Just how important is sex to a relationship?

Long story short: I have a wonderful new SO, he is everything I ever wanted, kind, patient, funny, smart, he doesnt need to be taken care of, or ‘fixed’ in any way, he likes my kids,they like him, he is great company… He is damn near perfect.

Except for the sex. :frowning:

Can a successful relationship survive with only mediocre sex? (and no, this isnt anything that will get better with time)

Anyone else have any thoughts on this?

Kelllibelli you’ve asked a pretty serious question, and I’m anxious to find out what some of the other responses are.

From my own experience a satisfying sexual relationship is a very important part of whether the whole thing works or not. I don’t know if I can exactly articulate why - I suppose it has something to do with the soul-to-soul stuff that takes place when the sex is just amazing (and before anyone starts rolling their eyes, if you haven’t had such wonderful sex that you would swear that you’ve had some sort of mystical experience you haven’t really had wonderful sex yet). Those moments just seem to reinforce all of the other great things in the relationship. My SO sounds very much like yours. She’s kind, smart, funny, loves me to death, loves my daughter, AND we have a phenomenal sex life (I’m thinking of selling tickets or allowing folks to come in a take notes). She’d still be kind, smart, funny, and love my daughter, but I don’t believe that our relationship would be as intense and as satisfying if we didn’t have the intimate relationship that we do.

That’s a pretty flaky answer to your question. Great sex just adds an unquantifiable something that is hard, if not impossible, to replace. Particularly if you’ve had it before and know how good it can be.

I can’t get into detail here on the boards, but I would like to know what “This won’t get better” means. Anything can get better. (except penis size or maybe premature ejaculation, which can certainly be worked around).

I think sex is important to a relationship, but that doesn’t mean that the relationship has to start out with mind blowing sex. Intimacy is very important, though. Love and trust. Excellent oral sex skills. (oops. did I just say that??)

It’s as important as you make it, but don’t call it a lost cause just yet.



Since good sex is 90% mental, and maybe 10% physical, the fact you’re having mediocre sex sounds like a warning bell that there are other problems going on.

Now i’ll agree with plnnr that mind numbing, mystical the world just became the most wonderful place to be sex requires a wonderous emotional connection as well, but I’m just talking about plain old Good Sex.

It doesn’t matter how your SO is endowed. If they got functional hands, mouth and tongue, anything else is gravy.


I think that sex is important in a relationship, but it isn’t absolutly vital. Lots of marriges survive accidents that mean no sex, and I must say I would think any woman who would leave a relationship becasue, say, her husband was in a car accident and lost his genitals, had her priorities messed up.

kellibelli, how would you define ‘mediocre sex?’

To answer your question, 99.9999%

I beleive that sex is an important part of a mature relationship. I was dating my boyfriend for 3 years before we made love and from then on I have felt closer to him than ever before. I think that sex reassures that you have a deep love and need for the other person.
It seems that a relationship with only mediocre sex would leave you and him dissatisfied subconciously at least and this can lead to problems down the road. Those feelings that you think will go away can build up and then you can become resentful towards your SO. I’d say this is not a complete relationship if you cannot improve your sex life. Your SO sounds like he is worth working on the sex part of the relationship. Why couldn’t it be better? People make thier sex life better all the time, so can you. Hope this helps.

I’m with kellibelli here. I’m in my first “real sex” relationship now. My problem is that I want it more frequently than my SO (I dont want any unreasonable amount either.) When we do have sex, I think its great. But when I get turned down, I always feel like he doesn’t care enough about me, find me attractive, doesnt like sex with me, etc. I’ve discussed all these feelings w/ him and he says that its none of those reasons, but I still feel like crap. . .I’ve often wondered if we have a real future here - if I always am feeling sleighted. I also wonder if breaking up with him over sex is a really shallow thing to do when everything else is wonderful. Grrrow! I guess I’ll just keep an eye on the thread.

Unfortunately, I have some experience with this one. I was engaged to a girl, and our sex life was a bit dry. For a while I tried to tell myself that it would get better, but it didn’t. Then it turned into my denying the problem, which also didn’t work too well.

When I realized that I would most likely end up cheating on her (and she on me, for all I knew), I knew it was time to end things.

