Is Sex Essential in a Healthy and Happy Relationship?

Some married couples can go years without having sex and actually remain fairly happy. This is often the case with older couples, whose sex drives and subsequent equipment aren’t really what they used to be.

However, it’s not like the relationship got that far without sex. More than likely, this couple went at it like rabbits for year after year, especially after they first tied the knot. Now, there’s no set rule that a relationship without sex couldn’t possibly grow into something beautiful, but I think it’s fairly common sense stuff that having great sex—the intimacy that comes with sharing your most intimate moments—helps to forge loving and lasting relationships.

Not every relationship is full up with great sex, though. Some couples find that sex becomes tedious from the very beginning, and they can’t seem to get over the hurdle and find that happy button that unleashes some great lovin’.

So, the question every couple wants to know: is sex that important in a healthy relationship?

The answer is yes and no. I know; that sounds like a total cop-out, but it really does depend where you’re at with a relationship.

Let’s say that you’ve been happily married for about two years when your husband has to go overseas to fight in a war. Unfortunately, he was injured over there and now cannot physically be aroused. Would a wife leave him?

Statistics show that women stick by their men, even when they can’t perform, which suggests that sex isn’t really that important to the relationship – at least it’s not as important as the love. But remember: that’s a married couple we’re talking about. If we were talking about a couple just dating, then the outcome changes dramatically.

Without any real bond there to tie two people together, a lack of sex can be a big factor in couples breaking it off and going their separate ways. Younger people have sex a lot more frequently and feel the urge to have sex more frequently, so being involved in a sexless relationship might be too much to go through with.

There’s always masturbation, but that’s like having a Corvette in the garage you’re not allowed to drive and having to go to the store in a Pinto. What would be the point?

For most couples, an active sex life can keep people happy. If you’ve ever had a bad day where the entire world is getting on your nerves and you simply cannot stand to hear your girlfriend’s voice, you might actually only need a release. If you got this release, you might find that those minor annoyances somehow fade away.

Sex will never act as the be-all, end-all of most relationships. Some? Yes. Without a doubt. Some relationships are only based on the physical attraction and sex will have to make up a lot of ground where two people aren’t necessarily intertwining like in some cheesy romantic novel.

In other relationships, however, the bond is so strong that sex doesn’t make that much of a difference. So this is a difficult one to call any way you slice it.

The conclusion most experts reach is this: while relationships are not contingent on sexual activity, having great sex with your partner can never hurt.

If your sex live is active and great, it’s also less likely that your partner will cheat on you. They’ll be getting what they need at home, and the idea of “strange” might just seem strange. Likewise, a healthy and active sex life also opens the lines of communication. After all, if you’re comfortable enough to head to the bedroom to try new things frequently, then you’ll probably be open to speaking about other personal matters more frequently, meaning that there are fewer secrets.

Above all, however, sex simply feels good, especially with someone you love. It might not be the most important factor of any relationship, but it’s still rather important. To trace back our evolution, you won’t find much evidence of nonsexual relationships in the past. People grouped together for procreation. The idea of a “family dynamic” and the Cleavers’ separate beds and polite marriage is more of a fairy tale told by the religious faithful; it’s not actually rooted in science.

We have a base need to socialize and to be comforted and to have sex. When those things meet up in a sexually-active relationship, it’s a beautiful thing. So the odds suggest that the more sex you’re having with your partner, the better off you will probably be.