In a sex-obsessed society, where everyone – young, old, male and female – seems to be boasting of how many times a week they ‘do it’. The average person has sex 103 times per year, one study has found. So that is why this may come as a relief to those who don’t come anywhere near that high water mark. Many couples are happy to admit that sex plays no part in their marriages at all.
When partners find themselves at a point where sexual intimacy has died they tend to confide their predicament to no one. That’s understandable because lack of sexual intimacy could be considered a personal flaw you don’t want people to find out about.
However, sexless relationships are a lot more common than people realize – sex therapists hear about this issue all the time from their patients.’
‘Couples who don’t make love start living like brother and sister or friends and get out of the habit of seeing one another in a sexual way,’ says Relate counsellor Paula Hall.
‘If both partners want to reintroduce sex, we encourage them to do so slowly, learning how to be sensual with each other and gradually building up to intercourse.’
Janice Hiller, consultant clinical psychologist at London’s Tavistock Centre for relationships, counsels hundreds of couples a year and says the death of intimacy in marriage is the reason most people seek help.
‘I’m sure many more don’t sign up for counselling but make a choice to stay together without sex,’ she says.
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