real life

"Bad sex is good for my relationship"

My husband and I have sex almost every day which after three children, eight years of marriage and two demanding schedules is quite an achievement. But it isn’t very good. And we don’t care one bit.

It isn’t difficult for couples to have sex every day. The problem is that couples expect to have good sex every day. This is what creates a pressure-filled situation ripe for failure. We have bad sex most days and good sex about once a month. And yet we are happy, connected, fulfilled and a little bit pleased with ourselves.

We’ve always been pretty good in this department but we’ve had moments when it’s waned and the effect on the rest of our relationship has been damaging. I’m too tired, he feels rejected, I feel pressured, he feels disconnected, I feel resentful, he feels lonely, I feel lonely….all because we didn’t take ten minutes out of our day for good/bad/adequate sex.

We struggled the most with sex when we lost all our money in the Global Financial Crisis. I was feeling resentful and he was feeling exhausted. This was about the time when a couple of books were released by escorts. One of the escorts was interviewed in a newspaper and I’ll never forget what she said. She said most of her business was from married men and the sex they had wasn’t anything special but they came to her because they weren’t getting it at home. She said something like – if most women took just ten minutes out of their day to have sex with their husband, even when they weren’t in the mood, then she wouldn’t have any clients.

Sex is different for women and men. To me I have to feel loved, connected and happy to have sex. On the other hand, sex leaves my husband feeling loved, connected and happy. See?

Sometimes I’m tired, sometimes I’m half asleep, sometimes I’m reading, but he knows he’s always able to go ahead with it and if I’m in the mood I’ll join in. If not I’ve just sacrificed ten minutes out of my day so we are both left feeling connected and free of any guilt.

I can safely say that sex or lack-there-of is no longer an issue for us. Sex as an issue has been completely removed. It leaves us free to focus on other issues and it makes our marriage so much better. He doesn’t feel like he has to beg, I don’t feel used, he doesn’t feel rejected and I don’t feel guilty.

We laugh about it. We joke about the quality of it and give ourselves a pat on the back when it’s better than normal. The key word here is ‘we’ because we are in it together, good or bad, and that’s what a long-term relationship is all about. I joke that I wish there was nasal technology to make him go faster, not slower. He tries to make it so that I want to put the book down. I keep trying to concentrate on it. I usually put it down.

You know what you have to do now, right? It’s just ten minutes. And who knows, you might even enjoy it. But have the conversation first. Remove the confusion. Let it be known that you are open for business and let go of any resentment. Your entire relationship will improve. I guarantee.

Jo Abi is the author of the book How to Date a Dad: a dating guide released by Hachette Livre Australia.  You can read more about her many and various exploits here.

How often do you and your partner have sex?