By Guest Blogger Cristin Whiting, PsyD

Sex is one area of life that people think about, fantasize about, are curious about and even worry about more than any other, yet few feel comfortable discussing it. It comes as no surprise then that many are left wondering, “What is normal?” Or more to the point… “Am I normal?” and “Are we normal?”

While “normal” is a delightfully relative term when it comes to sexuality, there are some things for couples to consider in regards to nurturing their sex life and their relationship.

The first is that an active sex life is an important part of a couple’s relationship and is something which to give time and attention. It is a non-verbal way of demonstrating love, affection, connection and a couple’s appreciation for and commitment to each other. Sex is what makes a marriage a marriage and is what makes it different than any other familial bond.

Having said that, you might be thinking that after a day of working and taking care of the kids, the last thing you feel like doing is having sex or, that when the kids are playing peacefully in the back yard, you would much rather read a book or even fold the laundry than run to the bedroom for a quickie. Nevertheless, if you are not having sex with your partner, or if one or both of you is not satisfied with how things are going, don’t ignore it. Don’t fall into the trap of rationalizing your lack of sexual activity by saying that it is common for a couple’s sex life to wane over time.

If you did say that, you wouldn’t be wrong. It is common for married couples to get pulled from their romantic bond into being something more like business partners managing the family together. Yet for most people, to be business partners is not the reason they got married and unless a couple actively intervenes in maintaining the vitality of their sex life, a new normal can set in that leaves at least one member of the couple dissatisfied and disappointed and leaves them both a bit resigned.

If that isn’t reason enough to nurture your sexual relationship with your partner, here are a few of more thoughts…

The first is that a sexually satisfied couple often makes for a happy couple. Couples who make sex a priority in their relationship are far more like to go out of the way to please each other outside of the bedroom when they are being pleased in the bedroom.

The second is that it is easier to maintain sex and intimacy between partners than it is to revitalize it once it runs low. The longer a couple goes without sex and intimacy the more awkward it becomes to reconnect. Address the issue head on. Don’t wait for it to magically get better or for life to slow down (That day will likely not come.).

Lastly, you might remember learning about oxytocin when you first had children. It is the powerful “love hormone” that bonds a mother to her child while breast-feeding. Well guess, what! Oxytocin is also released in the brains of both men and women during sex and aids in establishing monogamous pair bonds between sexual partners. That is not to say that having sex with your spouse will make your marriage affair-proof. However, it only makes sense that if your spouse is being take care of at home, the chances are less that they will look for gratification elsewhere. When you combine that with the bonding power of oxytocin, having sex with your spouse provides your marriage with a bit more security than it wouldn’t otherwise have. Let’s face it, your sexuality is one of the things that brought you and your spouse together in the first place…So why not worry less about whether your current sex life “normal” and just enjoy seeing how freaky you can be?

You might remember Cristin’s recent post “Before You Cheat” – another tantalizing read on TMoM 🙂