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?
Comments on How to have more sex when all you do is work
I like your article, but I need to mention that the “no, I’m not kidding” part really hurts. As someone who identifies as Ace and has little-to-no sex drive* but is married to someone who is heterosexual, I can say from experience that there are lots of ways to be intimate if you don’t like having sex or being naked, and that’s how some people are, and IT’S OKAY. My partner and I have discussed this at length, and we make compromises, and we keep open communication, all of which are important in any relationship. The societal obsession with SEX IS THE BEST THING OMG makes it very difficult for those of us who genuinely would rather eat cake to be taken seriously. Erasure (#DontEraseAce) is a big issue in the Ace community. People who like sex can’t seem to understand that there are those of us who simply don’t for whatever reason– or maybe no reason. It’s just how we are, and how we have always been, and it hurts to see comments that imply that we’re weird or wrong somehow, although I’m sure that was not your intention 🙂
*some Aces have a sex drive but are not sexually attracted to other people, and some have neither the drive nor the attraction, and there is also a whole “grey A” spectrum! #TheMoreYouKnow
What is an Ace?
This is a great article, especially with saying, “Stop caring about the actual sex part”. After a bit of a dry spell, I suggested to my partner that, as an experiment, we have sex every day for a week regardless of whether we were tired or “in the mood”. We never officially planned a start date, but then we unexpectedly had sex two nights in a row, I joked we should go again on the third night so we did, then he ushered me into bed on the forth. By day five, I pleaded that we take a break. Though we didn’t go for the full week, a the experiment yielded valuable information: namely that more sex does not always equal good sex or a better sex life.
The difference between sex and intimacy is so important! I’m seven months pregnant, and we’ve only had penis-in-vagina sex maybe twice during my pregnancy. In the first trimester, I felt too ill, and we were ready for a break after nearly-constant sex during our infertility treatments. In the second, I thought things would be better, but it was too intense and almost painful, so we stopped. We still get naked together and give each other pleasure, though. And we touch and hug and kiss and snuggle daily. I’m looking forward to traditional sex feeling good again after the baby is born and my body has recovered, but I’m also surprised at how OK this has been for both of us.
I feel like the title of the article is a little misleading, since the advice isn’t about how to have more sex (beyond redistributing chores), but how to cope with having less ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Which is great if that makes you happy but if you both really like and want sex and just don’t have time, that’s gonna require a different game plan.