Full disclosure – I 100% believe that nobody owes anyone sex ever, period. No one should ever be coerced into any sexual act and everyone should be allowed to enjoy sex to its fullest most beautiful potential. I do think, however, that working at and maintaining a good sex life is vital to a healthy and mutually satisfying romantic relationship.
This isn’t just an opinion from a blunt woman who’s not afraid to be sexual. I’ve also read countless articles about the many, many benefits of sex. From what I’ve read and the research I’ve done – the benefits far outweigh the possible exceptions and downsides (especially for those in a committed monogamous relationship).
Most of the studies done on this topic are done with married couples, but these things can be true for any romantic relationship that is monogamous. Check out the 13 reasons why maintaining a good sex life is vital for your romantic relationship:
1. Because it defines the relationship
Heck, even in the beginning of a romantic relationship – the “sexual” acts are what define it. The little kisses, the nervous handholds, the subtly trying to snuggle up to them, the pretending you’re not aroused because it’s still embarrassing; all these things define the romantic aspects of a relationship.
Physical intimacy is the difference between a mere friendship and a romantic relationship. With the obvious exception of the agreement of monogamy, the only real difference is that your romantic partner is someone that you hang out with like friends… but have sex with.
No – you don’t have to have hot steamy sex every day, but there should be at least some physical contact in a committed relationship as often as possible. Whether it’s a lingering hug, a kiss, a snuggle, a grope, a “quickie”, or the hot steamy throws of passion; you need to make time for it. The physical intimacy of a romantic relationship is the biggest thing that makes it different from other relationships – it’s very important to always be making that distinction clear to your partner.
2. Because it creates intimacy
Let’s be honest about it – there’s not a lot that’s more personal and intimate than having sex and there’s not a lot that makes you feel closer to your partner. Sex is the ultimate expression of physical intimacy, which is probably part of why we crave it when we’re in love with someone. With romantic couples, physical intimacy is important to feel close to each other. So, while sex isn’t all you need for intimacy, frequent mutually enjoyable sexual encounters are key to maintaining intimacy in a romantic relationship.
3. Because it fulfills a human need – and that’s romantic as hell
Let’s be honest, most people need at least the occasional orgasm to not lose their minds. I mean, except for those that identify as “asexual”, but according to Google they only make up roughly 1% of the population. Which means that sex is a basic human need for about 99% of us. Honestly, there’s not a lot more romantic than fulfilling that need for the person that you care about. Especially when they’re doing the same for you (don’t even get me started on the orgasm gap!).
See Also: The Science of Dirty Talk
4. Because it’s simply romantic
I won’t lie to you. I put this reason down and then thought, “But, why? How is sex romantic?” I mean, for most of my life sex has felt separate from romance. To me, one was an animalistic need to get off and the other was an emotional need. However, when you’re in a committed and loving romantic relationship – sex becomes the ultimate expression of romance. I mean, they don’t call it “making love” because it’s NOT romantic.
5. Because it keeps that “spark” alive
When we think of couples that truly seem to have a “spark” do we picture the couple that just sits next to each other not even touching or do we picture the couple who is always sneaking little subtle gropes and is clearly sneaking off to bang? It’s the second one, right? I think I’ve made my case. Having sex on a regular basis keeps your relationship hot, hot, hot! I mean, you don’t want to risk just feeling like roommates, do you?
6. Because it creates a bond
Basically, bonding is the by-product of sex. When we have sex, oxytocin is released in the brain. Oxytocin helps humans’ bond (especially the oxytocin released during orgasm). So, the very act of sex creates a bond between you and your partner without even meaning to! This bond creates a more satisfying romantic relationship. Plus, let’s be honest, you’re never closer to a person until you know what face they make when they climax.
7. Because it relieves stress
Oxytocin isn’t the only fun thing happening in your brain during sex, there are also endorphins and hormones released that aid in an overall better mood. Thus, aiding in stress and depression relief. Also, just like exercise, sex helps create a sense of calm in the body. According to a study published in the journalBiological Psychology, regular sexual activity prevents spikes in blood pressure in stressful situations. Basically, you’re just all around less stressed out when you’re having sex regularly. Not only does the biology of sex make us less prone to anxiety and depression but doing things together that alleviate stress is only good for any relationship. Sometimes a good roll in the hay is exactly what you need to stop being annoyed with your partner over little things.
8. Because it’s just good for you
Sex has been linked to positive impacts on everything from cardiovascular health to immune function. Plus, they have linked a good sex life to better sleep and even cancer prevention (especially prostate cancer in men).
9. Because it promotes a healthier lifestyle
Not only is sex great for your relationship and your overall health, but sex has also been linked to encouraging us to live healthier lifestyles. Let’s be honest, sex is probably (ok – definitely) the most enjoyable form of exercise. In fact, a study conducted in 2013 found that men burn an average of 100 calories per sexual experience and women burn an average of 69 calories per sexual experience (no, that’s not a joke).
Not only does being more sexually active encourage us to be more physically active outside the bedroom, but it also encourages us to live healthier so that sex is more enjoyable. I mean, no one wants to get a cramp from never exercising during lovemaking, right? And, no one wants to feel bloated from eating poorly when they’re having sex on a regular basis.
10. Because it promotes healthy self-esteem and confidence
Let’s be honest, you walk through the day with a confident stride in your step the day after getting some, am I right? And having high self-esteem and confidence not only tends to lead to more sex, but it also makes us happier and more successful in everyday life.
11. Because it makes menstruation less awful, which can only be beneficial to both of you
Not only can a good orgasm ease period-related pain (those endorphins are known for being MUCH better than over-the-counter medications for pain relief), but it can actually shorten the duration of your period. By causing the uterus to contract and therefore expel blood and cramp causing compounds faster the period becomes shorter (and less painful).
Yeah, that’s right fellas – you’re our new Midol *wink, wink*.
Plus, let’s be honest. We all want to blame the hormones for the mood swings during menstruation, but I personally think it’s WAY more about how horrifically uncomfortable menstruating can be. I mean, would HE be in a good mood if he put on 5 pounds of water weight practically overnight and felt like a small organ was trying to force its way out of his lower abdominal muscles? I don’t think so!
12. It’s free good ol’ fashion fun!
Excluding the costs of birth control, lube, and toys (if that’s your thing); sex is free and fun! And there’s nothing wrong with that! We all struggle financially from time to time. Why not have a cheap, stress-relieving night in every so often?
13. It’s the ultimate one-on-one time
Let’s be honest about it, a lot of times in the chaos of life – sex is the only time we get to be 100% alone with our partner. Between social pressures, job pressures, and family pressures – there’s not a lot of alone time regardless of how hard you try to make it. Hell, even when you go out to dinner, there are still other people around. But, when a couple has sex, they hide away from the world and are the most together and in-the-moment than they probably have been in a while.