Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Shopping better than sex? I don't think so...

No, it's a long way from academic research. But the latest 'reader survey' from a woman's magazine - in this case, First - still interests me.

Because it blows out of the water many of the more doom-laden ideas we currently have about relationships, and presents a much more optimistic view. Ninety-four per cent of wives said they were happily married, 72% of all women still fancied their partners, and only half said that their love lives had diminished after having children. For a Pollyanna like me, that's a nice result.

Where the survey wasn't so encouraging, however, was when it came to sex. Four in ten would rather go shopping than make love, and over a third said they would be happy in a sexless marriage. Which - while it gives the lie to the proposition that we are all sex-mad, and also supports the idea that love rather than passion is the key to a happy life - also seems rather sad to me. Sex is so wonderful that surely we should want it - and be putting energy into having it - throughout our lives.

No, sex is not compulsory and if a relationship doesn't include it, that doesn't mean that love is on the rocks. But sex is very wonderful - and absent it, we may well be missing out on a host of other benefits: affection, cuddles, physical proximity, eye contact and simply shared pleasure. If partners don't make love and don't want to, no problem; if they don't make love and want to, there is plenty of help available and actually, it works.

I don't usually include an advertising slot in this blog - but if you're reading this and your sex life is not what it could be, contact Relate right now... www.relate.org.uk.

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