Healthy sex in long term relationships

I recently attended a conference on sexuality in relationships and heard a presentation by marriage and sex therapist Barry McCarthy on Building Bridges to Desire – healthy sex in long term relationship. McCarthy believes that when sex is going well in a marriage it contributes 15-20% to marriage satisfaction and vitality. But when it is problematic or non-existant it plays a much more powerful negative role – 50 to 75% – of marital dissatisfaction.  His book Discovering Your Sexual Style talks about the realities of desire and sex in a long term relationship – something we never see in movies or television.  Popular culture depicts ‘good’ sex as spontaneous and unplanned with desire striking quickly – a hallmark of the early stages (first year) of a relationship. In long term relationships sex is somewhat planned and the early stages of playful and erotic touch is integral to inciting desire.  He talks about intercourse being the fifth gear of sex with the early gears/stages of touch building to that end rather than starting it off.  I highly recommend this book for couples who are dissatisfied with sex in their relationship.
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