it’s a change in mood in one person or a wealth of different problems enveloping the couple, a sexless streak is something that can be destructive to the relationship if not addressed and fixed. Luckily, this problem is far more common than people think, and can often be mended once it’s made apparent. To help clarify the reasoning behind a dry spell and give you some pointers on what you can do to fix things, we enlisted the help of psychotherapist and author Mary Jo Rapini to show us how to spice things up without using outlandish sex tips.
A relationship without sex is certainly not the end of the world, unless you’re both asexual, it will probably take an emotional or psychological toll on one or both partners, and could have a serious impact on the relationship, potentially even ending it. So what happened to all that sex you used to have? Truth be told, it will take some digging around to figure out what exactly the problem is. For most couples, it’s a lack of communication; a detail that can be fixed by -you guessed it -talking to each other. “The majority of couples in a sexless marriage don’t talk about their sex life to anyone,” says Rapini. “It’s a taboo topic, especially if you’re happy in your relationship without it. Guys are competitive and if they aren’t interested in sex or it isn’t working, they don’t talk about it. According to data experts, searches for `sexless marriage’ are almost four times more common than searches for `loveless marriage’. There are many reasons couples stop having sex, and it is possible that couples can be happily married or in a committed relationship that is called `sexless.’ The term ‘sexless’ in relationship counselling refers to couples that haven’t had sex in more than a year’s time.”
This, while devastating to hear is far more common than we think. Rapini goes on to say that “12 to 20 per cent of the population has a sexless marriage,” and that this “statistic would be much higher if couples that were sexless during specific times in their relationship were mentioned.”
Meaning, even if they’re not currently sexless, many long-term couples have gone a year without sex at some point.
Along with a lack of communication being an issue, there are other factors that can kill the sex drive in a person or within a couple: Depression, generalised anxiety disorder, sexual frustration, or just plain ambivalence can be to blame.
So, how do you fix this and start having hot sex again?
Here are some proven methods to get things going when you’re dealing with a decreased sex drive, so you don’t end up looking back at a sexless year of your relationship.
If you find yourself treating your loved one the same way you treat a friend (or, if you live together, a roommate), then that’s a pretty solid sign that things need to change. However, the problem may not always be in your head. Rapini goes into detail by saying that “diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, obesity and hormonal imbalances can cause sexual issues in a relationship, causing you to feel like roommates more than lovers.” It’s easy for couples to get stuck in a certain routine and not think of pursuing a solution out of nothing more than pain or embarrassment. It’s not easy to admit you’re too depressed or tired to have sex, but that is a valid excuse.
“Make changes at work and with your lifestyle. If you’re like two ships passing in the night, you’ll begin to feel alone, disconnected and passionless toward your partner.” One thing that’s been proven to work is a sex schedule. It may not sound sexy, but choosing a “date night” every week is good for sex, so says Dr. Prudence Hall of The Hall Centre in Santa Monica, California. “A date night, time away alone as a couple, time to talk, and lovemaking. Lovemaking needs to be viewed as a practice. We don’t always want to meditate or do yoga, but we know how wonderful it is for us.Lovemaking can be viewed in a similar way.Schedule it and it is more likely to happen.”
“The more you touch your partner, the more you’ll connect… spend time together skin to skin. Touch is the easiest way to reboot your sexual feelings,” insists Rapini. Never doubt that those little things amount to romance. This can be as simple as making the effort to kiss each other goodbye in the mornings or holding hands during a movie, even buying each other presents.If you’re the kind of couple who spend every Christmas exchanging “practical” gifts like socks and belts, ditch the practicality for romance.Sexless relationships often occur when two people stop trying to fix the problem. Even trying a little bit in these instances can go a long why