Love + Sex, Relationships

How important is sex in a relationship?

Melissa Imbesi by Melissa Imbesi
April 23rd, 2017

Sex. It’s such a tiny little speck of a word, but it can spark such a different reaction in us all.  Some of us will get a little giddy just looking at the word, while others might do an internal eye-roll or groin clench and think, ‘ain’t got time or energy for that’.

By no means am I a chandelier-swinging nymphomaniac, but I will say that I enjoy sex and it’s an important part of my marriage. It’s important to both of us, because when we are in sync with each other and having regular sex, our relationship is better on every front. I’m not entirely sure of why this is, but when we’re having more sex we’re both calmer and less irritable with each other and the world around us. Besides feeling good, for us, it is a crucial part of keeping our relationship healthy and happy.

When I’ve spoken to girlfriends (as you do) about sex, their experiences are invariably different to my own. Some have much less and some more, but I reckon comparison is never a good idea when it comes to sex and how often you’re doing it. Different strokes for different folks.

The thing is, sex is often not on the top of our priority list. I’m generalising here, but I think that’s where men and women can sometimes differ in their views on making time for sex. When we’re exhausted, or had a massive day at work, or taking care of kids, sex can often be the last thing on our minds. The thought of sweet, sweet, sleep can be so much more alluring than getting your sex-cardio in. Where sex might be on the mid-to-low section of our list, it might take the number one spot on our partner’s. So how do you make it work? How do you compromise?

Sometimes all you want to do is SNOOZE!

Sometimes all you want to do is SNOOZE!

Schedule it in. As unromantic as this sounds, often this is the only way we get our kit off.  I don’t think sex should ever be forced or made to feel like a duty, but I do think that making more time for it can be beneficial to a relationship AND to our mental and physical health. Just like any form of exercise, sex releases those feel-good endorphins that do all sorts of wonderful things for our bodies.

It can be easy to fall into the trap of little to no sex when you’re in a long-term relationship. Often times, the less you do it, the less you want to, and the same goes for the reverse – more sex often equals more desire to have sex. If you’re in a bit of a funk, start slow. Make time to reconnect with each other that doesn’t necessarily mean the five-positions-in-one-session style. It could start with a commitment to kiss for five minutes. Kick it old school. Remember the things we did before full-blown sex, like ALL THOSE YEARS AGO when we were young, experimental teenagers. It could ignite a spark somewhere that gets you started.

It can be easy to fall into the trap of little to no sex when you’re in a long-term relationship

Here are some other tips –

– Know what you like and what turns you on: You know your body better than anyone else on the planet, so use that knowledge to let your partner know where to steer their attention. Dr Oz credits open communication and safety in a relationship in order to feel comfortable enough to tell your partner what you do and don’t like.  It can make ALL the difference.

– Start slow: Give yourselves heaps of foreplay time and schedule it in like a date. Dr Pepper Schwartz suggests exploring your body’s erogenous zones (those little sweet spots that make you shiver) through massage and touch. Start early so you’re not looking at the clock thinking, “Oh my God, I’ve got to be up in four hours, hurry up!”

– Try something new: Dr Oz recommends throwing something new into the mix to spice things up a bit, provided both you and your partner agree. Check out a sex shop together and make a pact to buy something you’ve never used before and then go home and try it. It’s like the most fun homework assignment ever.

– Try synchronising your orgasms: According to Dr Laura Berman, if you want to climax together, try having the partner who is slower to orgasm get more aroused beforehand. She suggests the use of a vibrator for this – there’s even a HANDS FREE variety. Who knew?

At the end of the day, sex is different for every couple and the most important thing is finding the groove that works best for you. Some couples are happy with little to no sex and enjoying all the other wonderful parts that come with a loving relationship, while others strive for five a day, just like the recommended veg intake.

Focus on yourself and your partner and you’ll figure out what works for you. Together.

And watch this awesomely personal chat about sex between Monty and Sophie Cachia AKA The Young Mummy…

No time to watch the vids? Grab some headphones and listen to our full chat with Soph in the podcast below, then head here to subscribe to Show+Tell The Podcast.