Sex has become a major part of our culture over the last eighty years. Since the 60s, people’s relationship to sex and desires has become a lot more open and liberal. Considering the sheer frequency we hear about sex – through social media, TV shows, films, books, etc. – it is no surprise that many individuals question whether they can have a genuine relationship without sex. We are made to feel as something is missing when, in reality, that isn’t the case.
Why Don’t People Have Sex in a Relationship?
There are many reasons why couples or an individual doesn’t want to have sex in a relationship which can include:
- Naturally low libido which limits the desire for sex
- Health problems or complications which make it more difficult to have sex
- Wanting to wait for the relationship to become more committed
- Waiting for marriage
These reasons encompass a wide range of nuanced ideas on why sex is limited or restricted. It depends on the person and their beliefs as to why sex is not an integral part of their relationships.
Is Sex Necessary?
Many people have healthy, deep, and meaningful relationships without sex or at least delaying the act. Often, we can end-up turn to sex and physical intimacy when we need to be honest about feelings and thoughts. It can be easy to replace a difficult and transparent conversation with physical intimacy for a variety of reasons:
- It makes individuals feel closer to the person without working through problems (individually or as a couple);
- Dopamine and other endorphins create a sense of happiness, which helps avoid tricky situations;
- Every time you’re even physically intimate with someone (not just sex), both men and women produce a hormone that bonds one another to the person they’re intimate with.
In safe, loving, and committed environments, you will want to form these close bonds and connections with someone, but it can be damaging to form these connections with someone you’re unsure about.
Is Sex Important in a Relationship?
The answer to whether sex is important in a relationship is dependent on the person. Furthermore, just because someone wants more commitment in a relationship before sex doesn’t mean they value less than someone who has sex early-on. Many people choose to abstain from sex because they understand its value in their lives and its impact on their relationship.
For others, sex is important in their relationship for the following reasons:
- More connected in relationships
- Greater security relationally
Many individuals prefer being physically intimate with their partner to help the relationship grow. It can be integral for individuals that they have sex as they cannot have that connection with someone without pursuing the physical element.
What is it Like to Have a Relationship without Sex?
“As someone who is abstaining from sex with my partner until marriage but had had sex in the past with relationships, I am in a unique position to comment on the differences I have experienced.
Having always had sex early on in a relationship, it became a kind of ‘fix all’ act for every situation. If I didn’t feel connected, if I were upset, if there were strife or difficult issues, then I would always resort to sex. It became a method of creating ‘vulnerability’ without needing to be vulnerable or open. It was a pseudo medication for every relationship issue or bump in the road.
Having given my life to Jesus nearly two years ago – and beginning to date my partner eight months ago – I have found the difference to be notable. Without sex, we have to face issues, temptations, struggles, emotions, and thoughts together. For me, a relationship without sex has given me the space to connect with my partner in a deeper way. When you can’t bandage everything up with sex, it forces you to confront how you feel and to be honest with that person.
I can say that this relationship, without sex, is stronger than any other relationship. I look forward to the day we can, as I know we have built a relationship that has a strong foundation, with God in the middle and honesty as our go-to instead of physical intimacy.”
Author: (wished to remain anonymous)