Great marriage

There are dozens of myths floating around about sex after marriage. Some of those myths say that a married couple should expect their sex life to die a slow death. Other myths claim the opposite and say that married couples will be having almost overwhelming amounts of wild sex every day. Myths like these abound on the internet, lurk in the sparkle in an aunt’s eyes and are quoted as helpful “advice” given to newlyweds by well-meaning neighbors, friends and distant family members.

Despite their prevalence, few of the myths about married sex have any factual basis in reality. Part of this is due to the underlying assumption that going from “miss” to “Mrs.” and from “bachelor” to “husband” automatically dramatically changes a person. The truth, however, is that neither the bride nor the groom magically transforms into different people as soon as they say “I do.” They are still the same people with the same gifts, flaws and sexual appetites that they had previously.

Marriage does not in and of itself create any change in a couple’s sex life. Both people still like the same things they did when they were single and have the same sex drive. What marriage can change is the emotional intimacy between a couple or the amount of time and energy a couple can direct towards maintaining their sex life. The actual effect the constant cohabitation and ever-growing intimacy caused by marriage has on a married couple’s sex life, however, shares little resemblance to the most commonly referenced myths about married sex. Here are five myths about married sex debunked.

“Have a certain amount of sex.”

Anyone who has attempted to research healthy married sex on the internet has undoubtedly come across social media posts, blogs and would-be helpful articles declaring that a married couple needs to have a certain amount of sex to keep their sex life from drying up. Some “experts” claim that the magic amount is once a week. Others claim married couples should have sex every day. Still, others claim that one tumble a month is enough. All of them are wrong.

There is no magic amount of sex that a married couple “should” have in order to qualify as having a healthy sex life. What constitutes the “right” amount of sex depends entirely on the couple. Two people with high sex drives may want to have sex more often than a couple with low libidos. External circumstances will also influence how much sex a couple is interested in having. Two young people celebrating their first anniversary in the Caribbean are likely to be more interested in spending time in bed than the couple who just had twins.

“Scheduled intimacy is unsexy.”

Whether a person finds scheduled sex perfectly acceptable or an incredible turnoff varies wildly among individuals. For some people, the mere act of putting sex on the calendar takes out all the romance. To these people, sex needs to be spontaneous in order to be passionate, so scheduling a “couple’s night in” with soft sheets and new lingerie is counterproductive. Other couples, however, find that scheduling sex makes perfect sense. Both spouses are busy, and making it a point to make time for intimacy shows that both people are still invested in their sex lives.

There is a third group of people still that find scheduling sex not only practical but attractive in its own right. This group says that knowing when intimacy is set to occur lets them look forward to it. To these people, scheduled sex is very sexy because it leads to a bigger build-up and increased excitement when the time actually arrives.

“A spouse knows what you like.”

If exchanging wedding vows magically granted people the ability to read minds, there would be no such thing as divorce. It would not be needed anymore. The reality, however, is that no one gains mystical telepathic powers after becoming a husband or wife. Married couples have to muddle through just like couples who are dating. This means that a person is not suddenly going to have a moment where they simply know what their spouse wants in bed.

Good communication is essential for a marriage, and the bedroom is not exempt from this reality. A married man or woman needs to be able to tell their wife or husband what they want or do not want when it comes to sex. Otherwise, their spouse will have no way of knowing what the other person would prefer. For better or for worse, no one is a mind-reader. A wife or husband has to use words to tell their spouse what they do or do not want in the bedroom.

"Marriage kills sex lives."

This is probably the most pervasive myth about married sex that exists in the Western World. Newlyweds everywhere are told to enjoy their honeymoon because their sex lives will get dull and dry up soon enough. Couples on their tenth and fifteenth anniversaries are sometimes asked what sort of crazy things they have started doing in bed to “reclaim the spark.” In reality, though, marriage does not necessarily mean the end of a couple’s sex drive. A married couple may indeed have less time or energy to put towards their sex lives, especially if they have children, but that does not mean that they have lost their libidos entirely. The emotional intimacy created through a marriage allows sex to be more meaningful as the spouses have a deeper connection to each other. Spouses also tend to know each other’s bodies quite well after having been sexual partners for years. This means that they know how to make sure the other person enjoys sex.

“Masturbation ends.”

That single-person cousin of sex does not disappear when wedding vows are exchanged. Many people who believe in or propagate this myth believe that spouses stop masturbating because they now have easy access to a person that they know is attracted to them. Few couples, however, have sex drives that match up perfectly. When one spouse is “in the mood” but the other is not, masturbation is a natural solution.

What also goes hand in hand with this myth is the idea that masturbation has no purpose once an actual human partner has been found. Beyond being useful when the spouses have different sex drives, masturbation can also be an easy way for couples to continue learning about themselves sexually. It gives a spouse a natural way of experimenting and finding out if they really would like to try something with their partner in bed without risking the embarrassment of wanting to try something only to change their mind later.

There are many rumors about how sex changes or ceases once a couple ties the knot, but marriage does not in and of itself change what people are like as sexual beings. A bride-to-be has all the same appetites and interests as a newlywed. Sex remains a healthy and natural part of marriage even after spouses have been together for years. It may change slowly over time, just as many aspects of a married couple’s life shift over the years of their marriage. “I do,” however, does not in and of itself suddenly flip a switch that says “sex life: off.”

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