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Do We Need A Sex Contract?

By Matty Silver, Sex Therapist on April 22, 2015 in Other

Photo: Con Tractual

Photo: Con Tractual

I am always amazed how common it is for couples to marry or settle down without first discussing what to expect from their relationship. Often couples don’t talk about it because their expectations are based on hidden assumptions formed on hopes and dreams rather than reality.
Two people in a relationship should have a shared understanding about what their plans for the future are, from day-to-day issues such as cooking, cleaning and finances, to how much time they will spend together, lifestyle choices and what recreational activities they will engage in.

I have spoken to couples who found out after they got married that their partner doesn’t want children, or, if they do, they haven’t discussed what religion they should be brought up in (if any) or what schools they’ll go to, etc. One of my clients said: “When you really love each other everything will work itself out.” Unfortunately that’s not true; these issues can turn into fights and conflict.
Even when they manage to discuss the above, one issue that is rarely (or sometimes never) talked about is how often they will have sex two, five or ten years down the track.

Most couples believe they have the same sex drive when they get together; for new couples sex usually is the top priority. They can’t take their hands off each other and have sex at any opportunity. That’s all very natural, but after a while things cool down, which is not a problem as long as both partners experience the same declining libido.

There is the assumption that we are expected to be faithful when we are in a relationship, but what about the expectation of having regular sex?

Often fights and conflict can make partners withhold sex, sometimes for months, which may then lead to the other partner looking for sex outside the relationship.

One of my clients hadn’t had sex with her husband for about six months because she just didn’t feel like it, but she was furious when she found out he had a fling when he attended an interstate conference. She almost divorced him.

Relationship and sex contracts have become popular over the last few years, especially after a sex contract was featured in the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy.

A sex contract is not legally binding, but can be an agreement between couples to help keep their relationship a loving one. It’s not easy to talk about sex and therefore agreeing to a ‘contract’ can give a couple who may feel uncomfortable mentioning the subject a place to start. They may have erotic and sexual desires they want to discuss or experiment with, and have never felt comfortable mentioning.

It is vital for couples with problematic libido differences to work out ways to resolve the issue for both partners to be happy within their relationship. I believe it’s very important that the ‘contract’ is ethical, straightforward and preferably fun, but should never be seen as a sexual obligation.

Some people argue that a sex contract will ruin the spontaneity of sex, but we all have jobs, many of us have children and most things need to be planned, so why not sex?