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Sex in Marriage: Why is it Important and How Can You Improve it?

Sex in Marriage: Why is it Important and How Can You Improve it?

Updated on Oct 21, 2022

Reviewed by Julianne Cantarella, MSW, LSW , Certified Relationship Coach

Sex in Marriage - Importance, Benefits, Effects and How to Improve It

Curious about the dos and don’ts of sex in marriage? Perhaps, you’re interested in the ideal sexual frequency? Or, is the low amount of sex in marriage worrying you?

Don’t worry… some ebb and flow are normal in marital sex life… neither of them are going to stay forever.

I’m glad that you showed courage and reached here. After all, most people ignore their dying sex life until it’s too late. In this think-piece, you’ll know if you have a healthy sex life … or if you need some changes.

And even if you do, I promise to solve all of your worries.

Can’t wait to flip your sex life? Come on,  let’s hop in…

Signs of healthy sex life in marriage

A healthy marital sex life takes both partners’ dedication. It is both of your responsibilities. There’s nothing called the perfect frequency of sex in marriage.

Rather, it all depends on your and your partner’s desires and libido.

So, let’s know if your sex life is yay or nay…

1. You love one another

A major sign of a healthy sex life is love. If you feel loved and love them with your entirety, that’s your green signal.

Without a balanced or healthy sex life or with a lack of sex, you’ll naturally question their love for you.

2. You accept one another completely

In a marriage with fulfilling sex, you both accept all of their imperfections. Be it a dad-body or the thigh cellulite… you’re simply glad that you’re together.

As a result, you feel great about your body. Neither of you feels insecure, rather you feel sexy and confident about yourselves.

3. Your bodies attract one another like magnets

In healthy relationships, couples feel physically attracted to one another. Every part of them seems hot to you. If you judge your spouse’s body or think anything is unattractive… something is off. 

4. You both add fun activities

Be it in or outside the bedroom, do you both plan something fun? It might be a romantic date or steamy role-play… either of them works.

Further, such twists help you stay satisfied yet crave more from your spouse.

5. You make time for one another

In your hectic schedule, do you both squeeze in spouse-time regularly? Married couples spending more together time feel good about their sex lives.

Married sex isn’t just about a sexual relationship. Spending time helps you build intimacy and meaningful connection with your partner.

This also boosts your emotional satisfaction in the marriage.

6. You communicate openly and honestly

You and your spouse may have mismatched sex drives. If that happens every time, you both communicate clearly to understand one another’s feelings.

If you always reason out sex refusal, this reduces any chance of misunderstandings and resentment. This is another good sign of healthy sex life in marriage.

7. There’s never pity sex

You don’t give in to one another’s sexual desire out of pity. In pity sex, you engage in sexual activities even when you don’t want it.

Too much pity sex might feel like a chore later. So, if you don’t have pity sex too regularly, that’s a sign of healthy sex life.

8. You freely ask what you need

Sometimes, spouses can’t express their sexual desires… either because of gender roles, taboo about sex, or even awkwardness. Eventually, they feel sexually frustrated or even lead a sexless marriage.

When spouses honestly talk about sex or desired sexual frequency, they boost transparency and sexual satisfaction. If you regularly have sex talk, you’re good.

9. You don’t keep count

Spouses with healthy sex lives don’t keep count. They’re already satisfied and content, so they don’t judge it with digits.

Daily sex doesn’t make your sex life healthier. If you both understand it, you’re already at the peak of satisfaction.

10. You’re both realistic about it

Men and women don’t have equal libido. With aging and life stress you both may hit the pause button for your sex life sometimes.

However, if neither of you freaks out about this pause, that’s a great sign. You both have realistic expectations about sex… another sign of healthy married sex life.

Think sex is only for your carnal desires? You’ll change your mind once you read this…

Importance of sex in marriage

Sex instills intimacy, deepens marital connection, and reduces chances of infidelity in marriage.

Most women depend on good communication to build sexual intimacy. It forms a sense of belongingness, unity, closeness, and security.

Sex and communication is then integrated in an infinite loop. With better communication, you have better sex… and with good sex, you connect better.

