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Lust or Bust? (Can a Marriage Survive Sans Sex?)


I'm not going to lie. I'm a bit sick of talking about my book. And so. Today I'm taking a day off from my diplomatic begging. Today I'm getting a wee bit wild. Pushing my prudish limits. My homework this morning is sweet and simple: To start a sexy conversation and have fun doing it.

But sex? Why must I write about sex? I do not need to strip down or sell out to please you guys. I can write a squeaky clean, but intriguing post on oodles of interesting and inspiring topics that have nothing at all to do sex. It doesn't always have to be about sex, right?


When it comes to life, lust is a must. What is the river of existence without a current of deep desire? What is a cosmic fire without that spark? What is romance without a periodic romp? What is partnership without a pulse? What is date night without a squeeze of the knee or a nuzzle on the neck?

Pause. Hold up. Do not get angry yet. I am not saying that life should be all frisky fireworks. I am not saying that a happy life is one long honeymoon. I am not saying that we should perennially prance around in lush lingerie with come-hither eyes. No. Many days are full of Platonic wonders. Of shared chores and frustrations and doubts. Many nights are full of headaches and heartaches and reality television and, yes, even sweatpants.

That is life. That is reality.

But. Sometimes. Every now and then or even more than that, there should be more. Every now and then, love should manifest in longing and trust should give way to lust, right?

Okay. Where ever is this coming from? I'll tell you where. A friend of mine told me once that her friend - who is seemingly happily married - never ever has sex. Like, never ever ever. I grilled my friend. I told her this couldn't possibly be true. But my friend assured me that this other girl is pretty open about it. She says she and her husband have barely done the deed since their honeymoon. That they made an exception to their no-sex rule to conceive their child. My friend insists that her friend really doesn't care. That it's just not a big deal.


And so I thought about it. Can a marriage survive without sex? I tend to think no, but what do I know? Maybe, just maybe, the architecture of sound relationships depends on far more than lust? Maybe, just maybe, for some people, for some couples, sex is just not an important part of the existential equation? Could be.

(Doubt it though.)


  • Do you think a marriage can go the distance without lust?
  • Do you know anyone who is in a stable and happy relationship but never has sex?
  • Do you think that in most relationships, sexual lust gives way to more Platonic trust? Do you think trust and understanding sometimes enhances lust?
  • Do you think that infidelity is somehow more excusable when committed in the context of a sexless marriage?

*Check out my recently published interview with the lovely Gretchen Rubin of The Happiness Project fame wherein I talk about happiness and pajama dance parties. I was thrilled to see that this interview was also posted late last week over at Psychology Today. Thanks for giving me an opportunity to answer your thoughtful questions, Gretchen. (And thanks Danielle LaPorte for setting Gretchen and me up on our "blind coffee date"!)

Okay, I lasted all of 523 words. Click to buy my sexy story.

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