Can a relationship survive without sex?

Sex is one of the most exciting parts of a new relationship.  At the start it’s hard to keep your hands off each other but as things become more familiar and the novelty begins to wear off, I’m wondering, how important sex is in a relationship.

There are lots of things that can lead to a sexless relationship and in most circumstances, communication and some simple steps can get you back on track.

Rough patches

When things aren’t right between you emotionally, sex is normally the first thing to go.  Especially for women who find it difficult to separate their emotions from their physical actions, it stands to reason that if you aren’t happy with somebody, you’re not going to fancy bumping uglies.  However, sex is a great way to get over your problems.  Sex increases intimacy and can make you feel bonded again.

Male Ego

Men are not always great communicators. As the man of the relationship they may feel that they should be able to deal with any problems or stress they have and therefore not talk about issues.  This can lead to a lack in sex drive.  Men are supposed to always want sex, so a loss of sex drive can make them feel less of a man and so the circle begins.  The key is not to take things personally, stroke his ego and do things to help him relax.  Although communication certainly helps, highlighting the problem may not be a good starting point.  If the problem doesn’t go away, talk to him and suggest seeing a counsellor or GP.


The biggest reason that couples fall apart sexually is children.  Sometimes it can start in pregnancy, maybe the man doesn’t fancy his partner or maybe she is not comfortable.  However, it most commonly starts after the birth of a child.  The dynamics of the relationship as it previously was , change.  You’re both exhausted, her body has changed and your priority is no longer yourself or each other.  The key is making time to remember why you both fell in love in the first place and making time for each other.


After the first 2 years, the sexual attraction between partners falters, fact.  But what do you do if you have been together for 10, 20, 30 years?  Sure keeping it interesting is an obvious tip, sex toys, erotic massage, sexy lingerie etc.  But after 20 years, do you still have the desire for sex and if neither of you do, why force it?  If you’ve been in a relationship that long there has to be plenty of things keeping you together, children, a house, a whole life and surely these things have their own importance.

So – I think yes, a relationship can survive without sex, but only if both partner’s are happy with the situation and this is most likely to be in a long standing, established relationship that has a lot of other things going for it.

Thankfully, I’m not at that stage yet.

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