Many celebrate their marriage with sex. For them, it’s a sign of love and intimacy in the marriage. It also keeps dreariness at bay.

On the contrary, in sexless marriages, couples grow apart due to mismatched needs. 

However, if you satisfy one another, your marriage always stays fresh. So, nobody seeks sexual connections outside the marriage.

Overall, sex enhances the longevity of marriage and lowers infidelity instances with various benefits.

But, that’s not all. Sex benefits your body in more than one way. So, let’s know them from here…

Benefits of sex in marriage

You know that sex sweetens marital relationships… but you may wonder how? Well, it has many physical, emotional, and psychological health benefits.

Your relationship grows stronger because your soul and mind know it’s all because of your spouse’s care. So, let’s take a quick glance here…

1. It is a self-esteem booster

Sex in a marriage makes spouses feel confident. They feel desired, sexy, and confident. Without sexual or physical intimacy, spouses doubt their desirability. This may also impact social and professional life.

When your spouse desires more sex from you, you feel powerful.

2. It’s a fun anti-aging treatment

During sex, your body releases anti-inflammatory particles. These help in repairing internal body damages from pollution and aging. This in turn slows the aging and you look younger.

3. You become more optimistic

During sex, you create many intimate moments. You notice one another’s sexy and funny sides. You find out new things about one another, even after years of marriage.

You might usually know one another like the back of your hand… but in bed, every day is an adventure. This naturally makes you think positively about your relationship.

4. You commit more to the relationship

With pleasure and all forms of intimacy, couples feel a sense of unity. The relationship becomes stronger with time.

You feel loved and attracted after a steamy sex sesh. It instills deep commitment in the relationship.

5. It makes your skin radiate

During sex, your facial blood circulation improves and your skin looks flushed. Better blood circulation helps you fight off wrinkles.

Also, you sweat out toxins from your skin during sex. This helps your skin glow brighter.

6. Peace and happiness enter your lifestyle with sex

In long-term relationships, like marriage, couples argue almost about everything. You slowly fall out of love or become apathetic towards one another. 

Sex helps you bring back peace, love, and chemistry. With love, you become more willing to solve issues together.

Sex is a way to express your love to one another. Passionate sex helps you bond better even outside the bedroom. Sexual satisfaction intensifies your bond and chemistry.

Sometimes, spouses feel bored living together for years. Sex can even spice up marriage blandness.

7. Women get comfortable periods

Some women experience menstrual period cramps and flow irregularity. Sex helps in easing the cramps due to frequent uterus contractions. It can also make the period end sooner.

8. It boosts immunity

Sex protects you against certain diseases as physical intimacy releases immunoglobin A. It also boosts anti-inflammatory chemical production.

Overall, the released chemicals help boost immunity.

9. It’s a great pain reliever

Oxytocin released during orgasms reduces all kinds of pain from the body. It can ease your backache, joint pains, headaches, and migraines.

10. You sleep like a baby

During sex, the released oxytocin relieves pain and relaxes muscles. This helps you sleep better than on days when you don’t have sex.

11. It deals with stress effectively

During sex, you release endorphins which relax your body. It helps you bond with your partner better and gets rid of stress. You realize that your partner is your reason for relaxation.

You feel enthusiastic about seeing your spouse… because you want to feel better once again.

12. It brings more joy with pregnancy

Most couples plan a family soon after marriage. With children, couples grow closer to one another.

Also during pregnancy, husbands pamper their wives, which is a great experience itself. Love multiplies in the family with children.

13. It boosts the happy hormones

During sex, the brain releases oxytocin (the feel-good hormone). Sex boosts emotional intimacy among spouses. It makes you feel happy and fulfilled.

On the other hand, it reduces the possibility of depression. People concentrate better in other areas of life when they’re happy.

14. It might be a substitute exercise

In this day and age, who doesn’t lead a sedentary lifestyle? Sex fills up for your inactive lifestyle. Different sex positions help circulate blood flow in different body parts.

Practically, it might substitute for your weight loss plan… 30 minutes of sex can burn up to 100-200 calories. So, it helps you lead a healthier lifestyle.

