Unplugged – Part 1
Time to Take A Break

Are You In A No Sex Or Low Sex Marriage?

Every person has four main components that makes up sexual function. These components are desire, arousal, orgasm, and satisfaction. Desire and satisfaction are the core of sexuality and necessary for a healthy functioning sexual relationship with your partner. Therapists refer to “Primary Sexual Dysfunction” as a problem that has troubled the couples from the genesis. This can be erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation, non-orgasmic response, female arousal dysfunction, vaginismus, and traumatic sexual abuse. Most couples are challenged with “Secondary Sexual Dysfunction,” which means their sex life was fine and then became plagued. This can be due to differences in values about sex, sexual affairs, decreased intimacy, having enough time, and the most commonly diagnosed sexual problem for married couples is inhibited sexual desire dysfunction. Research studies show 1 in 3 women and 1 in 7 men report inhibited sexual desire (McCarthy,2015). It is important to address this problem as soon as possible because this dysfunction stresses a marriage more than any other sexual dysfunction does.

So how do you know you are having issues in your sex life?  The most extreme evidence is a no sex marriage. This may mean you and your partner have not had sex or have been affectionate for years or have sex 1 to 10 times in a year. If you are experiencing something like this you may be able to look back when you and your partner started to fall into a cycle of sexual avoidance, anxiety around sex, and negative experiences with it. Perhaps at some point sex started to feel more like a task rather than the pleasurable oasis it should be. A low sex marriage means being sexual less than every other week or having sex about 25 times a year. Just like most things, the longer you wait to address the cycle of having no sex the harder it will be to change things. Don’t worry too much because there is hope for improvement. The steps to take is to renew intimacy, engage in nondemand pleasuring, and add adventurous eroticism and new techniques. Find what motivates you and stay motivated. Confront your avoidance and inhibitions. Therapists find that couples who commit to their motivation are able to reestablish touching desire, arousal, and intercourse.

Take the test:

  1. Sex is more work than play.
  2. Touching always leads to intercourse.
  3. Touching takes place only in the bedroom.
  4. You no longer look forward to making love.
  5. Sex does not give you feelings of connection and sharing.
  6. You never have sexual thoughts or fantasies about your spouse.
  7. Sex is limited to a fixed time, such as Saturday night or Sunday morning.
  8. One of you is always the initiator and the other feels pressure.
  9. You look back on premarital sex as the best time.
  10. Sex has become mechanical and routine.
  11. You have sex once or twice a month at most.

If you answered true to 5 or more statements, true to item 11, or both you are among the more than 40 million Americans stuck in a low-sex or no-sex marriage (McCarthy,2015).

Proactive steps you can take if you find yourself in this situation is to seek professional help from a couple’s therapist. A therapist can assist you and your partner in finding solutions to increase intimacy and rekindle desire. You can also ask your partner to discuss their levels of satisfaction with your shared sex life and explain what you think as well. Confronting the problem is the biggest step for moving forward. Once this step is made the two of you can decide how to proceed. Remember staying committed to being motivated is key for a lasting change.



Mccarthy, B. (2015). Rekindling desire. Place of publication not identified: Routledge.