Sex in and of itself not un-breachable per say, but when it comes to the sex lives of women in long term relationships... we just don't talk about it. Sure, we LOVE to compare notes when we're single. Women's magazines are full of how to's and what to do's and you should try's. We love to talk about the hook-up from last night, the numbers, and the tips. But those of us who are years deep in a serious relationship don't get the media coverage that other women do. Many of us are left in the dark when it comes to whats "normal" when you have that "forever" connection.
I was having a conversation with a friend that I know fairly well and this exact subject came up. We didn't so much compare "notes" as we did talk about the realities of sex lives and how much they vary from couple to couple regardless of the longevity of the actual relationship. I am ultimately an honest and open person about all aspects of my life, but even I was relieved to hear that my bedroom coming and goings were not uncommon.
So my thoughts come down to this: There isn't a normal. Every person has their own libido, energy levels, desires, turn ons, and needs. So when we compare our lives to glossy pages, they can be highly unrepresentative of our personal life. We end up worrying that because we don't have sex XYZ ways and 789 times a week, we are unfit for a relationship, undesirable, doing it wrong, being cheated on etc etc etc. Or, conversely if we have sex a kajillion times a month with our partners, people say that there is a sex addiction, unhealthy attachment, or they just build resentment because they think they are supposed to have the same. All of this is bad news.
I want to offer all women the information that there are all different kinds and shades of sex lives out there and this inconsistency is the part that is "normal". The variety is not only okay, but might even be celebrated. There is not one "ideal", they all can be accepted, and if you are happy... well, then whatever it is... is okay. And if you are unhappy simply due to the preconceptions of what your sex should be, this post is for you. I asked some women to share the most intimate details of their bedrooms (or couches, or kitchen tables...) and they bravely accepted. All of the names are changed for privacy's sake, and I believe the anonymity allows for even more self-identification as we read. Please enjoy what these courageous ladies have to share:
“My partner and I have been together for 8 years and our sex life is so very different today than it was when we first started out! Of course, when we got together, we were 8 years younger. We also fell madly in love immediately. Over the course of the first 2 years we had some big ups and downs, but are stronger for our struggles and have now reached a place of complete comfort and happiness in our relationship. We both know that no matter what else happens in our lives, our relationship will prevail. It is a major priority to us and we work daily on keeping things healthy and whole. That being said, I’d estimate that we probably have sex a few times a month. For me it was really hard to transition from sex a few times a week to the current frequency. This caused some of our ups and downs as I used to tie a lot of my esteem into my sexuality. I took it really hard as our sex life began to dwindle. My sensitivity and anxiety did not help the situation any! Now, I am completely comfortable and happy with our sex life and have no issues with the fact that we aren’t intimate it more often. Coming to terms with this, and understanding it to be natural part of being in a long term, healthy, relationship has been a huge accomplishment for me. With the pressure off, we are able to enjoy the times we are intimate; and, be just as stupid in love as we were the first day, all the time, without the stress of trying to measure up to those first few months of passion. My advice to other women, as they navigate the seas of their sex lives with long term partners, is to just go with the flow. Don’t over think it; don’t take it personally; and, most importantly, don’t stress. It’ll be what it’s going to be.”
“Zaphod and I met ten years ago through friends. We talked all through the night and then I took him home to his place and we had sex all weekend long. I loved every second of it and we’ve been married 8 years now. Our sex life has fluctuated over the years, depending on his work and stress levels. I’d prefer to get laid every day, but currently we average about 2-3 times a week. Early on I established a ground rule: he doesn’t get an orgasm unless I’ve had one. So he brought home a vibrator for me. He admitted he was having trouble keeping up with me and encouraged me to use it. Which is how I discovered that bringing myself to a screaming orgasm will send him running into the room to finish the job. And that quickies are the best thing ever. So there are ways around the fact that his libido is lower than mine, but it was hit or miss for a while there trying to find them. I am, however, enjoying myself thoroughly finding them!”