15. It enhances your physical health 

Sex is also good for the human body physically. It improves bladder control, which deteriorates with age.  It improves cardio health and reduces irritability.

The endorphin and oxytocin production calms your body. It reduces blood pressure and scopes of heart diseases.

On the flip side, lack of sex can ruin a marriage. Wondering about the reasons? Let’s get to know them here…

Causes for an unhappy married sex life

Your marital sex life might become unhappy due to your life circumstances… or because of your stubbornness. You might feel extremely tired due to work… or it might be because you’re addicted to porn.

So, let’s dig the roots here…

1. Your schedules don’t match

If both of you work or study, then it’s hard to make time for one another. Moreover, if you have children, the couple-time gets reduced even further.

Sometimes, couples put intimacy aside because of an overwhelming lifestyle. And months later you can’t remember the last time you had sex.

2. You feel exhausted

With work, household responsibilities, children, sometimes couples feel too tired. You can’t blame one another for wanting to hit the hay earlier.

But when you feel exhausted regularly, you hardly have sex.

3. You have unresolved relationship issues

With unresolved issues, you both won’t want to please one another. Rather, you’ll dwell more on the issues… and sex might not even pop on your mind.

Resolve marriage conflicts immediately to revive your sex life.

4. You do it for the heck of it

If you think of sex as a chore… you’ll naturally hate it. Some people have sex because it’s their duty as a spouse… and not because of love or willingness to explore. If you don’t have the motivation to have sex, it won’t feel great at all.

5. You don’t nourish yourself

Sometimes, people genuinely lose their will to have sex. It might be due to underlying health concerns.

If you both don’t get regular check-ups, you might not know what’s up with your body. Lack of care might also lead to unhappy sex life in marriage.

6. You don’t communicate

Another reason behind an unhappy married sex life is a lack of communication. Couples don’t discuss what they like and dislike.

They either feel uncomfortable or don’t put effort knowingly. This also leads to sexual frustration.

7. You feel too lazy for it

Sex needs determination, devotion… to say the least, it’s a lot of work. Sometimes, spouses won’t put effort to have sex… other times, they’ll fear rejection and stop initiating sex. 

8. You’re pessimistic about something

Many cultures teach children that sex is bad. If you or your spouse thinks the same, that might be it.

Your pessimism might also be about expectations of physical appearance. You may not want sex when you feel insecure about your looks or  don’t like your spouse’s appearances

9. You share the bed with kids

If you have young children, sharing your bed with them is normal. They might feel scared sleeping alone, so it’s a great parenting style.

However, if it becomes a habit or a long-term routine… you’ll never have intimate time. Eventually, you might lead a sexless marriage for it.

10. You depend on porn too much

Pornography can enhance your sex life. However, the actors usually react excessively in the clips. If someone expects their spouse to react like porno actors, it’ll disappoint them.

Some people even become habituated to porn and can’t get aroused without it.

Curious what may go wrong without sex? In the case of a marriage, a lot…. So, let’s know the…

Effects of lack of sex in marriage

Sex is one of the foundations of marriage. It’s not a way to have children only. It brings joy to the couple and boosts their marital life.

So, it’s an obvious part of every human’s life… unless they’re asexual.

Naturally, its lack has many drastic effects like…

1. You doubt yourself

Without sex, men and women equally question their desirability. You feel inadequate and lose your sexual confidence.

You try to identify where you went wrong, why there’s no intimacy… only to find nothing. This again strips away your self-esteem.

2. You misunderstand one another

Sex can reduce stress with chemicals like endorphins and oxytocin. Without sex and piling stress, couples feel frustrated.

You might even blow up when your spouse doesn’t pick up the laundry. The misunderstandings and frustrations lead to constant bickering in the marriage.

3. You get mixed feelings about your marriage

Suppose, you love your spouse deeply and you both say I love you to one another. However, there’s no sex… you reciprocate your spouse with an I love you too… but you aren’t sure if they really love you. Even if your relationship is fine, lack of sex makes it imperfect.

4. You feel lonely

If neither of you initiates sex in your marriage, you’ll spiral down to loneliness. A sense of isolation crawls under your skin.

