Is sex really the secret to a happy marriage?

Sex seems to be one of those topics that can take on a life of it’s own. Whether we’re seeing it played out in movies by Diane Keaton and Jack Nicholson in Something’s Gotta Give, reading about it in graphic detail in popular books like 50 Shades of Grey, or hearing about George Clooney’s latest ‘conquest’ (before he married his now-wife of course), it seems like sex is everywhere and everyone is doing it.

But how much about this fantasy of an over-active sex life is actually real? If we were to believe everything we read on the internet and popular media, we’d be forgiven for thinking the whole world is full of frisky couples who can’t keep their hands off each other. When it comes to real life though, it’s a different story.

A new survey of 5,000 people in long-term relationships has found that most couples rate sex as an unimportant factor in their relationship. When asked the question: “How important is sex in keeping a couple happy and in love?” the majority of couples agreed sex just wasn’t that important in the grand scheme of things.

In fact, 66% of couples said they are happy to have sex only three times a month. Instead of sex, these couples valued other things like laughing together, being cared for, feeling safe, and being happy as much more meaningful and significant in maintaining a healthy and happy marriage.

While we’re often told a sexless marriage is something to be feared and fixed; the reality is though, most people are happy to keep the sex to a minimum. That’s not to say there aren’t couples who enjoy getting physical more than a few times a week. The point the survey makes though, is that if you’re in a relationship that’s more about hugs and kisses than wild nights in the bedroom, you’re not alone – you’re not even unique!

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When asked “What do you like best about your relationship?” these were the top answers:

1. Laughing together.
2. Sharing values and interests.
3. Being best friends.
4. Being cared for and feeling supported.
5. Feeling safe and secure.
6. Being happy.
7. Trust.
8. Sharing a close relationship.
9. Talking and listening.
10. Being in love and/or being loved.

They all sound like pretty good answers to us!

Do you think sex is an important factor in a happy relationship? What do you value most in a relationship?

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