How important is sex to an intimate relationship? Can a good, healthy, intimate, loving, romantic relationship between adults exist without it?
Several thousand readers from around the world have written in to express their opinion about the above question. Listen as women—and next week men—talk about the importance of sex to their relationship and to their lives:
“Sometimes when a partner is ill, has an operation, has a baby or there is some other reason, the relationship is still there even though (sex) is on a back burner. You can have a good relationship, a healthy relationship, a loving relationship and not have sex. But if you want an intimate relationship, there has to be sex in some way,” writes a 55 year old married woman from Amarillo, Texas
“Just like babies must be nuzzled to thrive, so adults crave physical intimacy to be truly happy. Hugs are not enough,” says “G.S.” a married woman from London, Ontario.
“I am a very sexual person, and to me sex is very important. Without sex I would feel I was just friends with a man,” agrees Eileen G., a 40 year old divorced woman from Milwaukee.
“It’s very important. It’s such a wonderful way to transcend the separateness of bodies, to blend and unite, spirit to spirit. I, personally, can’t see or imagine, how you can have an intimate, loving relationship without sex. Isn’t it a real primal human thing to want to physically bond with someone you love? I don’t know how to be romantic and not end up in the mood for sex,” writes Anita E., a 42 year old woman in a committed relationship from Durango, Colorado.
“I have to admit, I love sex with my partner. There are times when we are in bed together and I get the urge, and afterwards his words and arms are around me. It’s beautiful. He says it’s good that I’m this way because it makes him feel wanted and loved,” says Carole W., a 44 year old single woman from Wellington, New Zealand.
Not everybody has the same experiences with sex in an intimate relationship, however. Some people, for a variety of reasons, can’t—or chose not to—have sex.
“My husband broke his neck in 1949 when he was 32 years old, and he became a quadriplegic. I missed (sex) when Kit broke his neck. I saw how many things were related to sex and I was shook up, but I got over it. I wear perfume and try to dress nicely for my own sake now,” writes Betty W., an 80 year old widow from London, Ontario.
“We unfortunately do not have sex due to my injuries, but we do help each other to reach satisfaction in other ways. Sex is important, but not available to us. We find other ways of being intimate. We are no less romantic than other couples,” says Judy, a 51 year old common-law married woman from London, Ontario.
For most women, however, sex is very important to sustain a warm, loving, romantic intimate relationship. “Sex is very important. I have a successful husband, a beautiful home, all standard criteria for success—and without an intimate and physical relationship—none of it seems to matter.” writes Diane B., a 42 year old married woman from Golden, Colorado.