Tag Archives: sex and intimacy

How Important Is Sex to A Relationship?


Do we as a society over emphasize the importance of sex to the detriment of our relationships?

By Freddy and Eddy

According to the latest government statistics, the top five reasons for divorce are as follows:

1. Infidelity
2. Communication breakdown
3. Physical, psychological, or emotional abuse
4. Financial stress
5. Sexual incompatibility

As you can see, two of the top five involve sex, with infidelity finally jumping ahead of financial stress after many years of holding the top trouble spot. Sex, it seems, occupies an immensely important role in the success of couples, despite the fact that, according to the Kinsey Institute, the average number of times per week that sexual intercourse takes place is less than twice and that figure drops as couples age (as an aside, married couples tend to have more sex than single individuals who date). Is it possible we simply put too much importance on having a hot sex life when in fact a merely tepid one will be just as rewarding?

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Your best lover is not your best friend.

By Freddy (aka Ian Denchasy)

Over the last two years sex, in my opinion, had taken an unacceptable downturn. Frequency was not so much an issue as quality. Or, as I continued to futilely express to Alicia, sex felt to me (and I stress this was my issue) as though it had become a by-the-numbers exercise, done more out of routine and duty than for actual pleasure. At almost fifty, and together with my wife the better part of twenty five years, I realize my days of expecting impromptu trysts in moving cars or public spaces  may be on the wishful side; however, trudging into the bedroom 2-3 times per week at the allotted time and in the assumed positions was becoming downright dull. Better to sit and play solitaire on my tablet, quite frankly, given the amount of effort required to roust myself into an appropriately erect state with a partner wearing my unflattering underwear and a matching frumpy t-shirt. Yes, ladies, contrary to popular belief, we men do prefer a bit of attention to details like lingerie, foreplay, and proper mental enthusiasm.

What had happened, as is the case in many relationships of length, is that we had ceased to become passionate lovers and instead become best friends. For my part, I was no longer the man of our house, but rather the sensitive and caring gal pal she no longer needed to find outside our marriage. It’s no wonder Alicia rarely contacted any of her circles of friends; she had me. In a twisted irony, where once she’d dial up a longtime confidant, it was I who now listened to her gossip, details of her day, hopes and aspirations, neighborhood drama, and everything in between. As such, passion and eroticism was bumped down the priority list as evenings “cuddling” in front of her favorite television shows and sleeping in together on weekends (which I abhor), became the de-facto norms. Even her hobbies were discarded in favor of adopting activities more in tune with my own interests. The old saying posits that “familiarity breeds contempt,” and while this may or may not be true, I can certainly speak from experience that being best buddies with one’s spouse doesn’t do much for any sort of “breeding.”

As difficult as it is to accept, even in today’s strange convergence of male/female relationship roles, passionate sex still requires a bit of distance and mystery. Indeed, I had to, slowly and over time, re-establish a separation between Alicia and myself that was almost like weaning oneself off substance addiction. I’m not ashamed to admit I liked the role of being my wife’s number one, even if it did risk reducing our sexual motivation. Besides, most schools of thought on sexual dysfunction teach us that deeper communication and friendship leads to more passionate and meaningful intimacy and pleasurable sex. By that reasoning, shouldn’t my wife and I have been enjoying the most incredible sex imaginable?

Alas, it is this confusion over intimacy – as opposed to eroticism – that seems to be at the root of much of our sexual dysfunction. We believe that our ability to have long, intimate encounters with our partners and deepening our spiritual connections with them translates into sexual behavior that transcends the physical (and primal) lust most of us feel in the initial stages of getting together. Ironically, we then seek to recapture that lust once it’s lost by seeking even more connection and intimacy, when doing the opposite and just getting back to fucking is the best course of action. Here are some practical steps we took to inject our sex life with a serious shot of adrenaline.

Get a real best friend.

If you’ve found yourself out of touch with your former social circles, pick up the phone, fire off e-mails, or start the process of finding yourself a few friends. Not just on Facebook or Twitter, either; I’m talking real life people you can talk to on a regular basis and with whom you can have actual face to face interactions. Aside from taking a few hours away from your partner, everyone can benefit from diverse opinions, personalities, and experiences.

Find hobbies and/or activities to do separately.

Being in a long term relationship, there are dozens, if not hundreds, of things Alicia and I do together on a regular basis. That said, it’s not important that we enjoy or partake in every activity one of us happens to pursue. I like gardening, cooking, tennis, walking, and attending electronic music events, for example, while Alicia loves fashion, watching television, reading, and listening to pop music. Though there may be overlap in any or all of these diversions occasionally, we support each other fully to engage in them separately and encourage exploration into new interests regardless of whether or not they appeal to both of us.

Make a commitment to being sexually separate.

Embrace the good fortune that we are individual and sexual human creatures with individual wants, desires, and attributes that define our sensual selves. To enjoy sexual pleasure is one of the truly unique and undefinable traits with which we are blessed, so don’t go screwing it up with too much attention to what your partner wants as opposed to what makes you feel good. Pleasing your beloved is all well and good; pleasing yourself and your partner is even better. Try to focus on who you are and what you like, sexually, and then put that knowledge to work in your sexual interactions.

Wear your sexuality.

Literally. Stop wearing those old sweats and ratty nightclothes and spruce yourself up! As I mentioned in the beginning of this piece, my libido takes a nosedive every time I even think of Alicia wearing my Costco briefs and extra large tees. My solution? I tossed the briefs in the trash and no longer don underwear. Yep, commando, baby. At the same time, we dedicated a small fund for her undergarments, finding a nice balance of sexy and comfortable, shorter tees substituting for my gym shirts. For my part, I now try to wear slacks or jeans (with Hawaiian or button down shirts) when going out, wearing sweats only to exercise or perform house chores. The point is, we get too comfortable and being sexy should be about discomfort, whether referring to attitude, expectation, or dress code.

Stop making love and start making lust.

Finally, enough with the deep spiritual stuff, already! It’s nice to spend time gazing into each other’s eyes for hours, having deep conversations about how much we love each other, breathing in unison, and “making love” for hours on end, but it’s also nice to live in the moment, tear off your clothes, and engage in a an intense orgasm for two minutes. Clear your mind, look at your partner as an object – yes, I said object – of desire and let loose. It may be awkward (it was for us, wonderfully so) and things may not go as expected (again, another plus), but isn’t it time you put aside all the expert advice and looked at your husband, wife, boyfriend, or girlfriend as a lover and as such sought out the explosive sexual pleasures lurking beneath the bills, dirty dishes, and child rearing responsibilities? Tear off your clothes, tear up that cozy friendship, and find the spark that fizzled amid all those late night conversations.

To be continued… 🙂