Kinsey Institute last reported that 13% of married couples reported having sex a few times a year. 45% reported having sex a few times per month, 34%reported sex 2-3 times per week, and 7% reported having sex 4 or more times per week. These numbers are being more and more affected by the dual income, no sex population, which continues to grow. The majority of the couples I see come in with sexual/intimacy issues and they should, that’s the kind of therapy I specialize in. However, the problems they are concerned about are no longer the ones involving the mechanics of sex; the problems are due to the timing of sex. Couples are frustrated, tired, overwhelmed, and although sex is a great cure for coping with stress, it only works if both partners have the energy to engage in sex. For many couples, this leaves one or both partners avoiding sex, because they are too tired or disengaged with their partner.
The majority of couples I work with have a scenario where the man is frustrated because he wants sex so he can feel intimate with his partner. His partner wants to feel intimate so she can desire sex. This scenario is played out with anger, resentment, and stress, and often times the couple growing so distant that the only way they can enjoy sex is to leave on a vacation. This in itself may not be a bad choice if you can get away frequently. However, for most of us who get a vacation once a year, and then take the kids with us, that is not enough sex to keep our relationship, our minds, or bodies healthy.
With couple’s sex, there really is no normal number of times to have sex. The important objective is both partners should be satisfied with the number of times they engage in sex within their relationship. Partners who don’t have enough focus on it, and it can become the elephant in the room that both partners feel, but neither knows how to talk about it without irritating the other partner. The majority of the time, the more sex you have in your marriage, the happier the couple reports being. Also, having an active sex life is healthier for your body and mind, and there is usually a deeper soulful felt connection reported. Understanding this, it is strongly encouraged to prioritize intimacy and sex within your relationship. If it isn’t working for you and your partner these suggestions may help.
1. Begin with a visit to an Urologist who specializes in sexual issues. Both partners should go, as many times the worst thing about going to the doctor to talk about your sex life is the embarrassment. If you have your partner with you, it will help cut through the denial or things you feel too awkward to say aloud (a complete history is an important part of getting to the bottom of the real issue, if you cannot say the history, write it down, and hand it to your care taker).
2. Guys, remember that women have to escape to feel sexy. Women are not socialized to be outwardly sexy (although the times are a changing) and they get too involved with our domestic duties to consider their own sexual desires and needs. You don’t have to change cities, but you do need to create a new environment. This can be done without spending money if you help her escape by changing rooms, duties, lighting, your clothes (keep them on from the waist on until she wants you), music, your scent, and your words.
3. Ladies, your man needs you to initiate once in awhile. Guys need to be wanted and they need to know they please you. If you don’t know what pleases you, quit being passive and find out. It is only half of his fault if he cannot please you; the other half belongs to you. Just as he can create a new environment to help you escape, you can motivate him (with your actions and words) to help him understand how important this is.
4. Compromise, sexual intercourse is only part of intimacy and sex. There are so many other things you can do. If she wants sex every night, and he is too tired, a massage or a bath together with bubbles and soft music and lighting before bed can be just as erotic and achieve that feeling of connection. I have a list of ideas on my website of things you can do to make you feel connected besides having intercourse.
Approximately one quarter of all men, and one in eight women report some form of sexual dysfunction in their lives. In dual income couples, the largest problem is finding the time, and therefore this statistic will most likely increase. If you don’t make time for sex and intimacy, or if you don’t prioritize your sex life, it will be replaced by other things that need to be done. Those other things may be important, but the intimacy and sexual connection within a relationship is the number two reason for marital discord. Number one is communication. Usually in a failing relationship the communication becomes talk about why we aren’t having sex. –Mary Jo Rapini
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Tags: Communication, Intimacy, Marriage, Sex, Relationships, Two Income Couples