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What Is A Sexless Relationship And Can It Survive?

UPGUYS > Blog > Sex > What Is a Sexless Relationship and Can It Survive?
The person who wrote this article

Published on February 27, 2023

A new relationship is exciting. The butterflies in your stomach and the chemistry between you and your new partner feel electric. You can't keep your hands off each other.

Most marriages don't begin with a lack of physical intimacy. But you might be surprised to hear how common a sexless relationship is.

In 2021, more than 25 percent of millennials reported issues with their sex lives, proving that a lack of sex can impact all couples, regardless of age. There are several causes behind sexless relationships, but a lack of sex often leads to a breakdown in physical and emotional intimacy.

Can a sexless relationship survive? In short, the answer is yes. But both partners need to be willing to acknowledge the situation and put in the work to repair their connection.

This guide will look at the causes and challenges of a sexless relationship and how to overcome them, so your relationship survives.

What Is a Sexless Relationship?

What is a sexless relationship called? These relationships are also commonly referred to as no-sex relationships.

In a no-sex relationship or sexless relationship, partners do not engage in sexual activity. In many cases, relationships begin with sexual intercourse, but the passion or intimacy stops when the relationship reaches a new stage.

A lack of sex in a relationship is not a death sentence for romance. But for most couples, it creates an obstacle that needs to be properly addressed through proper communication and other increased forms of intimacy.

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What Causes a Lack of Sex in a Relationship?

There are several reasons a sexless relationship can occur. Some reasons can be worked through, while others are beyond a couple's control. Often relationships reach a new life stage.

Couples often experience a lack of libido as they age. But having children or experiencing postpartum depression often lowers libido as well. Other common causes include a conflict between partners or a lack of communication.

Then, there are factors like illness or disabilities, which may cause a sudden shift in a couple's sex life. Mental health challenges such as depression, anxiety, and trauma are also common causes of a lack of sexual activity.

Medications prescribed to patients often lower a partner's sex drive as well.

But, a sexless relationship is often born out of couples growing too comfortable with one another. Over time, the stressors of everyday life get in the way of intimacy, and couples stop prioritizing the spark that brought them together in the first place.

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Sexless Relationship Effects

You may dread the idea of discussing your sexless relationship with your partner. That's not uncommon. But sweeping the issue under the rug will only make matters worse.

It's important to acknowledge the lack of sex in your relationship and begin communicating with your partner directly. Ignoring a sexless relationship leads to a variety of other issues for partners.

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Sexless Relationship Depression

A healthy sex life satisfies more than just physical desire. Sex ignites passion and emotional connections between partners.

If one partner is no longer interested in engaging in sexual intimacy, it can cause feelings of shame, guilt, low self-esteem, and loneliness. These negative feelings often lead to depression.


A lack of sex in a relationship also leads to frustration and irritability between partners.

One partner often feels neglected. If your partner has stopped engaging in sex, you may feel like your emotional and physical needs are no longer being met. This can create feelings of resentment towards your partner, which often leads to conflict.

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While it's never acceptable for a partner to stray from their relationship, a sexless relationship leads to a risk of infidelity. If you or your partner feel physical and emotional needs are no longer being met, they may begin to look elsewhere to fulfill their needs.

If left ignored, a sexless marriage often leads to emotional or physical cheating. Infidelity creates larger problems, such as issues with trust, that are much harder for couples to overcome.

Strained Connection

In addition to creating excitement in a relationship, a healthy sex life allows partners to be vulnerable with one another.

If you're in a sexless relationship, you may find it harder to open up to your partner. This is especially true if you have stopped communicating about your sex life.

Creating a Loving Sexless Relationship

The good news is sexless relationships are capable of surviving, but both couples need to recognize their relationship is not normal and will require efforts in other areas.

If you're in a sexless relationship, it is important to create intimacy with your partner in other ways. Prioritize other physical touches, and focus on physical and emotional needs. Both partners must be vulnerable and communicate their needs openly.

Make time for your partner by surprising them. Set time aside to date each other, even if you've been together for a long time.

Remember that intimacy can be created in a variety of ways. Use the following approaches to spice things up and keep your connection strong:

  1. Cuddling
  2. Kissing
  3. Massage
  4. Masturbation
  5. Erotic Play

In order to survive, couples must address the root causes of their lack of intimacy and work towards building a stronger connection.

Surviving a Sexless Relationship

If you're currently in a sexless relationship, you are probably wondering if your relationship will survive. If ignored, a lack of sex in a relationship leads to a variety of issues, including depression, resentment, and even infidelity.

But when addressed properly, partners can create other healthy forms of physical and emotional intimacy. By prioritizing each other's needs, you and your partner will reignite the passion and build a healthy relationship.


Now that we've discussed the challenges of a sexless relationship and ways to overcome one let's review.

Here are some answers to frequently asked questions.

What Is a Sexless Relationship Called?

A sexless relationship is often referred to as a no-sex relationship.

In a no-sex relationship, couples do not engage in sexual activity.

How Do You Deal With a Sexless Relationship in Your 20s?

Many millennials deal with sexless relationships due to various life stressors. Financial burdens, career demands and the presence of the internet are common issues for young couples looking to create intimacy.

To overcome this, communicate your needs and prioritize time spent together to build a strong connection.


UPGUYS has strict sourcing guidelines to ensure our content is accurate and current. We rely on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. We strive to use primary sources and refrain from using tertiary references.

This article is written for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. The information provided in the articles cannot and should not replace advice from a healthcare professional. Talk to your healthcare provider about any physical or mental health concerns or the risks and benefits of any treatment or medication.