Polyamory Diaries 12: Can A Marriage Survive Without Sex

If you think a marriage can't thrive without a physical connection, think again! There are many factors that contribute to a successful and fulfilling marriage, and intimacy is just one of them. Check out this comparison of two popular dating sites to see how relationships can be sustained and even improved without a focus on sex. Communication, trust, and mutual respect are just a few of the elements that can keep a marriage strong, even without a physical aspect.

In this edition of Polyamory Diaries, we delve into the complex and often misunderstood topic of sexless marriages. Can a marriage survive without sex? What are the implications for those in polyamorous relationships? Let's explore this controversial and often taboo subject in the context of modern relationships.

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The Reality of Sexless Marriages

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It's no secret that many marriages experience periods of low or no sexual activity. Whether due to physical or mental health issues, stress, or simply a shift in priorities, the absence of sex in a marriage can be a source of frustration and disappointment for both partners. In fact, a study published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior found that 15% of married couples have not had sex in the past six months to a year.

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For some, the lack of sex can lead to feelings of rejection, loneliness, and a sense of disconnect from their partner. It can also raise questions about the stability and longevity of the marriage. However, it's important to recognize that a sexless marriage does not necessarily equate to a loveless marriage.

Communication and Understanding

One of the key factors in navigating a sexless marriage is open and honest communication. Both partners need to be able to express their feelings and concerns without fear of judgment or reprisal. It's important to establish a safe space for discussing intimacy and exploring potential solutions.

Understanding each other's needs and desires is crucial in finding a middle ground that works for both partners. This may involve seeking the help of a therapist or sex counselor to address any underlying issues and develop strategies for improving intimacy in the relationship.

Polyamory and Sexless Marriages

For those in polyamorous relationships, the dynamics of a sexless marriage can be even more complex. In a monogamous relationship, the absence of sex may be solely between the two partners. However, in a polyamorous setting, the impact of a sexless marriage can extend to multiple partners, each with their own needs and expectations.

In such cases, it's essential for all parties involved to engage in open and transparent communication. This may involve negotiating boundaries and agreements that respect the needs and feelings of everyone involved. It's also important to acknowledge that not all relationships within a polyamorous dynamic need to be sexual in nature, and that emotional intimacy can be just as fulfilling.

Exploring Alternative Intimacy

In the absence of sexual activity, couples in sexless marriages can explore alternative forms of intimacy to maintain a strong and fulfilling connection. This may include non-sexual physical affection, such as hugging, cuddling, and holding hands, as well as emotional intimacy through deep conversations and shared experiences.

Additionally, couples can explore ways to reignite their sexual spark through activities such as sensual massage, erotic literature, or simply spending quality time together. It's important to remember that intimacy is not solely defined by sexual activity, and that there are many ways to cultivate a deep and meaningful connection with a partner.


In conclusion, the question of whether a marriage can survive without sex is a complex and deeply personal one. While the absence of sexual activity can present challenges, it does not necessarily spell the end of a relationship. With open communication, understanding, and a willingness to explore alternative forms of intimacy, couples can navigate a sexless marriage and emerge with a stronger and more resilient bond.

For those in polyamorous relationships, the challenges of a sexless marriage may be even more intricate, requiring careful negotiation and consideration of the needs of multiple partners. However, with empathy, patience, and a commitment to mutual growth, polyamorous relationships can thrive even in the absence of sexual activity.

Ultimately, the key to navigating a sexless marriage lies in the willingness of both partners to prioritize their emotional connection and work together to find solutions that meet their unique needs. By fostering understanding and embracing alternative forms of intimacy, couples can build a lasting and fulfilling relationship, regardless of the presence of sexual activity.