The Science of a Happy Marriage, Part 6 - Have Sex Even If You Don't Want To
“Sex won’t solve all your marital problems but it will certainly help. The simple act of having sex—even if you’re not in the mood—harnesses your body’s brain chemistry and unleashes vasopressin and oxytocin. These are powerful bonding chemicals: In studies of monogamous mice, just injecting a male mouse with vasopressin made him more attentive to a female mouse, even though he hadn’t actually mated with her.
Experts tell low-desire couples that they should have sex even if they don’t want to. After about five minutes of going through the motions, sexual activity will release those bonding chemicals and you are likely to start enjoying yourself.
If you’re struggling to reignite the spark, experts have several suggestions: Perhaps you just need time away from kids and work stress, so try scheduling a regular date night. Or you may need to start slower: Holding hands and cuddling can begin to restore intimacy.
A marriage counselor can help you identify the issues that are interfering with sex. Some studies show that problems at work can lead to a loss of interest. Resentment about the division of chores in the home can impact a couple’s sexual relationship.
A medical checkup might also be in order—health issues ranging from heart disease, depression, diabetes, menopause and medication side effects, among others, can take a toll on your sex life.
The lesson: Forget the lesson. Put down this magazine and go have sex with your husband or wife.”
Taken from the June 2010 issue of Ladies Home Journal magazine. From For Better: The Science of a Good Marriage, by Tara Parker-Pope. Copyright 2010 by Tara Parker-Pope.
I love how Mark Gungor characterizes this topic. He lambasts our traditional formula for making sex happen: sexual interest leads to arousal which leads to sex. He suggests that this is not true for millions of people. For them, there is rarely a clear interest in sex. They simply don’t get turned on. But that’s okay.
He says that, for them, the only time they want to have sex is when they are having sex. In other words, they aren’t significantly turned on before, but they are plenty happy once things get going. If that’s true for you or your spouse, then there may be a need, as the article above suggests, to “just do it.”
I could write some more on this topic, but I think the application is clear. Stop reading and do something about it.