What Is A Sexless Marriage?
A sexless marriage by definition refers to a couple that has sex fewer than 10 times a year. The Australian Study of Health and Relationships says that 15-20 percent of marriages fall under this category, but the real number might be even lower because of the stigma associated with it.
A sexless marriage is one of the top reasons given behind rising divorce rates and it’s a problem that affects all kinds of relationships. It doesn’t matter if you’re straight, lesbian, or any other sexual orientation: sometimes getting busy just doesn’t seem that appealing anymore.
Why Does This Happen?
A sexless marriage doesn’t necessarily mean that the couple has fallen out of love. There are a lot of reasons a marriage might stop becoming physically intimate, and they’re not always because of things like menopause or headaches.
So what else can cause marriages to get to this point?
- Physical inability: Medical conditions like impotence, vaginal dryness, or similar ailments can hamper a couple’s sex life to the point of nonexistence.
- Chemical imbalance: Tobacco, medication (especially for things like depression), and alcohol can drastically affect our bodies, making us less libidinous than usual.
- Routine: A married couple’s life – especially if they have kids – can be exhausting. Routines can set in, and sex is one of the easiest things to sacrifice.
- Psychological factors: The fear of not performing well in bed, insecurity about one’s body, or even just a lack of interest in sex can cause a couple to slip into a celibate marriage.
- Sexual performance: Sexual incompatibility, lack of experience, and anxiety about your partner can also play a role in the lack of sex in your marriage.
Can A Marriage Survive Without Sex?
Absolutely, but be warned: it won’t be easy. There are plenty of couples who have reported a sense of satisfaction after going fully celibate with their partner, but it’s a solution that isn’t for everyone. Some forums discuss how to deal with sexless marriages (we recommend Talk About Marriage or r/DeadBedrooms) and other online communities that talk about their experiences with shared celibacy.
For Christian couples, faith-based work or counselling also goes a long way in sustaining a sexless marriage. Reading bible verses together, doing charity work, or worship activities help channel excess sexual energy into something more productive.
Am I The Problem? How To Improve A No Sex Marriage
Sexual therapist Bettina Arndt says that there is a significant number of women unhappy with the lack of sex in their marriages. For many women, their lack of sexual effect on their husband presents dangers (real or imaginary) to their femininity.
But this a two-way street. For men, the lack of sexual intimacy with their wives can also sink their self-esteem. It’s not a gendered issue: rather, a sexless marriage is something so self-stigmatised because it goes against society’s expectations.
If you struggle with a lack of sex in your relationships, here are some things you can try:
- Have an honest conversation with your partner about the issue: Communication is the first step to solving a lot of marital problems, and sex is no exception.
- Go to a sexual therapist: If you need more help, going to a sex therapist is a good first step. They can give you advice on how to spice up your sex life or help you work through the underlying issues behind the lack of it.
- Try changing things in the bedroom: Attitudes, positions, even toys can all help in rekindling sexual activity in your marriage.
- Make a sexual schedule: If you can set up ten appointments for an entire month before lunch, you can set aside one day a week to have a little fun in the bedroom. Personal affairs need as much attention as other things too, you know!
Love Without Lovemaking
Can a sexless marriage survive? The answer depends on the couple. If they’re willing to make it work and channel their sexual energy into something else, it’s possible! If you ever find yourself in a marriage without sex, don’t think it’s the end of that relationship. Find ways. Talk it out. Understand that a solution is possible.