It sounds like the old stereotype, right? “Men always want more sex…”
Well, there is some truth to the strength of men’s sex drive, especially as it may exist outside of (or in spite of) any problems you may be experiencing in the marriage. We sometimes refer to “Nature’s Biggest Joke” – the idea that men want/need sex to feel connected, and women need to feel connected to want to have sex.
Because of this dynamic, men tend to still seek out sexual activity even if the connection isn’t its strongest – and because that connection might be lacking, women tend to resist.
This situation is precisely where this stereotype comes from. When marriages aren’t at their best, men still typically want sex often, and women might not have the same desires.
But what if he’s right?
Sex IS an important part of maintaining the connection and closeness in a marriage. It’s a part of the intimacy that separates lovers from best friends, but that’s not its only value – staying sexually active with your spouse can help your marriage in all sorts of ways!
Here are a few reasons sex is so important, and what you have to gain from spending some more time romping around in the bedroom!
Sex is good for you, plain and simple. It increases your heart rate, burns calories, relieves stress, increases blood flow, strengthens pelvic muscles (which helps with bladder control), helps you look younger, and gets rid of headaches.
…And that’s just the beginning! The chemicals produced by your brain and body can also help promote better moods, boost your immune system, relieve all kinds of physical pain, and increase your overall libido.
Sex requires communication, whether it’s verbal or not. Even your reactions to your partner are a form of communication. You’re telling each other what you want and don’t want, what you like and don’t like, and the whole time, you’re practicing how to listen and respond to your partner.
This ability to read each other’s body language, to respond to nuanced and subtle cues, is an important part of your interactions inside and outside of the bedroom. No other form of communication is so vulnerable and intimate.
A healthy sex life has a way of making us feel more masculine and feminine. Fulfilling our respective “gender roles” in the bedroom puts us in touch with some deep-seated, animal tendencies, and just seems to make men feel “manly” and women feel “womanly.”
For both genders, sex can put a little pep in your step, brighten your mood, and make you feel attractive and powerful.
4. It’s FUN
Sure, you could watch some TV, you could scroll through Facebook, you could do any number of things on a given evening – but are any of them even half as fun as having sex?
In long-term relationships, sometimes we forget that sex is also just purely enjoyable. We pile up these expectations about what it means for our marriage, what our spouse is thinking, how attractive we feel or how attractive our spouse might find us, and all kinds of other hang ups – but forget that it’s also a simple pleasure that makes us feel great!
Let go of those hesitations and complications, and just enjoy yourself!
5. It Brings You Together
This is the one that gets the most coverage – and it is absolutely true. Sex does bring you closer to your spouse, but not just through intimacy and the vulnerability of “bearing it all” to one another. The physical act of having sex also helps your brain produce oxytocin, a hormone associated with feelings of love and trust.
When your sex life is good, it tends to spill over into other areas of your relationship. You’ll feel more affectionate and more forgiving, you’ll spend more time together (even if it is between the sheets), and likely have a more playful and fun dynamic in your day-to-day interactions.
Now, “fixing” your sex life (if it’s in need of repair) isn’t the easiest thing in the world, but you can start small, move slow, and get back into the swing of things. Remember that a full range of sexual experiences, not JUST sex itself, has many of these same positive benefits. The specifics of your sex life will be totally unique to your relationship – just don’t let it fall by the wayside.