For a lot of us, TV, film and books have shaped our ideas and understanding of what makes a healthy relationship. From the bad boy with a motorcycle to the boy next door, clichés of love and romance is shown in almost every form of storytelling.
Most of these stories have one thing in common: sex
You’ve heard advertisers say, “sex sells” and for many, it’s the truth. Sex does sell just as much as romance. It’s what drew $1 billion worth of ticket sales during the opening weekend of Fifty Shades of Grey, and sexual tension is used in almost every perfume ad you see.
We see it everywhere; no romance movie is complete without even the insinuation of sex having happened.
It’s safe to say we all know what sex is; the biological way humans reproduce. To its very basics, sex is only important for recreating. But for most people, it means a lot more than that.
Why shouldn’t it?
So, for all these reasons, sex must be pretty important to healthy relationships.
A relationship is the joining or connecting of two (or more) people. Friendships, family and romantic partners are all considered relationships. But of course, we’re talking romantic relationships.
The insinuation there is that any relationship without sex is inherently unhealthy. All those couples who are waiting for marriage can’t possibly be in a healthy relationship until they’ve tied the knot and done the deed the night of the wedding.
Of course, that’s not true. Healthy relationships rely on more than just sex.
Take the sex out of the equation and, with the other elements of a relationship, it can still be healthy. Partners can still be happy and intimate without sex being involved.
If one, or both, partner(s) are not ready to have sex, there shouldn’t be any pressure on rushing it. Consent is important and necessary to any sexual relationship. Forcing yourself, or your partner, to have sex because you think it is a vital part of a relationship is misguided and not conducive to a consensual, healthy relationship.
Sex can be a great way of creating intimacy and bringing partners closer together in a relationship. But it is not what makes a relationship healthy. Everyone is different and for some, sex is needed in a relationship. For others, it isn’t. A relationship where a partner feels pressured into having sex isn’t healthy. A relationship that involves consensual sex but also involves negative aspects, such as intense jealousy, mistrust or no communication, isn’t healthy.
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