Happy in Sexless Relationship

While some endure intimacy depreciation, others are able to improve their sex lives. If you find yourself in a sexual impasse, how can you overcome it?

Main Event


Intimacy is one of the highlights of most marriages. But either years after the vows, or right from the start, this may become a challenge for couples. Obstacles can be the result of emotional or physical trauma, such as paralysis. Non-participation can be psychological. Later in life, it may be hormonal.

For many people a sexless marriage is unfathomable. Some endure it, while others are able to turn their non-existent sex lives around. Prevalence is difficult to estimate exactly. According to one study, about 15% of married couples are sexless. A survey by Gransnet and Mumsnet users puts the number at more than a quarter (29%). If you find yourself in a relationship with sexual inactivity, how can you overcome it?

Identify the Source

If you or your mate recoils when touched, be clear about the reason. Assure the other party of existing love. Calmly explain extenuating circumstances such as prior sexual abuse. If it’s trauma, seek professional counseling that focuses on establishing trust in the mate.

Bedroom romance often declines when childrearing dominates time. Carve out time for the progenitors. Hire a babysitter for special getaways that keep the love alive.

Chronic pain can stall intimacy. Congenital or traumatic paralysis is physically and mentally challenging. The body does not react in a way the mind and heart wants to respond to stimuli. In most cases, the injured party may sacrifice personal satisfaction while the couple tries new positions. Lack of limbs often does not need to hider pregnancy or intimacy.

Some physical developments that impede conception don’t necessarily interfere with copulation. A urologist can help men identify anatomical issues such as benign prostate hyperplasia, retrograde ejaculation, or ejaculatory duct obstruction. A gynecologist can address issues with vaginal dryness or vaginal rejuvenation.

Venereal disease interferes with intimacy by causing pain itself or the fear discovery and transmission. Learn what you can about the infection. Is it chronic or something that resolves completely with treatment? A venereologist has the best qualifications to treat and advise methods for safe sex.

Moving Forward

Lack of intimacy might result in unfaithfulness. This can lead to more reasons for abstaining from sexual relations with a mate. Rather than suffer in silence, talk about reasons for resistance and obtain necessary professional assistance.

Ages of those surveyed in sexless relationships by Gransnet and Mumsnet:
  • 18% are under 30
  • 25% are in their 30s
  • 28% are in their 40s
  • 36% are in their 50s
  • 47% are age 60+

Sometimes overlapping issues contribute to celibacy. In rare cases where no resolution is practical, love without sex is possible. Siblings enjoy a wholesome non-intimate love (Greek: Stor­gé) with one another, as can married couples. Based on survey statistics, many marital couples have similar relationships of companionship with displays of affection that transcend intercourse.

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Updated: Sep 7, 2023

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