How Important is Sex in a Relationship?
|Bethany Heinesh • 6/26/12|
The issue of hurried sex was best depicted in an episode of “Sex and the City,” which is the average woman’s Holy Grail of relationship shows. Carrie begins dating Aidan, a new man in her life. After each date, he always walks her to her door, gives her a brief kiss and goes home, and she finds it incredibly weird that he doesn’t ask to come in.
Carrie repeatedly asks herself what is wrong with her that Aidan seems so uninterested in having sex. On the fourth date, she finally blurts out the question, “Why don’t you want to have sex with me?!” His answer was stunning. “We’ve only been on four dates. I don’t even know you yet.”
This illustrates the mentality we have grown accustomed to: Sex is something that should happen early on, and if you’re not having it, something is off. Furthermore, if you’re in a long-term relationship and sex isn’t the main course on the romance menu, something is amiss.
This issue begs the question, how important is sex in a relationship? Does having or not having enough sex really affect your relationship? If you’re not doing it like rabbits several times a week, is something wrong?
“There are four dynamics that make up a relationship
— mental, emotional, spiritual and physical.”
A history lesson in American sexual culture.
Sex was once a private matter in this country, rarely mentioned and certainly never depicted on television, in movies or magazines. Today, it is plastered all over the place — advertisements, magazine ads, billboards, movie posters. “Sex sells,” they say. This may be true, but have you ever stopped to think that maybe we’ve been sold a bad bill of goods?
At its primal level, sex was designed for procreation of the human species, but we all know it has a far deeper meaning. Sex is an expression of love, a private and intimate experience shared by two people who care for and respect each other. It is the representation of ultimate closeness and the expression of absolute vulnerability.
Sex is a blessed event, one that comes with serious responsibility and irreversible consequences. Unfortunately, our society has cheapened sex to the point that it has become something casual, commonplace and ordinary.
Set your own rules.
The beauty of sex between two people in a relationship is that they get to set the rules. Many have sex all the time, all over the place. Others have it occasionally, and some haven’t had sex in years. It’s different for every couple, and there are no right or wrong answers.
Those who have sex often are not necessarily more or less connected to one another than those who do not. It is only as important to a relationship as two people decide it will be.
While people tend to be more concerned with sex when they’re not getting any, few ever question if they’re having too much. Having sex all the time can cause just as many problems as not having enough.
Sex can complicate matters.
Great sex can blind people to glaring issues in a relationship, which can really complicate matters. When the sex is good, you might be willing to ignore abuse, cheating or other unacceptable behaviors.
Men and women often place an incredible emphasis on sex and neglect other areas of major importance. For instance, a man and woman might have mind-blowing sex in the bedroom but can’t carry on a conversation at the breakfast table. They might be fantastic at sharing physical intimacy but are dishonest in their interpersonal dealings with one another.
There are four dynamics that make up a relationship — mental, emotional, spiritual and physical. Yes, sex is a vital part of a romantic relationship, but it shouldn’t be the focus. Communication, compatibility, a spiritual connection and emotional harmony are key factors to a healthy, successful relationship. Nurturing these aspects of a relationship is just as important to its vitality as the sexual component.