I think I understand what Kellibelli means when she says the situation isn’t likely to improve. Sometimes the chemistry just isn’t there. I cared for my ex-fiance deeply, and I have nothing but great things to say about her. But in the end I had to admit that the sparks weren’t flying, and that it was an important problem.

So I don’t panic you Kellibelli, you should know that there were other problems too. Taken together, they were enough to cause us to end the relationship. But the sex was high on my list.


Differing sex drive levels can indeed suck. Did he say what the reason(s) were, rather than just saying that the worries you had were unfounded?


Mediocre sex - hmmm, you must have had pretty great sex at some point in your life to make this comparison and ask this question. Comparative sex can be dangerous. The mind
starts to play games and remember things that didn’t really happen. Sometimes great sex can defy all logic and get you through some tough times. I know I couldn’t live without it. I did live without it for a long time, and it was the worst time of my life.

I have had the ‘good sex’… the type that makes you forget your own name, makes your knees buckle just thinking about it…

My new friend is a wonderful man, but of limited experience and …well… he is coming up a little short if you know what I mean. And its messy. REALLY messy. Like an elephant stomped on a big bag of vanilla pudding! Frigging cum everywhere!

To his credit, he is reading books on it, and wants very much to please me. I just REALY wish I had never had the great sex - its not fair to compare him to other lovers. He is too special- he doesnt deserve it.

Maybe this is a good reason to limit ones experiences, I dunno.

Kel, if he’s willing to try, there’s no reason it can’t get better. For heaven’s sake, get yourself a copy of the Kama Sutra, rent some softcore (or not so softcore) porn flicks, write up some sex coupons, play Master and Servant, buy costumes. Worst comes to worst, see if you can find a sex therapist and get a consult.

Dunno what to say about the cum though.

laughing hysterically I just know there’s a sig line here somewhere! (Relax kelli. I likes ya too much to do that. :wink: )

A small dick is a problem. Is he genuinely small, or just smaller than you’re used to? Unless he’s truly too small for you to feel, he can always be taught to compensate for this “shortcoming”.

As for the cum problem, just slip a condom on when he’s on the verge. Or make sure he always cums inside you.

I think, to answer the question in the OP, that a successful relationship can survive with mediocre sex if you can learn to live with it. If you always feel secretly unfulfilld, there will be problems down the line. Make up your mind how you feel and go with it. It’s a lot easier to make someone a better lover than it is to make them “kind, patient, funny, and smart.” Of course, I personally have had so little sex in my life that maybe you should take all advice from me with a grain of salt. I’ve never had “good” sex yet, although I’ve definitely had bad.

Sex ranks right up there with oxygen and food for me, kelli.

If it’s that he’s quick on the trigger, and you’re sure it’s not going to get better with time (it can, I had that problem in my teens and early 20’s), you might think about checking into some kind of anorgasmic for him – with medical advice of course.

Tough call. There are two of you. What’s he think about it? If I were him, I’d want to know if you had misgivings about the relationship because of this, or any reason. What’s he willing to try?

Good luck.


It depends. If the inadequate partner is not the jealous type and the one going unsatisfied can go elsewhere for their physical needs, it shouldn’t be that big of a problem. If you are expecting monogamy, however, you have to be able to keep your mate happy sexually.

Just one suggestion if you do decide this relationship isn’t going to work (I don’t think it would work for me). This sounds to me like a perfect example of a situation in which honesty is not the best policy. Telling him you’re ditching him because his dick’s too small and he’s lousy in bed will probably give him a complex that might well last a lifetime.

But I’m not speaking from experience here, of course :slight_smile:

Well as many of you already know from the other times it’s come up, I don’t have a lot of sex anymore. My SSRI antidepressants killed my sex drive pretty much entirely. For the last few years, the only sex I’ve had has been our attempts in the last 8 months or so to conceive a second child. Our marriage is 100% strong and whiel I know he misses the sex, it really isn’t an issue. We do hope that I can get back into…er… the groove with a new medication some day… (I can’t take Wellbutrin because of the seizure risk)

Depends on what you consider mediocre.

Sounds like you are describing ‘inept’, not ‘mediocre’.

If you’re liking it, but it’s pretty far from the best you’ve had, you’re ok.

If you’re just not liking it, you’re relationship is doomed.

Bear in mind, though, that I am an admitted idiot.