When I first started to counsel I thought the bulk of my work related to sex would be helping people to stay within bounds, or guiding them back after taking a walk on the wild side. Although that still is a big issue, I did not fully realize that there is a whole other side to the subject – that of low-sex or no-sex marriages. And it is an equal opportunities issue. There seem to be as many desire-challenged men as there are women, often leaving one or both partners feeling unloved or unsatisfied with the marriage.
A recent article by Cliff & Joyce Penner in AACC’s Christian Counseling Connection magazine dealt with the topic. They described a sexless marriage as one where the couple has sex fewer than 10 times per year. Why would people refrain from this God-given gift to us? It is not a simple subject, but here are a few thoughts.
Our lifestyle patterns also affect our desire for sex.
Are we too busy for sex? Are we too tired? Are we too angry with each other? Does the fear of interruption from children keep us away from each other? How about our expectations? Do we believe that every encounter with each other has to be a “10” and so we wait for the perfect circumstances of mutual desire? Are there addictions that get in the way like pornography, romance novels, alcoholism, recreational drugs or hobbies or workaholism?
1. Stay connected emotionally. Talk to each other every day. Make time for each other on a daily basis. Deal with problems quickly and regularly and without hostility.
3. Keep being affectionate with each other. Hold hands, kiss like you used to when you were dating, flirt with each other. Talk about sex – what you like and don’t like.
4. Intentionally schedule time for sexual connection if that’s what it takes. Yes, make it part of a date night together. Let anticipation fuel your desire. And remember that “quickies” count.
5. Make the bedroom a pleasant environment – soft light or candles, nice smells, attractive decoration. Keep it free of clutter, work items, televisions, and computers. No fighting in the bedroom – take that somewhere else.
6. Etc., etc., etc. There is so much more to be said on this subject.