“Rocket Man and I have been dating a long time and met when we were very very young. Before we starting sleeping together, teenage hormones kept us in near consistent lip lock, but after (and this was also the result of beginning a very long distance relationship for the next few years) our snuggles increased and our sex life decreased.
Neither of us view this as a bad thing! We are very busy people, and love each other very much. When we do have sex it's AMAZING. But it can also be to the tune of having sex once a month.
This doesn't mean that we're unhappy, have problems, are un-attracted to each other, or are out of touch with our bodies. What it does mean is that we're true to ourselves and our relationship and have sex when we want to have sex, not when Cosmo says we should want to have sex.
We're happy. Blissfully so. That's more than enough.”
Carlos and I have been together 5 years and we were set up by mutual friends. We have a very balanced relationship. We are very different but we both have similar down to earth temperaments which makes us a good team. We both enjoy sex however our sex life has been through MANY different phases in frequency, intensity, and enjoyment. The biggest phases were due to being new partners, trying to have a baby, dealing with infertility and fertility treatments, pregnancy, and now post baby sex. We currently have sex about 3 times a week even though I am more insecure with my body than I have ever been in my life. I feel like it is important to us and I do enjoy it when I do it. Sex post baby and having our history in infertility is different now. Though a baby does make it hard for us to spend as much time together the situations we went through prior have brought us incredibly close. We now know sex really is only about having fun and us since we will never be able to have children the good old fashion way plus we never have to worry about birth control
“My name is Joannah and I am a 58 year old post-menomausal woman married to Christian, a 60 year old man, for 22 years. We met as neighbors. After our first marriages ended (I was divorced and Christian's wife died) our friendship very quickly became passionate. We share many similar interests, social beliefs and political ideals, but we have very different religious beliefs and expressions. Yet, we consider each other to be our very best and closest friend. Genuine respect for each other as individuals and huge electric attraction to each other is the glue that binds us and enables us to cope with the ebbs and flows of life...including sexuality and expression.
While we both have always experienced orgasms with each other very easily, it was not the case in our lives with other partners. Therefore, our sex life together became a high priority and we have always been devoted to giving it a lot of time, attention, and patience. The first ten years of our marriage, we made love every day, and on weekends usually twice a day. But the frequency of sexual coupling and orgasm has had many changes over the years, related to personal illness and raising our children.
We are much more tired now at the end of the day & seem to need more sleep, so sex usually takes place over the weekend when we can have leisurely time together. We now make love about 3 times over the weekend. But we still cuddle and caress each other each night and tell each other every day that we love each other. My husband makes it a point to pay me a compliment every single day.
Our marriage relationship, sex included, is our mutual top priority.”
“John and I had what was supposed to be a one night stand. Six years later, we got married. That was nine years ago. We haven't had sex in four years. To make a long story short, I went through a period where I wanted a child and John was adamant that he would not be a father. The last few years there has been a lot of therapy, a separation, and a very slow reconciliation. I've decided that our relationship is more important than motherhood. We take it one day at a time and although things are back to normal in a lot of ways, I hope that some day (soon!) we can go back to the crazy fun sex life we used to have. Or any sex life at all. In the meantime, I have so many battery-operated toys that Duracell should send me a Christmas card every year.”
“Seven years ago I met my best friend. After three years of dating, we got married. We have an amazing relationship. He treats me like gold. We do everything together. We're ridiculous and heartily laugh together all the time, as well as forge through the difficult parts together.
Before we were even married, our sex life had dwindled. There is a certain fire in the newness of somebody; that feeling every time you're with them, when the relationship is unsteady, that this may be the last time you're with them....When things became more serious and solid and sure, that roaring blaze dwindled to a little spark. His libido is still there, he's game whenever, but....I just mostly don't care. The passion for the physical doesn't come very often. Maybe once a month I am legitimately interested. I just don't need it. I aim to have sex at least once a week, because I know it's important. I get into it once I've started, but....it feels very much like a chore. Something on the to do list that needs to be checked off to keep our lives running happily. We've had many a fight about it. I would like for him to be more aggressive. Just come get it when he wants it! But i think I am an intimidating character, possibly. Or maybe he's afraid of getting shot down. I am left being the one that always has to make the move. Alas, we are stuck in an unchanging stalemate....”
