How important is sex?

Over recent weeks this question seems to have made its way into many conversations with friends, and after just finishing ‘Adultery’ by Paulo Coelho I thought that this was certainly an area for discussion.

I am certainly not advocating that extra-marital affairs are sometimes the catalyst needed to rekindle the romance with an existing partner ….but sometimes a catalyst in whatever way, shape or form is needed.

I have this friend who wants to start dating again and she was looking at one of the on-line dating sites. She does make me smile when we talk about men and relationships and of course …! On this site she was telling me that there is a question where you have to rate how important sex is within a relationship from 1-10. I didn’t need to know the answer in this case – intuition, but she mentioned that just to make sure that the rating was correct, there were more questions which addressed this topic to almost triangulate the response and validate that ‘yes’ sex is crucial.

….but is sex crucial?

Well, I guess that depends on the individual and how sexually charged they are. I have friends where intimacy plays a big role in their relationship, at least once every day. For them it’s not a requirement, it’s a pleasure with all the glories that associate themselves with toys, dressing up, adventure, risk, and surprise; you name it, they have tried it. I have other friends where sex is just a mechanical process because they feel they have to perform on occasion to show some interest – birthdays and Christmas. Others I know, because of the nature of their relationship – husband working away, the frequency is low but the security of the marriage and commitment to each other almost cancels out the necessity for sex.

So…is sex crucial? I believe it is down to individual preference or circumstance. On the whole and after many lengthy discussions it would seem that the happier you are in a relationship the more intimacy there is. Possibly this could explain that when you meet somebody for the first time, it is exciting and new; you want to look your best, create a good impression and you want the other person to find you sexually attractive. This could then lead to many happy months even years of great sex. In conjunction, people that have been in long term relationships and are possibly married with children and are caught up in the whole commitment thing may feel stressed by the pressures from work or from within the home and the level of intimacy and frequency of sex declines. Some people may be in a situation where they have not been intimate with their partner for months even years. The initial sexual attraction may have been lost, buried beneath the banal reality that each day is the same routine and nothing exciting ever happens to break the cycle or to rekindle the fire.

You could argue that ‘you reap what you sow’! If you don’t make an effort sexually why should your partner, and if you do make an effort – who knows where that might lead.

Problems arise when one partner is highly sexually charged and the other isn’t – what then? Back to Paulo Coelho to bring excitement and fulfilment into your life, I guess that depends on your moral standing on fidelity. There are ways I guess (am smiling as I think back to my article ‘What if fantasies were real’)? You could try that, take the initiative – the bull by the horns and make it blatantly obvious that tonight is the night! You could do nothing and as each day passes resent your partner more and/or start to question yourself …. ‘is it me’, ‘do they no longer find me attractive’, ‘are they getting a better deal elsewhere’? Or ….you could sit down like the grown-ups that you are supposed to be and talk about it.

However important or unimportant sex is it should be communicated to your partner. If your expectation is a level of intimacy every day, different positions, different places, dress-up – tell them. If you want romantic interludes, tell them. If you want up against a wall, urgent, controlling hands pinned high …. tell them. If you would rather curl up with a good book, tell them!  If you don’t tell them, what next – a relationship built on deceit, fake orgasms, resentment and disappointment or ….

‘He goes over to the door, locks it, then comes back and kisses me. I return his kiss, because it’s been a long time. Jacob, whom I may have once loved, is now a family man, married to a professor. And I am a family woman ….I consider pushing myself away and saying that we’re not kids anymore, but I’m enjoying it…I feel better and better, braver, freer. Then I do something I’ve dreamed of doing since I was in school. Kneeling down, I unzip his fly and .…’

….Page 27 ‘Adultery’ Paulo Coehlo

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About Sharon Yull

Sharon Yull is an academic, researcher, business consultant and published author of over twenty business and computing books and publications.She is qualified with a BSc, MSc, HND in Business and Finance, PGCE, Fellow of the Institute for Learning and also an Associate of the Assessors Institute. Sharon enjoys reading, swimming, outdoor pursuits, theatre, music and travelling. She is an inherent romantic always there to offer support, guidance and a shoulder to cry or laugh on.
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