Married couples may have more opportunities to have regular access to sex as compared with their single counterparts, but the kind of sex may be less satisfying. You see, marriage for many reasons, changes sex. And don’t let this title fool you. Although women have a higher incidence of low sexual desire as compared with men, men may experience low sexual desire as well and it can be even more devastating for women when they do.

Married men may experience frustration at repeated rejection because they initiate sex more often than women do but women may be even more devastated at male rejection believing there is something unattractive or undesirable about them to their partner. Men just think women hate sex. But that’s another blog post.

Once couples marry, it seems that sex priorities change dramatically. Couples settle in like they would an old comfy couch. Appearances of a perfect union to the neighbours, friends and/or relatives may be more important than a bond in the bedroom.

With kids comes fatigue, smaller space, stress or a move to the suburbs and the need for a new vehicle. You will never have sex in a minivan so don’t even think about it. Time, desire, finances, conflict resolution strategies, in-laws and jobs replace the passion of yesteryear (as long as you didn’t marry your best friend or answer the call of your ticking biological clock which means sex was doomed from the start).

So if your wife seemingly hates sex unless she wants something (shoes, a new car or a baby) or if your husband is covertly arranging threesomes with women he’s never met (a sure sign of the sexually deprived husband), or if your husband prefers sleep to seduction, your wife is too tired for sex but not shopping, you may be a victim of married sex. And here are the signals:

1. If you do this……I will have sex with you sex….This is sex that is typically associated with an unfinished home project, a hedge trim, the promise of a household chore or simply putting down the toilet seat. (women’s standards are pretty low)
2. Shower Sex: The water is hot and the sex isn’t. It’s awkward, done only to save time.
3. Hurry up sex: The kids are awake, home, listening, going to walk in etc sex. Inevitably she hears someone at the door whether they are there or not. She will check and ruin the moment.
4. Did you did you did you…..? sex. This is transformational sex which goes from in the early days of dating, was that good for you baby? To did you, did you, did you……finish? What’s wrong with you? We’ve been at this for a minute and a half. The hard truth is a soft reality.
5. Morning sex: I am in mourning over the loss of my sex life.
6. Sex anytime anywhere sex: You: Honey, I’m breastfeeding, have a fever, abdominal pain, diarrhea, a runny nose and am bleeding from every orifice. Him: Can we have sex?
7. Tech Sex: No this isn’t about vibrators, but about watching tv or checking your iPhone during sex.
8. I want another baby sex. Yes! Yes! Yes! The sex life is reignited. Because most men’s brains are below the belt they are more than happy to oblige because pregnancy is the last thing they think will result from unprotected sex when a woman is ovulating. Our brains are hard-wired for instant gratification. So is his.
9. Why can’t we just cuddle sex? This needs no further description.
10. I wanted to but you were sleeping sex: You didn’t come upstairs fast enough and I fell asleep. Or I just had so much to do downstairs and by the time I came up (the next day), you were asleep.
11. Lights out sex- especially after children, with weight gain, peri-menopause, menopause
12. I just bought 6 pairs of Jimmy Choos sex. Cowboy, take me away!

Both men and women in same sex marriages or heterosexual unions who are deprived of sex from their spouse, experience sadness, loneliness and are at increased risk of hypertension and early death.

The signals above are foreplay to a marital fiasco. Sex in marriage does ebb and flow because marriage is under the constant influence of sex, money and in-laws. Technology too may extinguish the spark. Blue light emission interrupts your sleep and you are more likely to fight the next day. Libido plummets due to resultant tech fatigue. This may be an addiction and every bit as lethal as an addiction to alcohol, drugs, porn, sex, food or shopping.

Communication is key. Keep having the talk. The. Sex. Talk. And it’s actually women who report more boredom in the bedroom. Talking about sex is arousing. Why do you think sexting is so popular? Keep in mind, a lack of sex in a marriage is the number one reason for divorce.

So if you’re having more quickies than coital extravaganzas, more rejection than reconnection, she prefers long johns to lingerie or if long john is rather lonely, it may be time to massage the marriage and get Back To The Bedroom. Making sex a priority in your marriage is good for intimacy, health and your relationship. Yes, take a page out of Nike’s book and “Just Do it!” But just do it well.

Maureen McGrath is a sexpert, women’s health expert and hosts the CKNW Sunday Night Sex Show . Maureen’s TEDx Talk on No Sex Marriage: Masturbation, Loneliness, Cheating and Shame has had close to 6 million views in one year. Sexless marriage is a thing. Maureen is the creator of the blog 50ShadesofPink.ca and has a clinical practice in North Vancouver, British Columbia where she helps many couples in sexless marriages. Maureen is also available for SKYPE consults. Contact her at her website: Back To The Bedroom For more information about Mona Lisa Touch a new novel hormone-free therapy for vaginal dryness, painful sex, low sexual desire and urinary incontinence visit Mona Lisa Touch.

Are you headed to a Sexless Marriage? Take the Quiz Sexless Marriage Quiz

Maureen McGrath

Maureen McGrath

Host of the CKNW Sunday Night Health Show on Corus Radio. As a leading women's health expert and Registered Nurse, I understand the importance that sexual, vaginal, bladder and bowel health has on overall health and relationships.


  • David says:

    I am constantly battling against Number 7 (Tech). Seems I am no match for the IPhone, candy crush and subway surfer.

    • Dear David, You are better than that for sure! May I recommend you speak to your partner about the technology that is splitting your sheets. It may be helpful for you to suggest that your partner leave the iPhone downstairs and get connected to you again. It’s one night at a time. Best regards, Maureen

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