Sex Therapist Mary Jo Rapini Addresses the Rise of the ‘Sexless Marriage’: What It Means for Couples and Ways to Revive It

HOUSTON – According to the recent Relationships in America survey, 12% of all married persons, ages 18-60, reported having not had sex for at least three months. Sex and relationship therapist Mary Jo Rapini addresses the ‘sexually inactive’ phenomenon, how it happens, and what couples can do to revive it.

“A sexless marriage is fine if both partners simply prefer affection and share an emotional connection.” says Rapini. “However, if you’re married or in a committed relationship that was once sexual and you miss it, but your partner doesn’t, that’s a problem. Sex is a form of communication, and when it stops so does the communication.”

Be open with your partner to restore your sex life. Changes can include:


Get a health checkup. Diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, obesity and hormonal imbalances can instigate sexual issues causing you to feel more like roommates than lovers. Your health professional can pursue the underlying reasons for a loss of interest in sex.


Talk About Sex: Tell your partner you miss intimacy- ask how they feel, then just listen. Complaining or demanding your needs be met will cause your partner to withdraw.


Commit to your relationship and fidelity. Make changes at work and with your lifestyle. If you’re like two ships passing in the night you’ll feel alone, disconnected and passionless.


Illness, infidelity, and financial problems can lower libido and lead to a sexless relationship. Work on the emotional reasons behind a lack of sex with a licensed counselor to restore intimacy.


Post-partum, peri-menopause and menopause may cause painful sex from dryness. A silicone based lubricant like Replens Silky Smooth or Wet Platinum will enhance comfort just prior to sex by making intercourse feel erotic, slippery and reduce the chances of abrasion. Replens moisturizer can be used every 3-days for immediate relief.


Passion comes before feeling sexual. Restore passion, bring back candle lit dinners, dates without distractions, hand holding when you’re at the movie or in your car, and touch. The more you touch your partner the more you’ll connect.

“Healthy marriages include intimacy,” adds Rapini “And, while good sex is an important part of marriage, couples agreeing on the meaning of ‘good sex’ is more important.”