Does the amount of times a couple have sex during the week equate to “I want you”? What about the frequency at which sex happens, does it mirror the way they feel about each other? What would you say of an older couple together for over 30 years, what if they admitted that, yes, they’re happily together, however, sex happens less than five times per year with extended time in between sexual encounters and with a bit of work to get there? However, despite those odds, you couldn’t find a happier couple elsewhere. Then, what if I told you, that out there are couples whose relationship, with sex off the table for lengthy periods of time, gravely suffered? These are just a couple out of a plethora of scenarios in the world today regarding frequency of sex in a relationship and how the relationship fares. These situations, however, bring to the forefront musings on how much sex actually contributes to couples and their relationships.
A relationship, if you care about it, takes a lot of work. It was never promised to be an easy thing as humans come with many things including baggage, aging, hormones and the ability to change their minds overnight. However, once done right and in a healthy light, it’ll reflect the time and work that went into it. Shared intimacy, both emotional and physical, plays an active role in building and maintaining a relationship. Although sex is not the point of a relationship, for many, it plays an immense part. It can be argued that the more sex is being had, the happier the couple is, which easily can be seen as it’ll be reflected in the relationship. However, the question stands, can a relationship survive without sex? The answer is yes, as sex, though delightful, isn’t always necessary to keep the warmth of a relationship going. In the same breath, it doesn’t subtract from the fact that sex itself is a contributing factor towards a strong relationship.
Though, how important of a factor sex plays in relationships varies as everyone is different and, by extension, every couple is different. For instance, where some heterosexual couples partake in anal sex, others steer clear of the act, quoting it as “gross”. Just as there are some people that are of the belief that having sex often is crucial to relationships, there are couples who feel the urge to connect with each other in ways that doesn’t include sex, to them, having sex doesn’t take priority. Now, it has been said that the average couple has sex at least once a week. According to researchers, having sex frequently can directly affect an individual’s overall well being. However, as a couple, they’re prone to experiencing more attraction to each other, which makes them both more affectionate toward the other. Additionally, when couples are more affectionate toward each other, the chance of having sex on a continuous basis is high. This, in turn, increases the relationship’s chances of longevity as the feeling of being connected with each other is emphasized.
Speaking to men in two couples; one in his early thirties and the other, mid-fifties, they expressed the frequency with which they have sex. The early thirties fella, Chet, whose relationship just entered its fourth year, said that sex happens with his partner four times a week. Frank, who is in his mid-fifties and has been dating Caroline for just over two years said that “when I was younger, I’d settle for any chance I got, so really it depended on my partner.” Some odd twenty years later he said that today he’s happy with three times per week. Both men have been with their partners for a good bit of time, and in one case, a lengthier bit. It can be argued that due to sex being a frequent flyer in both relationships, the longevity of the relationship fared well. However, it’d be obtuse to think that sex is the only thing keeping both relationships thriving. Often because we class intimacy with sex, we overlook the fact that intimacy also takes on other physical forms like cuddling, massages, kissing and hand holding. It can also take on an emotional coat in the forms of non-judgmental listening, indulging in each other’s passions, traveling or doing local Airbnbs together, even addressing intimate issues via honest and vulnerable conversations.
However, for some relationships, the reality is this: You can bring a horse to the water but you can’t make it drink. There’s a lady with whom I’m acquainted and her story will shed light on why sex isn’t to be seen and treated as the gorilla glue for relationships. Why sex, despite how frequently you have it, or how good it is, those rare times you guys overcome the dry spell and have it; that even if your relationship is defined by the public as nothing but goals, sometimes reality doesn’t match the pretty picture. Let’s take Kira, who, with her Honors degree and well paying job, fell quickly in love with very accomplished Sean and together, they had a son. Separate vehicles and a house later, looking in from the outside, you’d never guess that Sean was sleeping around. To the public, they were seen as the perfect family, their Instagram profiles littered with photos of each other and of their son. Despite being the couple who has sex every chance they can get their hands on, Sean still opted to have sex with women other than Kira. Previously I said, “It can be argued that the more sex being had, the happier the couple are which easily can be seen as it’ll be reflected in the relationship.” How is it that this couple with all the sex they have and their over 100K followers on each of their accounts they didn’t have romantic longevity? How is it that as often as they were having sex the “I want you”, yes, it was felt in the intimate moment but the “and you alone” wasn’t screamed loud enough between each touch? Now, Kira’s situation isn’t the only case where sex and the frequency with which it occurs has no hold over the fate of relationships.
So, is sex important in relationships? How frequently are we talking in order to not be told “get to steppin’”? Well, to be honest, what I can say is this: It isn’t-a-one-size-fits-all. What works for you and your partner won’t necessarily be what that couple over there does. Although there was “a 2017 study published in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin that showed that there’s a connection between frequent sexual activity and overall well-being. It went on to show that sex predicts affection and affection in turn, predicts frequency of sexual activity. In other words, more sex leads to more sex. Go figure.