Sometimes, lack of sex hampers the intimacy factor in marriage. Though intimacy and sex aren’t the same, sex is important in a marriage. Loneliness can also lead to divorce.

5. You may have thoughts of infidelity

When your marriage can’t satisfy you sexually, you may seek it elsewhere. Everyone doesn’t look outside to cheat, but it’s not uncommon.

This is one of the most detrimental effects of lack of sex in marriage and also results in divorce.

Think your marriage lacks sex? Want to turn the tables? Let’s know from…

How to improve sex in marriage? (How to have a healthy sex life in marriage?)

Everyone wants a healthy sex life in marriage. However, do you know what it takes to reach that point?

Communication is always a part of it… but there’s more. Whether it’s a way to tease them or ask them straightforwardly… there’s a lot that you can do to improve your sex life.

1. Indulge in deep communication frequently

When it comes to marital relationships, communication is important for sex. Whether it’s about something you dislike in or outside the bed, discuss it. Share your opinions honestly and respectfully.

Soon you’ll discover sexual intimacy in your marriage. Communication and sexual intimacy is the secret of a satisfying sex life.

2. Discuss your expectations and needs

Married couples have different expectations from their sex life. It’s normal since you both are unique. So, discuss one another’s sexual expectations and find out what’s on the plate.

Sometimes, both partners like the same sexual activity… However, they don’t try it out of fear of rejection. Isn’t that a shame?

Also, some activities might be common for only one of you. Indulging in it without your partner’s consent is wrong.

3. Set the mood

When you want sex, don’t jump on the bed directly. Set up some candles, touch your spouse sensually, flirt with them.

If you want, begin with flirting in the morning. Tease your partner and leave for work. This will set the mood just right with oozing excitement.

4. Take charge in the bedroom

Don’t wait for your partner to make a move. When you know you want it, ask it yourself. Sit together, hold hands, and pamper them with massages.

Pave your way with physical intimacy and romantic settings.

5. Nourish and cherish yourself

Sex can’t be exciting or satisfying if you don’t treat yourself right. Have a balanced diet, exercise, meditate, practice your hobbies, and do anything that sparks joy.

Research shows that exercise makes sex more stimulating and satisfying. So, begin your self-love journey together.

Also, groom yourself to catch your partner’s eyes. Show yourself more love… pamper your skin and hair and maintain hygiene.

6. Never compare with others

Your friend might have sex daily… your co-worker might have quickies in risqué locations. But, if your partner isn’t okay with it, don’t coerce them.

Sex is about mutual satisfaction, so enjoy your mutual likes. Don’t whine about how another person has it better. Comparison brings unnecessary negativity, so negotiate and find your middle ground.

7. Indulge in non-sexual intimacy

Find out if your spouse wants sex. Sometimes, people feel objectified and think their partner only likes their body. Perhaps your spouse wants a hug or to see a movie while holding hands.

Your spouse may not express it, but it’s important to spend time without sex. Eventually, the intimate moments will lead to sex.

8. Avoid quickies

Sometimes, you’re too busy to make time for one another. Instead of a romantic sex sesh, you compromise with a quickie. Fair enough to let off pent-up energy and balance your work life.

However, don’t make it a habit. Indulge in good satisfying sex at least once a week. Enjoy quality couple time and cherish your marriage.

9. Don’t judge your performance

Stressful events and age will always impact your sexual performance. It was the same for your and your partners’ ancestors. It’s normal so no blaming or shaming.

If there’s an erection or lubrication problem, simply shift to oral. Sex isn’t just penetrative… nobody framed such definitions.

So, enjoy it how you want. Get sex toys, lubricants, and anything that works.

10. Tease while doing daily chores

Married life is full of responsibilities. You do dishes, wash the car, mop the floor… so many things to do, yet so little intimate time… Absolutely WRONG!

Tease one another while tending to chores. Nobody told you can’t accidentally spill water on yourself while washing the car… then perhaps take off your top because it’s too wet.

Use every chance life throws at you… make your sex story adventurous.