“Liam and I have been together for a little over two years. We are married, with two children. We met volunteering and were not instant friends. We connected over a discussion about music and after our first date we were inseparable. Our relationship is that of best friends. We laugh a lot and rarely argue; not because we don't experience differences but because we mutually respect each others right to be upset with the situation or the individual.
Our sex life is wonderful. We have a four month old baby so our frequency isn't what it was in the beginning but I'd say we average at least two- three times per week. If we don't have time for long love making sessions we mutually masturbate. We also try to keep things lively by doing little things like sneaking away to the bathroom to give one other oral pleasure or heavy petting on the drive home. Most recently, due to a new found confidence of reclaiming my pre-baby figure Liam and I decided to film one of our sexcapades. It was a short session, 8 minutes (I only know this because of the handy ticker when we watched it back), but more exciting than filming was the knowledge that this was something neither of us had ever done before.
It brought something extra to our sexual relationship. In an era of premarital sex it's sometimes difficult accepting the harsh reality that what may be a first for one may not be for the other. Being able to experience a "first", especially in an already established relationship, brought a new level of excitement. One that I dare say made us both smile and giggle almost as if we were fifteen again, dry humping for the first time.”
"Months after getting out of an extremely difficult relationship, boredom got the best of me and I ended up searching for my free matches on a dating site. Ryan popped up on my screen and we began talking on Facebook. Things moved fast—we met in person a week after we began talking, became an official couple a week after that, and moved in together three months into our relationship. After an extremely spontaneous summer, things started to quiet down a bit. Now, three and a half years later, we’re only having sex once every week or two (at most) compared to the almost daily lovemaking sessions we used to have. He’s the love of my life and my feelings for him haven’t faded in the least bit—I’m just constantly fighting off my own personal demons, leaving me exhausted. I’m hoping I’ll be able to overcome these obstacles soon so that I’ll finally be able to give him the sexy woman I feel he deserves. I just don’t know where to start…"
“My true love and I have been together for a couple years, and living together for a couple as well. The second we met we were infatuated which quickly turned in to love of the most intimate kind. We had sex every night for the first four months and would both say that our favorite hobby was macking. We became closer and closer, identifying on such core levels that we became each others biggest confidant and best friend. We are still this way, completely and utterly comfortable in each others presence. Its magical. As we became more and more connected on an intimate and emotional level though, our sex life started to fade. This devastated me in so many ways. I was convinced that it was me; my body, my skill, my anything I could think of. He assured me this was as far from the truth as possible, but I was unable to believe him. We went a year without sex, and I spent the majority of nights crying myself to sleep. One drunken and riotous night together we had sex for the first time in a year, but we haven't has sex again since. We've been seeking therapy for this issue and have come to learn that because of childhood trauma, he is unable to engage in sex once he reaches emotional intimacy. He is capable of only one type of intimacy at a time... either physical or emotional. Through stellar communication and therapy we've inched along towards recifying our lack of physical connection. I don't see any passionate "love making" in my immediate future, but I'm pretty sure we will get there eventually. Does this long dry spell bother me? Every single day. Is he worth the wait? In every single way.”
This divulgence of information takes fearlessness of the boldest kind, but I would encourage you to continue this quest of honesty in the comments section. Lets make this an open forum and share what we feel comfortable with so that others can ease their minds. If you feel more comfortable posting as "anonymous" feel free; your privacy is important to me. If you do have the ability to share, I know that many will be able to identify with your experience and that it will touch others in the only way this kind of raw information can. I look forward to hearing more…
If nothing is considered "normal" that then means that everything is normal and you're not alone.
If nothing is considered "normal" that then means that everything is normal and you're not alone.