How often should you be having sex to enjoy a completely satisfying relationship? There isn’t one answer set in stone. Studies suggest that the average person in a relationship has sex about once each week. This means some people are getting down and dirty more often while others experience dry spells every once in a while.
Speaking of dry spells, how much time without sex is too much? Can intimacy in a relationship survive without actual sex? These are questions most people have wondered about, even those who enjoy highly sexual dynamics in their relationship.
Psychologists and sex therapists have been trying to find the answer for years. Here’s what their research suggests.
How Long Is Too Long without Sex?
Studies have been carried out to understand just about every aspect of (not) having sex in a relationship.
Sexless relationships and marriages aren’t uncommon. In one study, 16 percent of the respondents confirmed they hadn’t had sex with their partners over the past month. According to sex therapists, about 15 percent of all couples are in a sexless relationship (they haven’t had sex in the past six months).
While the numbers paint a rather grim picture, analyzing a relationship doesn’t depend entirely on data. Additional factors have to be taken in consideration and some of those are even more crucial than the numbers.
These studies obviously don’t account for the quality of sex. Some people could be having lots and lots of bad sex, which obviously is as dissatisfying as no sex at all. Global research suggests that approximately 30 percent of all people are unhappy with the quality of their sex life and this is probably an even more devastating trend than the occasional dry spell.
Some individuals in a relationship may be enjoying tremendous, mind-blowing sex every once in a while. Depending on libido and sexuality, these people could be happy and fulfilled in their relationship regardless of the reduced frequency of intercourse.
It’s also important to understand the reasons why people aren’t having sex.
In some situations, a sexless relationship would be based on the loss of passion and attraction. Everyday stress, having to travel, taking care of young children and other responsibilities contribute to dry spells in other instances.
The most important measurements of relationship satisfaction should revolve around the feelings of two people. If they are happy and connected, a dry spell isn’t necessarily a cause of concern.
Signs That a Dry Spell Spells Trouble
The lack of sex in itself isn’t a problem for many people. Dry spells come and go, things eventually get back to normal.
Not being sexual with a partner, however, can lead to other issues. Some of the most common problems that stem from a prolonged dry spell include:
• Low self-esteem and not feeling loved
• Body image issues
• Feelings of resentment
• Poor communication, not feeling seen or heard
• High levels of stress
• Negative thoughts about one’s partner
• Feeling less connected, considering alternatives and a breakup
• Mounting levels of relationship dissatisfaction
For some people, these can happen after one month of no sex. Others may be capable of maintaining intimacy and a deep connection for much longer, especially if certain complications or everyday challenges contribute to dry spells.
If you’re going through a sexless period, you’ll need to ask yourself about your feelings. Are you dissatisfied? Do you still love and desire your partner? Are both of you willing to pursue change in order to make things better? If the answers are positive, you probably shouldn’t give up on the relationship yet. Luckily, various things can be done to get over a dry spell and bring back the passion.
What You Can Do to Make a Sexless Relationship Better
The first and most important step towards improvement is communication.
Have you voiced your feelings? Does your partner know you need more sex?
Lost in worries and stress, some people don’t even realize how long they’ve gone without being intimate with a partner. If you don’t bring the issue up, they will potentially remain clueless about your dissatisfaction. The current dynamics will remain ongoing until you reach a point of relationship damage beyond repair.
Once you lay the cards on the table, you’ll have to start thinking about the possibilities that will promote improvement.
Scheduling time for sex is one simple idea that can deliver excellent results. While it sounds anything but sexy, scheduled sex can be so beneficial. It’s such an important step towards rekindling intimacy that most therapists recommend the approach.
Scheduling time for sex gets you in the mood for it. The approach builds anticipation. In fact, you’ll feel like you’re getting ready for a first date and you’ll be buzzing with excitement all day.
If a sex routine has made the passion disappear, you’ll definitely need to consider something new in the bedroom. Talk about your fantasies and explore those scenarios. Some light role play or bondage will unleash those sexual creative juices flowing. Beginner-friendly sex toys like dildos with ultra-realistic skin will also get you fantasizing about all of the delicious sexual scenarios you could be exploring later on.
Finally, don’t think about societal standards and don’t compare yourselves to other couples. Going through online articles or talking to friends could make you feel like others are having sex all the time. This isn’t the case.
In an attempt to face their own insecurities and concerns, many people exaggerate. They paint a picture that’s very distant from reality. Comparing yourself to such a non-existent ideal will lead to feelings of inadequacy, no matter what your partner does.
Good sex is often the glue that holds a relationship together but in time, it can go missing. That’s a problem most couples in a long-term relationship will face. Sometimes, a dry spell will be indicative of deeper issues. That’s when a relationship will probably end for good.
In other instances, however, it’s merely a consequence of complications. Getting those issues addressed and working together to end the dry spell can result in better intimacy, more satisfaction and a stronger relationship going forward.