11. Add some begging in between

If you know what your spouse likes in bed, tease them and ask what they want. Make them beg you before you please them to orgasm.

Also, they may return the favor to you… or, simply guide them to where it feels good. People aren’t always verbal about their needs, so this increases the excitement factor.

12. Try a little strip-tease

Before you begin the deed, do you always strip down to your birthday suit? How about a change and trying a strip-tease?

Don’t dump your clothes too fast. Your partner might feel frustrated and strip you themselves. Take your time undressing them too.

Make out over the clothes… either the fabrics will stimulate them more, or they’ll beg for skin-to-skin contact.

13. Control your breathing for stamina

Unpopular opinion, but breathing control works in your bedroom sport too. To avoid losing stamina too fast, take slow deep breaths.

Possibly, you’ll forget about it the first few times… but don’t give up if you want to last longer in bed.

14. Don’t turn off the lights

Human beings are visual beings… not just men. And the women who insist on turning off the lights… What are you actually scared of? Perhaps, it turns you on beyond means? Fear losing control in bed?

Leave the lights on and enjoy one another’s lustful gaze.

15. Seek a professional

If you face vaginal lubrication or erection issues, seek a specialist. For communication or other relationship issues, contact a marriage counselor. And if you find issues with sex itself, reach out to a sex therapist.

Ask your partner to also join the consultation. Reach out when you need help, there’s nothing shameful about improving your marriage.

If you guys have sex but want to increase the frequency, follow me…

How to have more sex in marriage?

If you both indulge in sex and yet yearn for more… It must feel really lonely. After all, your partner doesn’t understand your cravings. If you thought that, stop right there!

You still have a chance to make it all work. So, follow the trail…

1. Schedule your sex

Can’t make time for sex? Perhaps you’re always busy with work? That’s pretty normal so plan sex dates to counter them.

Wondering if it’ll spoil the spontaneity? Well, so what if it’s not spontaneous? For instance, you’ll know when to groom yourself well… you can also go heavy on the sexy lingo that day.

If it’s a workday, also add some suggestive sexting in the mix.

2. Beat the routine with a kiss

Despite your sex dates, sometimes you’ll feel too tired. You look at your bed and wish to close your eyes under the blankets ASAP. Well, why not snuggle up face-to-face and lean in a kiss?

Not a chaste one though… something more heated, like an open-mouthed kiss or a French kiss? If you can stop yourself at this point, you’re exhausted… so get some sleep.

However, if you feel the heat rising, carry on.

3. Don’t take the conflicts to bed

Sometimes, couples’ dwell on conflicts and put sex on the backburner. This is a regular marriage issue that leads to a lack of sex. So, before you enter the bedroom, resolve the issues.

Regularly communicate in the living room and clean up the negative thoughts. This can nurture your relationship itself and not just your sex life.  

4. Try roleplaying

Feel you’re in a rut? Want something new but there’s almost nothing new? Well, roleplaying can be an effective cure to bedroom monotony.

Order your partner’s favorite sexy outfit and lure them into the bedroom.

5. Read an erotica

If you guys are bibliophiles, read out an erotic book… like Fifty Shades of Grey. Highlight what turns you on, what you might try that day or later. If you have a thing or two ready, get some idea and create that scene.

Have enough sex but feels boring? Well, we have a cure for that too. Let’s know…

How to spice up sex in marriage?

Spicing up your bedroom chemistry is much easier than you think. Honestly, it’s more about what you two want and not what the world asks you to do.

For instance, what turns you on, might not turn on your neighbor. So, discuss these with your spouse to have a better idea…

1. Introduce a new position or style

No shade on missionary, but you need more excitement. Find a new sex position together and try it out.

Another idea is blocking off a sense to heighten the others. Perhaps, blindfold your partner to excite them. But, always take consent before you try anything new.

2. Bring back your teenage sex-energy

The heading itself says a lot but I’ll still spell it out. Make out in the movies, in your parked car, or in a risqué location. Get sneaky in everyone’s presence, touch, and kiss lots like you’re still new to it.

Spice it up with a hint of innocent love.

