Sexuality in long-term relationships is a topic that is gaining more and more attention. Despite romantic visions of “love forever,” many people experience reduced sexual activity during the course of their relationship. This is due to a number of factors, the three most commonly cited being lack of proper communication, routine and fatigue.

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Why is sex so important in a relationship?

Sex has been a taboo subject for centuries, but nowadays it is increasingly being discussed openly, both in terms of health and interpersonal relationships. There are many reasons why sex is considered an essential part of a successful partnership.

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Here are the most important ones:

  • Communication and intimacy

Sexuality in a relationship plays a key role in building intimacy between partners. During physical rapprochement, there is not only an exchange of fluids and stimuli, but also a deeper emotional connection. Through sex, partners express their closeness, trust and love for each other. This is a type of communication that often goes beyond words.

  • Increase emotional bonding

Successful sex has the ability to strengthen the emotional bond between partners. During physical intimacy, the body releases hormones such as oxytocin and endorphins, which cause feelings of pleasure and closeness. These moments of intimacy allow partners to feel more “connected,” which in turn can strengthen their trust in each other.

Sexuality in long-term relationships
Photo: Getty Images
  • Meeting physical and emotional needs

Sexuality is a natural aspect of human life that fulfills a variety of both physical and emotional needs. Through sex, partners can experience physical pleasure and satisfaction, as well as express their desires and fantasies. For many people, sex is an important part of their identity.

“We waste time looking for the perfect lover instead of creating the perfect love.”

American author Tom Robbins
  • Reducing stress and improving well-being

Sexual activity can be an effective way to reduce stress and improve well-being. During orgasm, the body releases endorphins, which act as a natural countermeasure to stress and depression. So having sex regularly can help maintain emotional and mental balance.

  • Building and maintaining a satisfying relationship

Studies show that sexual satisfaction is strongly correlated with overall relationship satisfaction. Partners who regularly have sex and experience mutual pleasure often feel greater satisfaction with their relationship. Sexuality can thus be a key element in building a lasting and satisfying partnership.

“Good sex is like a good bridge. If you don’t have a good partner, you’d better have a good hand.

American actress Mae West

What if couples consciously give up sex?

More and more couples, for various reasons, are consciously deciding to give up sex. This can be due to a variety of factors and a joint decision.

There are several potential reasons for couples to make this decision:

Changing priorities

As time passes and the relationship evolves, couples may find that other aspects of the relationship become more important to them than sexual activity. They can focus on building a deep emotional bond, growing together, achieving life goals, or simply enjoying each other in other ways.

Health problems

The physical or mental health of one or both partners may lead to the decision to stop sexual activity. Illnesses, injuries, sexual disorders, or concerns about potential health consequences can all be reasons for giving up sex.

Fatigue or stress

In some cases, especially when a couple has a busy work life or other commitments, they may simply lack the energy for sexual activity. Stress and fatigue can significantly affect libido and desire for sex.

Differences in libido levels

If one person in a relationship has a much lower libido than the other, this can lead to frustration and conflict. In such a situation, the couple may decide to forgo sex to avoid unnecessary tension.

“Thank God, we are all born sexual beings, but it is a shame that so many people despise and destroy this natural gift.”

cinema icon Marilyn Monroe

Religious or cultural aspects

In some societies or religions, sexuality may be seen as taboo, or be closely associated with procreation. In such cases, the couple may consciously decide to be celibate or limit sexual activity, in accordance with their values.

Evolution of the relationship

Relationships can change and develop, and what was important and satisfying in the initial phase of the relationship may cease to be relevant as time passes. Couples may consciously give up sex when their relationship goes in a different direction or when they discover other ways to build intimacy.

a happy relationship without sex
Photo: Kateryna Hliznitsova

Is it possible to have a happy relationship without sex?

Yes, it is possible to have a happy relationship without sex, as long as both parties agree on this choice and can find other ways to build intimacy, closeness and satisfaction in the relationship. Sexuality is just one of many elements that can affect happiness and satisfaction in a relationship. There are many couples who successfully build healthy, satisfying and lasting relationships despite giving up sexual activity.

A key element in maintaining a happy relationship without sex is open and honest communication between partners. Both partners should be comfortable in expressing their needs, and should listen to and respect the needs of the other person. It is also important to find other ways to build closeness and intimacy, such as shared interests, conversations, romantic gestures, common goals, or simply emotional support.

Remember that every relationship is different, so what works for one couple will not necessarily be suitable for another. It is crucial that partners are happy and in agreement about the dynamics of their relationship, and that decisions made are based on mutual understanding, respect and love.

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