Sex is an effort sometimes.
There isn’t a long-term couple alive who hasn’t tossed up a romp in the bedroom versus a takeaway in front of the telly and gone for the latter.
But if you’re thinking of permanently trading sex for snuggles, think again.
“Oh, we stopped having sex long ago,” some couples cheerfully inform me. “We’re passed all that now.”
I understand why.
The longer you’re with your partner, the less sex you have because of what’s called ‘habituation’: removal of the novelty factor.
But there are very, very good reasons to fight this and keep getting physical with your partner.
You might think it’s not that important but research shows, if sex is non-existent, relationship dissatisfaction soars to 50 to 70 percent.
And that’s not all that will go wrong for each of you….
You’ll feel disconnected to your partner.
You can remain physically connected by hugging, kissing and sleeping naked but for most people, sex is the most intimate act.
For men, particularly, sex is a way of expressing love if they’re not great at articulating their emotions.
Take sex off the table and you remove the most intense, effective, important way of showing affection.
Love without sex is friendship.
Sure, you’re each other’s best friends but is that really all you want to be? Friends?
You’ll be snappy and irritable.
Don’t underestimate how sex acts as a buffer against the challenges you face in your relationship.
If you’ve had great sex the night before, you’re far less likely to flip when you see the rubbish still sitting in the hall.
You’ll feel insecure.
Knowing you’re desired and wanted by your partner, endorses your sense of self-worth. It makes you feel attractive, loved, special.
Even if have both joked about the fact that you’re not having sex anymore, even the closest couple are left with a nervous residue of uncertainty.
Did they agree to abstinence because they really couldn’t care less about sex? Or because they want to please me?
You’ll increase the chances of an affair.
Here’s the thing about sex: when you stop having it, you stop wanting it (which is how couples end up agreeing - openly or implied - to do without).
But sex doesn’t go away. Sexual images are everywhere and sexy people are all around us.
All it takes is a certain set of circumstances (all too often in the form of another person who’s attractive and does want to have sex with either us or our partner) and suddenly a desire for sex can come flooding back.
What then? They know you aren’t interested or vice versa. What do you do with that resurgence of desire?
No surprise that there’s a significant link between sexual dissatisfaction and infidelity.
You’ll lose your mind - literally.
Sex is good for you, both physically and mentally. Sex makes us smarter: scientists found indulging regularly leads to better performance on learning and memory tests.
You’ll get more headaches and migraines.
Orgasms release oxytocin and endorphins which can help relieve migraines, period pains and back pain.
You’ll stop feeling superior to your friends.
We’re competitive little things on the quiet - which is why a recent US study showed we’re happiest when we’re the couple in our group of friends who are having the most sex.
You’ll die sooner.
If you’re not already grabbing your partner and disappearing into the bedroom fast, this last reason might do the job.
Studies show the risk of death for middle-age men drops by 50% for men who have orgasms at least twice a month.
Sex twice a week also prevents heart disease in both sexes, reduces the risk of both breast and prostate cancer and boosts our immune system.
Don’t want to end up in a sexless marriage? Tracey’s book supersex for life is a great sex guide for long-term partners.