You’re probably familiar with the concept of “the honeymoon phase” of a relationship. It’s the almost-magnetizing attraction some people experience in those early, heady days, where the sex is frequent and the physical touch seems endless. It’s often romanticized in novels and movies, and it’s a narrative that’s perpetuated by the hyper-sexualized world we live in, where headlines about “having better sex” and “improving your orgasms” are a dime a dozen. But it’s called a “phase” for a reason: It’s pretty hard to sustain. So why don’t we talk more about what can happen later down the road — a sexless marriage.
Human beings are, by nature, tactile and sexual. Intimacy helps us feel close to our partners, so finding yourself in a sexless marriage or relationship can be a lonely and isolating experience. Frequency of sex can change at any point in a relationship, and it can be an especially worrying and frustrating shift for both parties if the honeymoon phase was real for you previously.
But here’s the thing: The only people who get to decide how much sex is acceptable in your relationship are you and your partner. If you’re happy in a marriage without sex, it doesn’t mean you’re not sharing intimacy in other ways. On the other hand, if one or both of you wants to increase the amount of sex you’re having in your relationship, there are ways you can get there.
Here’s everything you need to know, from the effects a sexless marriage can have to how to start talking about it …