3 types of sexless relationships: can you be happy?
Are you in a sexless relationship and wondering if this is your future? You might even be wondering how you ended up in a sexless relationship. Relationships without sex are not the end of the world. It all depends on what type of sexless relationship you have, so here are the questions you need to answer.
What type of sexless relationship are you in?
Firstly, you need to understand why you are in a sexless relationship because they happen for various reasons and vary in their practice.
Medically Recommended Sex Avoidance
Medically recommended sex avoidance is when a health professional has told you to not have sex for a while. To avoid a narrow view of sex as penile penetrative intercourse, you need to ask lots of questions and understand specifically what you must avoid and why.
Time-poor Sex Avoidance
Time-poor sex avoidance is when one person in the relationship is so busy that there is no time in the day for sex. The lack of time and energy comes from deprioritising sex and intimacy.
Dried-up Desire Sex Avoidance
Dried-up desire sex avoidance is when one person in the relationship lacks interest in sex and avoids it at all costs. This lack of interest can come from medical or physical problems, trauma, anxiety or body image issues.
Time-poor and dried-up desire sex avoidance can be either conscious or unconscious decisions. Both lead to resentment as they tend to be driven by one person.
Is our relationship doomed without sex or intimacy?
Sex in the form of penetrative sexual intercourse…no.
Sex and intimacy in a broader sense…questionable.
According to the Collins Dictionary: Sex is the physical activity between people that involves the sexual organs. Intimacies are things you say or do to someone you have a very close personal relationship with.
There is value in both sex and intimacy in relationships. Problems occur when:
- Couples view sex narrowly. Sexual “physical activity” is penetrative intercourse only. The first time people have sex is usually when there is penile penetration as opposed to oral or digital penetration.
- Couples undervalue intimacy. Small words and actions produce hormonal changes increasing our connection and love.
Many physical and mental benefits exist for having sex.
Now you know the type of sexless relationship you have, you need to answer 3 questions.
- What sex are you avoiding? Penetrative intercourse only or all sexual activities.
- Do you avoid all pleasurable activities or is self-pleasure happening?
- Does intimacy exist in your relationship or is there no sex or intimacy? If you don’t share personal and private words and behaviours that differ from your interactions with others, what makes this relationship special?
How to be fulfilled in a sexless relationship
Changing your current situation may be impossible or seem exhausting. Take these steps to be satisfied in your sexless relationship.
Is sex important to you individually?
Your importance of sex sits on a scale. Some people love it and others don’t care. Some people have low sexual desire and want to improve it and others have a healthy desire but hide sexual problems by avoidance.
Discover where you and your partner sit on this scale. Don’t sit in a space where you are both unsatisfied because you avoid talking about underlying embarrassing problems. Sharing leads to solutions.
Defining sex in your relationship
This is the biggest key to your relationship’s success. Defining what intimacy and sex are in your relationship is important for setting a higher value on this relationship and showing love and appreciation for each partner.
Excluding penetrative intercourse, what other activities bring you pleasure? Are you willing or able to include oral, anal or digital acts? Your body is wired from head to toe for pleasure. Think about areas you like being touched. Pleasure also comes from watching your partner touch themselves, or having your partner watch you touch yourself. Self-play is just as important as partner play. There is no reason you can’t combine them.
Share intimate moments
Hugging, kissing, cooking, showering, watching tv or massages. All these activities involve acts or touch that you can reserve for this person only. For example, massages can be very intimate and romantic without being a prelude to sex.
Start a new activity together without kids
Write down both partner’s interests and hobbies and find a connection. What can you do together that is new and exciting for both of you? This will be something you carry forward in your life and when your kids move out, this will continue to be a bonding activity. Maybe it’s dancing, gardening, cooking, team sports, hiking or pottery…the possibilities are endless! If you get bored with an activity there’s always more to try.
People need to feel appreciated and loved. Appreciation and love are shown through acts (as above) and words. It’s important to show and speak your appreciation and love to your partner daily because it’s easy to fall into habits and assume they know. It takes regular and consistent words to truly “believe” it in our hearts.
The best intimate relationship is defined by the couple alone and where both people are satisfied.
If you are unhappy in a sexless relationship and want further strategies to fix your relationship contact me to discuss your options.