My husband and I both have very demanding jobs, so we’ve dealt with work killing our sex life. I think people always feel a sense of panic when the amount of sex they’re having decreases, when in reality, that can be normal.
Couples vary wildly in the amount of sex they have. The American average for couples is somewhere around three to four times a month (last I heard). That sounds awfully low, doesn’t it? But lots of people are happy with it. If you only have sex on the weekends, you’re practically at, or exceeding, the American average.
But if you’re not, and you want to have more sex, here’s my advice…
You need to start with a frank discussion
Is the decrease upsetting to you? It is upsetting to your partner? Why does it upset you? Look at the barriers that hold you back. Are those household chores equally distributed? Could they be re-distributed to make them more equal (and free up some time)? Are there chores that could be done once a week, every other day, etc?
I think a lot of people feel guilty if they prioritize sex or intimacy or pleasure over more routine things, and that’s a shame, because intimacy is part of maintaining a healthy home. Speaking of which…
Stop equating intimacy to sex
It got better for us when we stopped equating intimacy to sex. I learned this from a friend of mine who is actually in a (nearly) sexless marriage. She and her partner are asexual people who basically do it to have kids. (No, I’m not kidding). But they’re the most loving, stable couple I know. So, I asked her. Her answer is that you do not need sex to be close or intimate together.
One thing we agreed upon in my own relationship was to always fall asleep in physical contact together — whether it’s spooning or something else with lighter contact. (Maybe try sleeping naked?) And we also always try to make some time each night to just talk (for us that’s during workouts).
Stop caring about the actual sex part
A decrease in sex by itself is not a reason to worry, if it’s not negatively impacting your life. If sex becomes largely a weekend affair, that’s okay if both of you are fine with it! But I think the “must have more sex” goal can quickly become a burden — it can set up unrealistic goals and also sets up sex as the goal, when really, intimacy is a better, more achievable goal.
Basically, when I stopped caring about how much “sex” (and by that I mean penis-in-vagina sex) I was having, the actual relationship got better and we started having more sex!
What are the ways you increase intimacy or have more sex even when you’re busy?