A recent study published in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships surveyed 207 heterosexual couples to learn more about their relationships. Unsurprisingly, they found that most couples were having sex an average of once a week or less. What was surprising is how a lack of sex impacted these couples’ self-esteem and satisfaction with their relationship: “...not surprisingly, higher frequency [of] sexual behavior was associated with greater self-esteem and relationship satisfaction for both men and women."
So it's safe to say that there is a direct correlation between healthy sexual activity in our lives, especially if we are unhappy with the amount we are getting from our partners. But why does this happen? Why are we so unhappy? What do we need to change about the way we view and engage in sexual activity to feel better about ourselves and our relationships?
It turns out that how we understand sex and our own bodies is a big factor. As a society, we are taught that women should be thin, hairless, non-threatening, and passive while men should be clean-shaven, hairy (on their chests at least), muscular and aggressive. The media portrays these characteristics as being almost exclusively heterosexual. It's no wonder that many of us walk around with the false belief—despite what we may actually desire—that success in relationships is connected to conforming to these ideals.