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Both of us are working but are we having enough sex?

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Kinsey Institute last reported that 13 percent of married couplesreported having sex a few times a year, 45 percent reported having sex a few times permonth, 34 percent reported sex 2-3 times per week, and 7 percent reported having sex 4 ormore times per week. These numbers are being more and more affected by the dualincome no sex population which continues to grow. The majority of the couples Isee come in with sexual/intimacy issues, and they should; that's the kind oftherapy in which I specialize. However, the problems they are concerned aboutare no longer the ones involving the mechanics of sex; the problems are due tothe timing of sex.

Couples are frustrated, tired, overwhelmed and although sexis a great cure for coping with stress it only works if both partners have theenergy to engage in sex. For many couples this leaves one or both partnersavoiding sex, because they are too tired or disengaged with their partner.

The majority of couples I work with have a scenario wherethe man is frustrated because he wants sex so he can feel intimate with hispartner. His partner wants to feel intimate so she can desire sex. This scenario is played out with anger,resentment, and stress and often the couple is growing so distant that the onlyway they can enjoy sex is to leave on a vacation. This in itself may not be abad choice if you can get away frequently. However, for most of us who get avacation once a year, and then take the kids with us, that is not enough sex tokeep our relationship, our minds, or bodies healthy.

With couple's sex, there really is no normal number of timesto have sex. The important objective is both partners should be satisfied withthe number of times they engage in sex within their relationship. For partnerswho don't have enough focus on it, it can become the elephant in the room feltby both partners. Neither knows how to talk about it without irritating theother partner.

The majority of the time, the more sex happens in the marriage,the happier the couple reports being. Also, having an active sex life ishealthier for your body and mind, and there is usually a deeper soul-feltconnection. Understanding this, it is strongly encouraged to prioritizeintimacy and sex within your relationship. If it isn't working for you and yourpartner these suggestions may help:  

  1. Begin with a visit to an Urologistwho specializes in sexual issues. Both partners should go, as many times theworst thing about going to the doctor to talk about your sex life is the embarrassment.If you have your partner with you, it will help cut through the denial orthings you feel too awkward to say aloud. A complete history is an importantpart of getting to the bottom of the real issue, if you cannot say the history,write it down, and hand it to your care provider.
  2. Guys, remember that women have toescape to feel sexy. Women are not socialized to be outwardly sexy (althoughthe times are a changing) and they get too involved with domestic duties toconsider their own sexual desires and needs. You don't have to change cities,but you do need to create a new environment. This can be done without spendingmoney, if you help her escape by changing rooms, duties, lighting, music, yourscent, your words and your clothes (keep them on from the waist down until shewants you).
  3. Ladies, your man needs you toinitiate once in awhile. Guys need to be wanted and they need to know theyplease you. If you don't know what pleases you, quit being passive and findout. It is only half his fault if he cannot please you; the other half belongsto you. Just as he can create a new environment to help you escape, you canmotivate him (with your actions and words) to help him understand how importantthis is.
  4. Compromise. Sexual intercourse isonly part of intimacy and sex. There are so many other things you can do. Ifshe wants sex every night, and he is too tired, a massage, or a bath togetherwith bubbles and soft music and lighting before bed can be just as erotic andachieve that feeling of connection. I have a list of ideas on my web site ofthings you can do to make you feel connected besides having intercourse.

Approximately one quarter of all men, and one in eight womenreport some form of sexual dysfunction in their lives. In dual income couples thelargest problem is finding the time, and therefore this statistic will mostlikely increase. If you don't make time for sex and intimacy, or if you don'tprioritize your sex life, it will be replaced by other things that need to bedone. Those other things may be important, but the intimacy and sexualconnection within a relationship is the number two reason for marital discord.Number one is communication. Usually in a failing relationship the communicationbecomes talk about they aren't having sex.

– Mary Jo Rapini

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