Sexless Relationship – sounds outrageous, right? Does the term “extended dry spell” soften the blow? Elle once did a piece claiming sex-light romances aren’t as uncommon as we may think. For more context, a “sexless” relationship is defined as couples having intercourse fewer than 10 times a year and it’s estimated that nearly 20 million Americans in a relationship go virtually sex-free. Sexlessness occurs mainly in long-term relationships, but is it a bad thing? The answer entirely depends on the reason for the libido absence – which are legion (as one can imagine). There’s the obvious “I’m not physically attracted to him/her anymore” rationale but often more deep-seated factors lead to sexual drought. Real life stressors like financial woes, job pressures and raising children often rob folks of their sensual desires. Those who can relate know the deal: Trading in the rare opportunity for a proper romp for the chance to cuddle and take a quick snooze with your honey-love.
Elle’s study on the issue highlights “a host of even more insidious libido-killers.” Among them are emotional or psychological trauma, relationship troubles, depression, weight gain, body image issues, anger, tiredness, lack of trust, childbirth, power issues, past abuse and the predictable nature of lovemaking between two long-time loves. A myriad of books, articles and seminars offer their version of the cause and cure, but the truth is that they’re about as complex and unique as the sex-starved romances in question. One common thread running throughout such self-help rhetoric is the existence of love between partners. Genuine love. Not to be confused with relationships of convenience or the fear of being alone, a sexless union can be healthy, if handled in that spirit. So the hot ’n’ heavy may be on hiatus, but that certainly doesn’t mean personal intimacy has to disappear along with it. Couples who truly respect one another, enjoy each other’s company, and openly chat about their sex-free status are very likely to have happy, fulfilling relationships. In other words, sex is fantastic, but it ain’t everything.
Some long-term couples experience an ebb & flow of sensual thrills; the more truthful the couple, the more lustful energy they leave their time-tested bond open to. Physical connection is just as important as a sexual one. Gestures like li’l love notes, sexting, cuddles and hugs are a fab way to keep intimacy alive (with or without intercourse). Date nights, massages, and the like, go a long way too. Besides, one never knows, such endeavors could lead a pair back on track to some serious sexual healing.