Sex When the Going Gets Tough

Shit happens and for those in a partnered relationship it can be especially taxing on the ol’sex life. Whether it is trouble with the kids, health issues or money problems, how do couples continue to connect physically with one another? Sex can often be the last thing on anyone’s mind when the rug is pulled from under you.

We all know too many couples do not prioritize sex when things are good let alone, when the going gets rough. But I suggest you use sex to bridge that gap instead of allowing it to widen. Making time to have sex and be affectionate –even when you don’t feel like it – is a worthy cause. Physical contact stimulates the bonding hormone oxytocin and can help to soothe your body and mind. It can also be a great distraction. Allowing you to focus on yourself and partner rather than the issue at hand.

Difficulties like a health issue often last for periods of time. Not having sex for weeks or months on end, can lead to a feeling of disconnection between partners. This disconnection can breed a lack of caring and concern as well, lack of empathy for where the other person is emotionally.

Sex When the Going Gets Tough

Yes, I am suggesting to simply having sex to have sex. Orgasm is great for tension release but that doesn’t need to be the priority. Just putting yourselves in the same room, naked with no distractions for fifteen minutes a week can mean the difference between making it through these situations as a couple or not. There may be an off week here and there but if you make the effort to be present sexually even a little of the time, you’ll have a better relationship for it.

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 is the resident sexologist at Adam & Eve and also runs a private practice and media consulting business. She has a Doctorate from the Institute for the Advanced Study of Human Sexuality. Her professional affiliations include AASECT, SSSS, and the American Board of Sexologists. She also has a Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology and completed a postgraduate degree in Marriage, Family and Addictions Recovery Therapy.

© Copyright Dr. Kathleen Van Kirk