Sex: An imperative?
It seems the paradigm here is that sex is, without a doubt, a set feature of a relationship. And a marriage without sex? There’s trouble in paradise, you might think.
As cliché as it sounds, we have our peers, the media and society-at-large at which to point the finger for this instinctive reaction. In this sex-crazed world, it has been inculcated in us that as far as long-term romantic relationships are concerned, sex is an absolute imperative and, out of love of our better halves, we should hone our skills to be crackerjacks in the sack.
Why is sex sometimes referred to as ‘lovemaking’, when we know for a fact that we can express love non-sexually in more ways than we can shake a stick at? And why can’t preparing hot soup specially for an indisposed lover be deemed ‘lovemaking’ instead?
Kissing Sex Goodbye
John, 44, and Eunice Toh, 43, a married couple of 21 years, asked those very same questions
after they had their second and last child. To date, they seem to have the whole idea of post-honeymoon celibacy down pat.
“As you mature as a couple, you’ll come to realise that there’s more to a union between two people than just sex and fairytale romance,” shares John.
“There are other important things such as commitment, honour and a deep sense of responsibility shared between two individuals in a marriage. With these values in place and by not being slaves to sex, we feel that it keeps us grounded in what it truly means to be a family unit for not just our kids, but for ourselves as well”
Thomas Yang and Cecilia Chong, both 30, have been together for five years. “There’s too much hype about sex in the media, and how much intercourse a couple is supposed to have on a weekly basis,” says Cecilia. “After five years, our love language has evolved, and we have our careers to keep us preoccupied and fatigued.”
Thomas concurs, “Of course, we did not explicitly say that we’re never going to have sex ever again. When it happens, although rare, it would be in the spur of the moment. We’ve both agreed that without sex at all, we’re still a pretty awesome twosome.”
The Sex Talk
And I don’t mean the dirty, erotic sort. Communication is key to unlocking the door to the everlasting love you so richly deserve. But as much as the two of you may well be the star couple amongst your friends, outright discussion about sex (or the lack thereof)) could we inconceivably awkward.
Relationship counsellor Laura Ong (not her real name) advises to first discuss your beliefs and definition of togetherness: “Research has shown that there are alternative expression of love, one or two of which could be the primary ones that an individual is more receptive to. Sexual intimacy may or may not be extremely important to either parties.”
Therefore, the trick here is to come to an agreement on whether infrequent (or the absence of) sex would be a problem in the long haul. Also, it is best if you discovered your respective love languages to truly understand how he or she likes to be loved and gives love.
A Venus and Mars Collision
The persisting gender-stereotyped generalisation is true, says Laura, because it has been proven that men are wired to think that lovemaking is a form of acceptance from his lover. Knowing such truths about the gender differences could make for a fruitful heart-to-heart talk.
Women, on the other hand, are bigger on their partner’s ability to protect and provide, and tend to emphasise less on the sexual aspect of a relationship.
Keeping the Chemistry Crackling
Finding other possible avenues of romantic passion can keep the relationship not only sizzling but also meaningful. From daily doses o assurance, to reinstating regular dinner dates, to planning elaborate surprises - the list is endless.
That being said, any action would be futile without knowing exactly how your partners demonstrates and perceives love. The bottom line is: always check that you’re on the same page!
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