Share this article Share The answer is a lot do. A lot of couples get divorced as well — and like it or not, there's a definite link. If the couple stop having sex or sex isn't enjoyable, it's relationship cryptonite and poisons everything — even if you both agree to take it off the table. If you're pushing 90 and need a Zimmerframe to move around in bed, I can understand why you might give up on sex. I also acknowledge there are couples out there where both partners have zero or extremely low libidos and seriously aren't bothered by a future which doesn't include any sex.
But how many couples truly do fall into this category? Tracey believes that a lack of sex correlates with divorce The thing is, the chances of finding and hooking up with someone who has exactly the same sex drive as you — high, low or middling - is extremely rare. Even couples who pride themselves on having evenly matched desire levels can point to discrepancies when pushed: Which means, in my opinion, pretty much everyone who stops having sex is risking their relationship. We get more from sex than we think.
Not only does it keep us physically satisfied, it provides much-needed excitement and stimulation in our lives. Sex makes us feel wanted and attractive, needed and admired. We feel emotionally connected to the person we're having sex with: Satisfying sex also boosts our immune system and promotes production of a substance called oxytocin, making us feel warm and snuggly. Because it makes our blood pump furiously, sex is good for the heart in a physical sense, but also in an emotional capacity.
Humans are driven to seek pleasure and sex encourages our body to release the pleasure substance, PEA phenylethylamine , making us feel light-headed and light-hearted. Sex reduces stress and frustration levels, makes our skin glow, our hair shine and our eyes sparkle. And you want to give all this up? Even if you don't want to reconsider given all this information, your partner may well do.
But there will come a time when you're reminded of how good it was. You're away on a business trip, working late and eating in the hotel restaurant, and the friendly, attractive waiter leans forward to clear your food away and you get a whiff of his aftershave and out of nowhere, suddenly you remember and all those memories of hot, frantic, fabulous sex rush back at alarming speed. Even sexed-up couples feel the pull of 'Why not? How are you or your partner going to cope when you haven't had sex for months or years even if voluntarily and you know having your appetite reawakened means nothing because the bored-with-sex partner at home, hasn't had the same experience.
Yes, you could try racing home and saying 'Honey, I remember how great sex was! Let's do it up against the wall like we used to! But if you honestly think that'll be greeted with a yawn, disapproving frown and 'I thought we discussed we weren't doing that anymore' sniff, next time you might well opt to chat up the dishy waiter.
Or that guy on the bus who you've started chatting to lately, feeling an oddly familiar stirring below as you do so.
No matter how much your partner loves you, no matter how much they or you believe they're immune to temptation, they're not. Stop having sex with each other and you risk both of you wanting to have sex with someone else.
So if your excuse for not 'doing it' is simply that neither of you feel like it anymore because you've been together 'forever' and it seems like 'such an effort' and you'd both 'really honestly watch telly together', perhaps you might like to have a little rethink. For more of Tracey's views on sex, love and relationships, visit traceycox.