3. Go on romantic dates

Your marriage isn’t just about sex. So, take one another out on romantic dates. Express your love with new date activities. You may also choose the activities alternatively to keep it fresh.

Show them you don’t just love their body… you also wanna keep them close to your heart.

4. Play out your fantasies

When you touch yourself, what do you imagine? Sounds too embarrassing? Well, then your partner must know it all the more. Know one another’s dirtiest fantasies and consider playing them out.

To ease your embarrassment, play romantic music, light candles, take your time alone and discuss it together.

5. Turn on a sexy movie

Many suggest against watching pornography because it’s quite misleading. It doesn’t show realistic reactions and misleads people’s expectations.

So, watch ethical porn or a sexy movie instead of porn. Apply the ideas in the bedroom and enjoy a good time.

Have mismatched needs? Can’t work on your sex life? Though tricky, you have your answer down here…

How to resolve sexual differences in marriage?

Mismatching libido is normal in couples. After all, how many people start dating with sex? Very few.

But don’t worry, you can find the common ground… It’s nothing out of the ordinary. So, let’s run towards the light of hope…

1. Identify your desires properly

Do you really want sex? Or, do you want some together time cuddling? Do you want to have more dates? Or do you want to stay indoors?

Answer these questions honestly before improving sex life.

2. Fix the frequency of sex

How many times do you want sex in a week? Even if you want it every day, what does your partner want?

Start with the lower range and slowly increase the frequency. Don’t trouble your partner for more sex.

3. Promise a sex date and keep the word

Planning sex dates is all fine and dandy… but there’s another issue. People always break the word… either a spouse with higher libido asks for more.

Or, a spouse with lower libido cancels the date. Both of them are equally detrimental, so change such habits.

4. Don’t worry about your mood

People with low libido worry that they might not desire sex at all. They don’t want to plan sex dates because they fear promise-breaking. Well, don’t give up before you try it.

Schedules sex dates for a month… If your mood doesn’t work either time, take an expert opinion. Don’t wait until everything gets worse.

5. Add more cuddle time

While you focus so much on sex, regular physical intimacy takes the backseat. Will that do your marriage any good? Possibly not, because intimacy builds emotional connection.

Sometimes, hold hands while you lay in bed. Instead of worrying about your sex drive, have a deep conversation, kiss, spoon… enjoy your non-sexual bliss.

Wondering how frequently you must have sex? Take a cue from the world here…

How often do married couples have sex in marriage?

As per the research of General Social Survey on 660 American adults for the year 2018

  • 10/100 didn’t have sex in the entire year
  • 7/100 American adults had sex at most twice annually
  • 17/100 had sex monthly
  • 19/100 had sex 2-3 times monthly
  • 16/100 had sex 2-3 times weekly
  • 5/100 had sex 3-4 times weekly
  • 25/100 had it weekly

A 2019 research shows that 47/100 married pairs had sex less than the weekly minimum.

As per Newsweek magazine’s poll, married couples had sex more than 68 times annually.

David Schnarch’s study on 20,000 couples showed 26/100 couples had sex weekly. The rest had it 1-2 times monthly. 

In Pepper Schwartz and James Witte’s research on 8000 people over 50 years old…

  • 31/100 had sex a few times weekly
  • 28/100 had sex a few times monthly
  • 8/100 had sex once monthly
  • 33/100 can’t say they never had sex recently

In a 2015 study of Archives of Sexual Behavior

  • 36/100 women and 33/100 men had sex twice monthly in their 70s
  • 32/100 women and 19/100 men had sex twice monthly in their 80s

A word from ThePleasantRelationship

Some people quote married sex boring and bland… However, where’s the logic behind that? At some point you and your spouse were unmarried… so what stopped you from having steamy sex?

Literally, NOTHING stops you… however, your circumstances don’t always favor you. Changes in life like children, work pressure, household chores… all of these get in your way. 

Sometimes, you might not have sex for months. But you can work past such difficulties. You’ll need more time, but it isn’t that hard. 

Put efforts on your sex life together and if nothing works, consider consulting an expert.

Are you interested to know more about ‘Lazy Husband’ then click here?