We’ve turned sex into such a big deal

changes sexuality

When I was 13, I knew what I wanted to be: a sexologist. I wasn’t very sexually active back then, but my never-ending curiosity had nonetheless been triggered. And, to this day, that curiosity still hasn’t been satisfied. It’s an ever-changing subject, constantly moving and developing. Sex is something huge and powerful, yet at the same time it’s only a small part of what defines a relationship between two people. And this is where people get caught up in expectations and beliefs about what sex should actually be like.

About 15% of a couple’s relationship revolves around sexuality. Just 15%. The other 85% concerns other things: shared responsibilities with regards to the home, children, finances, social networks, building a future together, intimacy and doing fun stuff together. Only 15% is about sharing sexuality. And yet, sex – or the absence of sex – is one of the biggest reasons why people end a relationship.

We have turned sex into such a big deal. Too much of a big deal, if you ask me. Yes, sex can be wonderful. It can create incredibly strong connections and take intimacy to a whole new level. But sex is still just sex. I hear many people say that sex makes the difference between a romantic relationship and friendship, but I don’t always find that to be the case. It is the intimacy that you share with your loved one that binds you together. And that intimacy can be found in sex, but also in so much more than just that. You can’t be intimate with everyone. You don’t get into deep conversations with everyone or feel comfortable resting your head on everyone’s shoulder. On the other hand, you can have sex with many different partners, or, at a minimum, a lot of people are better able to have sex with multiple partners than they are able to share their intimacy with others.

But we have made sex so incredibly important and made it a defining aspect of our relationships. If you enjoy sex and are comfortable with it, and if it provides pleasure and a sense of connection, then that’s absolutely fine. As far as I’m concerned, you’re always free to choose how you define your relationship. But we are making sex too important because of the beliefs we have surrounding it, including  societal expectations and standards that control our way of thinking. You may experience times in your life when sex is not such a big priority, or that you just don’t feel like it as much. Inevitably, you and your partner will regularly find yourselves at different wavelengths in terms of sexual needs. And sometimes you may be more aroused by people other than your partner or feel the need to have more sex with yourself than with your partner. That’s all fine. If you feel that way, or you sometimes don’t feel anything at all, that doesn’t have to mean anything for your relationship. Your relationship revolves around so much more than just sex. And sex may be an insurmountable issue in some relationships, but let’s not make too much of a deal out of sex in all those other situations.

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