Love and Sex Go Together – Don’t They?

No matter how much we might start with good intentions, the reality is that many relationships become sexless in a comparatively short space of time.

In fact, one in five marriages becomes “sexless” (which means sex takes place less than 10 times a year) within five years.

Considering that we’re all brought up to believe that love and sex go together, or that sex is the physical expression of our love for each other, this is quite remarkable.

The Decline Of Sex

The truth is that sex is a really enjoyable part of both an individual’s and a couple’s life, both separately and together.

And you can’t talk about loving someone forever if you’re not having sex with them – or rather, you can’t talk about romantic love as lasting forever if you’re not engaged in sexual intimacy with your partner.

One of the critical things about good sex within any relationship is to have realistic expectations about what it can do for a couple. Also, it’s necessary that both members of a couple value their sexual health, their sexual body, and their partners sexual body.

Perhaps one of the reasons why a loving relationship which starts out with lots of passionate, romantic love and intense sex declines quite quickly into in a sexual relationship with a lack of intimacy is not that love has diminished, but that the couple are aiming for a too-perfect sexual relationship.

You see, when you regard sex as something that is about pleasure, and intimacy, and reducing tension, and increasing self-esteem, you can probably accept more easily that it doesn’t have to be perfect, and that it can take a variety of forms, all of which are satisfying in one way or another.

But He Doesn’t Love Me Any More!

By the age of 40, as many as 90% of men will have gone through at least one experience of not being able to get an erection or losing it during intercourse.

That’s quite normal, it’s not a sign of erectile dysfunction – and it’s certainly not a sign that your man has stopped loving you, as some women often think!

Some women seem to think that the loss of an erection or a man’s inability to get an erection means something about him not desiring his partner any more. This isn’t true either.

But on the other hand, the penis never lies, and the lack of an erection means something. It’s a way the body is speaking to you and to the man who owns it. And yes, doctors do think that the majority of problems with erections in men under 50 are the result of psychological or relationship factors.

What kind of factors might those be?

Well, probably something about some aspect of love in one way or another. Often it’s about connection and intimacy – or a lack of those qualities.

It’s quite possible to love somebody, but not to feel intimate or even to feel sexual with them, even within a loving relationship. Yet most women really value physical intimacy and want it to continue throughout the love relationship.

This desire for love and the physical connection and intimacy of sexual intercourse needs to be set against a realistic background: for example, it’s a myth that men are always ready to have intercourse, at any time, with any woman, whenever the opportunity arises.

This is simply untrue. And at the same time for a man, the loss of his erection, or failure to become aroused at all, tends to rate around 10 on a scale of 0 to 10 in the personal disaster league.

Furthermore if a man loses his erection during lovemaking, he tends to wonder why he’s not turned on, while his partner may think that he’s lost interest in her sexually or he is turned off in some way.

In fact, erections come and go quite naturally during prolonged intimacy, sex play and lovemaking. In 45 minutes, a man should expect 3 or 5 erections.

How To Enjoy Love More

There are some simple tips which can help couples enjoy lovemaking more. And since lovemaking such fundamental aspect of any relationship, it’s worthwhile considering incorporating them into your own sexual routine:

1 Let the woman initiate intercourse and guide the man into her. This reduces performance pressure, and it’s a comfortable and familiar process for the woman, removing pressure from the man.

2 And don’t expect every intimate encounter to lead to intercourse – only about 85% or less of interactions will end in intercourse, the others can conclude with a loving connection, a loving cuddle perhaps, or some erotic expression that doesn’t involve coupling.

Rekindling Your Sexual Desire

You need to start with a sense of positive anticipation, and the expectation that you deserve the pleasure of sexual satisfaction within a loving relationship.

You also need to accept that you’re the one who’s responsible for getting that pleasure – it’s not up to your partner to pleasure you, although that’s often the way couples see the dynamic of the physical expression of love between a man and a woman. (That is, man pleasures woman.)

And remember that the initial romantic love and passionate sex phase of any lovers’ relationship will usually last less than two years, and is often over within six months.

In a loving relationship, sexual desire is maintained by you both developing a comfortable way of functioning as a sexual couple.

That means building intimacy, being relaxed about sex, releasing false expectations and hopes of what sex can do for you, and finding ways to maintain sexual desire.

The chief one of those, by the way, is touching, both sexual and nonsexual.

The Importance Of Touch

There’s an interesting set of guidelines for couples in a loving relationship who want to maintain a sexual connection by using the catalyst of touch.

This is likening touch to having a car with five gears. The first gear is when you’re just simply holding hands or kissing or hugging, and second gear is more sensual touch, which might or might not be with your clothes on, holding and caressing, or perhaps cuddling in bed.

Third gear is touching both the body in general and the genitals specifically, whether  in clothes or not, or perhaps engaging in such things as taking a bath together or whole body massage.

Fourth gear is erotic touching – in other words mutual stimulation of the genitals and other body parts to high levels of arousal and perhaps orgasm. And fifth gear is, as you might have guessed, within the context of a loving relationship, allowing pleasurable and erotic touch to flow into intercourse.

It’s important that this is fun, and affectionate, perhaps even sensual and playful.

Yes, “play” is a good word to apply to the way that physical sensations of lovemaking manifest within an ongoing loving relationship between a man and a woman.

As an expectation many women think that somehow love alone will keep sex on the agenda. It isn’t really like that; it has to be worked out, you have to find ways to cultivate sexual desire.

Touching, as we’ve already seen, is a very good way to do that – and there are many others.

Loving sex within a love relationship with a loved mate is basically about finding ways of communicating to your partner your anticipation, expectation, experience, beliefs and feelings around sex.

Bear in mind it’s worth doing this because positive sexuality can really increase shared pleasure in the wider relationship, it can deepen intimacy, and it can help you both deal with stresses of life and indeed the stresses of your relationship.

There’s a lot of evidence to show that having orgasms in the bedroom isn’t just satisfying within the context of physical loving. The pleasure and satisfaction which orgasms produce spreads into a harmonious relationship outside the bedroom in all areas of life.

It’s also important to have realistic expectations. You can’t expect to have the same level of pleasure, perhaps you can’t even expect to have an orgasm, or maybe even emotional and physical satisfaction, each time you make love.

For when you look at couples who have been together a long time, only a third to a half of sexual experiences are very good for both people.

In general one experience of sex in five is very good for one person and just OK for the other, and about the same proportion are just OK for one person and merely acceptable for the other.

And between 5% and 15% of sexual experiences are downright disappointing, no matter how much two people might love each other.

You just have to accept that is part of life, bounce back, and enjoy “good enough” sex next time, while laughing off whatever goes wrong from time to time.

Interestingly enough, regardless of how much a woman might love a man, or how much a man might love a woman, when sex falls to a frequency of less than twice a month, both the man and the woman may become anxious about anticipating it, and self-conscious about the possibility of having it.

When it does happen they may find that sex is tense and unsatisfying. That in turn leads to a future avoidance of sex, which often puzzles the couple, because they feel like they don’t want any sex any more.

To be honest, the simple remedy for this is to plan times for sex, to put it in your diary, and to enjoy it.

You’ll find that the more you have sex, the more you’ll enjoy it, and the more loving you’ll feel towards each other.

You see, one of the most important things about sex is that sexual desire (or if you prefer, “being horny”) develops when you having regular sexual activity!