Do you think sex is important in a relationship?

To put it clinically, sex is the physical expression of an attraction between two (or more) people. It’s the manifestation of a connection, whether that connection exists for one night, one year, one decade or a lifetime. When we focus on sexual activity as the defining characteristic of our relationship with others, we risk merging the way in which we express attraction with the object of our attraction themselves, which is to confuse two different elements. The primary in any relationship is the one you love, or desire to be with. The method by which you express that desire is important, but it’s also secondary.

Sex is one way to naturally express a desire towards another. There are many others: listening; giving of our time and resources; being committed; consistency; being sacrificial; being accepting; forgiveness; kindness; thoughtfulness; being communicative, and many more. In my opinion, sex has become almost a benchmark that must be hit in order for a relationship to reach the point of importance and value, but I reject that notion.

Many struggle with sex, for all kinds of reasons. Sometimes people struggle physically, to give or particularly to receive pleasure. Other times somebody’s negative self image can cripple them with questions about how anybody else can possibly find them attractive. Others still may wish to reserve sex until much later in a relationship and find that tough to deal with in an age where sexuality is quite open and promiscuity often actively encouraged.

I would say this: try to focus on the object of your affection. Few of us want to be with somebody just for sex and nothing else. Knowing that sex is a wonderful tool that you can both use and enjoy to express your desires, but that it is one tool among many, can help to stop sex from becoming a priority in itself, and that allows us to relax and enjoy each other for who we are.

One final word on this: nobody should feel fixated or pressured about sex, and nobody worth your time would ever make you feel bad for taking things at your own pace, when you’re good and ready. Sex is fun, it’s natural and it can be wonderful, but whether you indulge regularly, occasionally or not at all, it’s not there to be used as a criteria by which to judge your own worth or value. You’re just as sexy with or without it, so embrace that and be happy.