There is no shortage of jokes and puns about sex life taking a long walk off a short pier as soon as a person is married. Who doesn't remember the classic lines from the 1985 movie Clue, when Ms. Scarlet says, “Maybe there is life after death,” to which Mrs. White replies, “Life after death is as improbable as sex after marriage.” In reality, the opposite is true. Married couples, on average, have more sex than singles, and not just more sex, but better, more satisfying sex. Why the difference in satisfaction between married and single sex? One theory is that sex with your spouse is not only about the physical sensations, but is a way for the couple to connect on a deeply intimate level.
Of course, there are people for whom those sexless marriage jokes ring a little too true. I can't count the number of times I've heard from friends that they're not having sex with their spouse. Their frustration is so deep that some of them have practically given up on having that intimate time. Their spouses, it would seem, are just tired of having sex and are never in the mood, and they seem to think they merely have to accept it, and move on.
What if I told you that those ruts are fairly common, and that the solution could be simple? Have sex. Haven't been in the mood for a while? Have sex. Haven't looked at your spouse in a sexual manner in a while? Have sex. Of course, such a solution is a little more complicated if the lack of sex has to do with abuse, trauma, physical or mental health, medications, or other circumstances. In those cases, a doctor or therapist will likely have to be involved. However, for those that have a lack of sex drive merely because of a lack of sex, the answer really can be as simple as making time to have sex.
There's an old saying that's often passed around close friends when they talk about bedroom matters: “The more you have, the more you want.” Basically, they are saying that if you aren't overly interested, or want to be more interested in having sex, the solution is to simply have more sex. It sounds counter-intuitive. After all, if I'm not interested in being a car mechanic, actually being one isn't going to make me want to do it. But, believe it or not, there is evidence that supports the “The more you have, the more you want” mantra. Pamela Madsen, a fertility and sex educator, and the author of Shameless, compares a long break from sensuality to a hibernating bear. Once you engage in sexual activity again, it can be like waking that bear, which wakes up hungry, and must be fed!
Let's say that you are still in a rut, and are not quite sure that you want to bother trying to get your sexual self back to its former glory. Well then, here are some more reasons to poke the bear. Ian Kerner, Ph.D. and sex counselor, warns that a marriage that falls into a sexless rut can be at risk of developing emotional issues and infidelity, and possibly end in divorce. If that's not enough to put the “more you have, more you want” theory to the test, then consider the positives of engaging in sexual activity on a regular basis. It can improve your immune system, release endorphins, relieve stress, improve prostate health (in men) and, according to research done by biological anthropologist Helen Fisher, Ph.D, it can even make you a better employee.
I won't say that life's stresses don't get in the way. Fiscal problems have been blamed, at least in part, for increased sexual frustrations. The good news? Money isn't everything. In a study conducted by researchers at Dartmouth College and the University of Warwick, England, the researchers found that the more sex a person had, generally the happier they were, regardless of age or gender. Conversely, wealthy people that paid for sex were less happy, as sex that is paid for didn't meet emotional and psychological needs.
You may say to yourself, “But, there is so much more to a happy relationship than just sex. If we have gone without sex this long, why should we make the extra effort now?” Of course there is a lot more to a happy, healthy relationship than sex. In fact, there are some couples that are perfectly happy being sexless and emotionally connect in other ways, but those couples are the exception. For most couples, there is a definite connection between happiness and sex. The happier they are, the more sex they have, and the more sex they have, the happier they are.
Perhaps you are now considering picking up your sex life and trying to have sex with your spouse more often, but you want a definite number of times per week you should shoot for. Unfortunately, sex therapists warn that there is no magic number, as the right amount is different for each couple. However, it's advised that at least once a week is a good goal. And really, if you are suffering from a lack of interest from a lack of sex, what do you have to lose by testing the “more you have, more you want” theory for yourself?