One thing I will never understand, and which I hope to never experience, is a sexless marriage. I was blessed with a healthy sex drive. I’ve had friends who weren’t. They viewed my blessing as a curse. They thought sex was gross, dirty, nasty, wrong, a bother, and just one more thing on their long list of things to do to please everyone else.
I’ve never seen sex any of those ways. Sex has always been important to me. Granted, growing up it was important for the wrong reasons. I wanted to be intimate with boys to get the love I didn’t know at home.
Wayne helped me understand I could be loved, and was worthy of being loved, for more than what I was willing to do between the sheets. In fact, in our early years he’d often fight me off on purpose to get me to understand our relationship was more than just physical.
At the time, I was livid. I of course thought he must not find me attractive and must not love me if he didn’t want me in that way. Thankfully, eventually a light bulb clicked. I understood what he was trying to help me realize. I’ve been better for it ever since, and our relationship has most certainly benefited.
AN ALARMINGLY HIGH NUMBER OF SEXLESS MARRIAGES
A while back I read a statistic in an article (America’s Not-So-Dirty Secret: The Sexless Marriage) that I found appalling. It estimated that 40 million people in the United States are in romantic relationships devoid of sex, about 15 to 20 percent of couples. The article also defined “sexless” as “having sex fewer than 10 times a year.”
Ten times a year? Jeez Louise, I get bent out of shape if we have it less than 10 times a month!
I understand some people have lower sex drives (or “libidos” as the article called it). Women are twice as likely as men to suffer from this. I guess if I was born with a low sex drive I wouldn’t know what I was missing, but I am eternally grateful that was not my fate.
I was also happy to read that a sexless marriage is not inevitable with time. Wayne and I could still be going at it into our eighties, if we’re both so lucky to live that long.
THINGS THAT CAUSE A MARRIAGE TO BE SEXLESS
There are a lot of things that contribute to a sexless marriage. Like:
- Busy schedules
- Work stress
- Financial problems
- Other mental health issues (everything from lack of self-esteem to trauma)
The closest we’ve come to a sexless marriage so far is when I had cancer. I had trouble physically responding to Wayne, who, bless his heart, still wanted me even though I was bald and turning yellow around the eyes.
He was patient and understanding and didn’t take my body’s lack of response personally. It wasn’t the greatest sex we’ve ever had, but by golly at least we were still having it!
DOES A SEXLESS MARRIAGE MEAN A LOVELESS ONE?
The concept seems strange to me, but even before I read the article, I knew you could not have sex with someone and still be in love with them romantically. It just seems so sad. I love spending time with Wayne no matter what, but in the bedroom is still one of my favorites.
Yet, no matter how deeply you love your partner, a sexless marriage can’t survive forever. Having a low libido is one thing. Hopefully you’ve paired up with someone else who shares your lack of sex drive. If not, compromises must be made, or a solution to learning to enjoy sex must be explored.
Unless you’re okay with your spouse straying. For men, this is the number one reason they do. (For women, they stray in search of the emotional intimacy they’re lacking.)
All I know is, sex is important. I don’t get people who don’t want it. Then again, they don’t necessarily understand me and my need to have it so…it all evens out.