Sexual Health

Ask Sofia: Is it ok to have a relationship without sex?

“Ultimately, you and your partner are the only people who can honestly answer this question,’” said Dr. Donna Block. “Sex can be a powerful physical connection, but it’s really the emotional bond that makes relationships last and flourish. Trust, respect, laughter and communication are all keys to happy relationships. If you find that you are both happy with little to no sex, it is still important to find other ways to connect with each other.”

Couples can find other ways to connect with each other, including:

  • Reach out and touch someone. Touching without sex can be a very intimate act, and it also feels good! Hold your partner’s hand, hug, give massages and sit a little closer next time you find yourselves together on the couch. This is a great way of maintaining a loving connection.
  • Ditch the digital devices. If you find yourself on phones, tablets or other screens all the time, consider a digital detox. You can set a rule of “no phones after 8 p.m.” or “screen-free Sunday,” for example to avoid the constant disruption of news, politics, filtered photos and celebrity gossip.
  • Talk to each other. Whether it’s pillow talk or a date night when you can enjoy a quiet adults-only dinner, make time for real conversation. It is hard to maintain closeness when you are passing ships in the night; make an effort to listen and be heard in return. It is also important to know that your partner is also ok with a sexless relationship.
  • Rule out other issues. Post-childbirth, many women struggle with feeling sexy again. Post-menopause, sexual desire can also plummet. Likewise, depression and anxiety can contribute to lack of desire. Make sure that your reasons for not having sex aren’t related to something else.
  • Find a shared activity. Particularly if you are parents busy with kids’ activities, make a point of finding something the two of you love to do together. Take a photography class, try out a kickboxing class, listen to local live music or simply take an evening walk together on a regular basis. When you find things that you love to do together, it will continue to strengthen your relationship.

“While sex can be a strong component of many relationships, it should never be your only act of intimacy. Keep the flames burning with small gestures of kindness, occasional surprises and good communication,” Dr. Block added.

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