Sex? Not This Year, Darling.

Is your sexless marriage getting you down? Can’t remember the last time you two did the wild thing? Are you one of the silent-but-angry majority who curses each frustratingly difficult day that passes by without a little horizontal tango?

I'm Living a Celibate Marriage

You need to hang around here for a while. You’re my audience. If this nasty routine has taken root in your bedroom, please read further.

I’m not going to go into why marriage becomes sexless in this post but the reasons heard around the bedroom are many.

  • Too tired
  • Too busy
  • Taking a break
  • Not in the mood
  • On holiday
  • Is that all you think about?
  • Why now?
  • This place is just the wrong place
  • It’s not your birthday
  • Didn’t we already do that this year?

There are plenty of other web pages that list more of the usual phrases heard.

I was you. I AM you. I was lured into a sexless marriage without my permission, and then I endured it way longer than I should’ve done before doing something about it. Ten years. My ten-year sexless marriage followed seven years of abstinence (religious reasons). I felt like a dunce for waiting so long to expect a change to occur. When I realised that sex wasn’t going to happen no matter what I did, I sought the comfort of a lover and then I finally found the bliss I’d been looking for. I felt guilty but that didn’t compare to the guilt of living without sex day after day and having no real reason for it. It couldn’t match the feeling of discovering sexual sanctuary in the arms of another.

I empathise with sexless readers who found this post. I know the heartache you feel. I also know what it’s like to push through the barriers of moral tradition to find answers. It’s a scary, lonely path to walk. There are no heroes or villains to be found along it. There are no nets to catch you if you fall. This is yours to walk and yours alone.

My page is reasonably rare but it’s for those who feel that they’ve exhausted their quota of fairy tales and have done all they could to improve their sex lives. They want something new. They want a change. They need to be told that everything will be alright despite knowing that everything is so wrong.

For those of us who’ve tried marriage counselling, read the professional’s books on the topic, and visited sites, forums and the like, we’ve come to a new understanding of ourselves. Our marriages will remain as sexless as ever because nothing we do for our spouses will change them. We are on our own, lonely and alone inside a cold relationship.

It affirms what we already knew. A horse can be led to water but not made to drink it. Thirst can’t be encouraged.

A make-or-break moment is what’s needed if a marriage is going to move forward. Almost everyone in this situation agrees. Monogamy is another word that gets dragged out at about this time.

Monogamy. Now there’s a word couples recognize well. It’s often used as a weapon. Monopoly is what it often translates into. Your partner is withholding sex and that means they’re in charge of it.

I won’t beat around the bush with what I’m about to say next: If you’re in a sexless marriage, you’re not monogamous. You’re not having sex with one person. You’re having sex with no one. The rule of monogamy has been broken and it wasn’t you who broke it.

Surprised? Perhaps you’d like to read that last paragraph again. This time, read it aloud and do it slowly.

Yes, that’s right, this is where you really stand. You may not be cheating on your spouse but you’re not in a monogamous relationship with them either. You were ‘outside the loop’ long before you knew the loop had an outside section to stand in!

Now you’re coming up to speed, here’s another truth or two: You’re in a celibate marriage, not a monogamous one. You could also say that you weren’t consulted to participate in one nor approve of it if you were asked to do so — but here you find yourself anyway.


What happens next?

I wrote a book based on my own sexless marriage. In it, I tried to answer that question with fervour and honesty. Just what happens after you find yourself standing alone in your marriage?

How do you cope? What do you feel? Why the hell did this happen?

I articulated the best and worst of emotions encountered over these ten years of so-called wedded bliss and put it into a text, a novel actually. It’s not easy to reveal the inner workings of a sexless marriage while it’s underway so I called it fiction. (My spouse would not approve of this at all.)

Admit failure. That’s where I started. Once this happened I was free to explore and start the writing process. So I did. I explored my thoughts and made discoveries the likes of which you’d never believe.

By the time I finished writing the novel, I’d changed my thoughts about life, love, sex and marriage.

I understood I married a wonderful, sensible person who had all the core qualities I admired in a partner. Almost everything was perfect but, for her, physical intimacy never had any priority in her life, none whatsoever. It’s something I never knew about her beforehand. She didn’t know it either.

My side of the story differs. Without sex, I feel incomplete and can’t function properly. This is something I didn’t know when we married. To be fair, nor did she. Much of our future was assumed, not spoken. It followed us all the way down the aisle and then right into the bedroom.

We married each other in good conscience but we are different people when it comes to sex. Nothing changes this. God knows we’ve tried!

We now have a fantastic life together. As long as we don’t go there, we’re perfectly fine. She’s asexual. That’s the deal. I’m not asexual but we’re happiest when she feels safe and loved. She’s most content when there’s no conflict between us, no sex and we’re not talking about it either.

I wrote a novel about all that’s left unsaid.

There’s much to say, trust me.


Five women’s bodies are discovered after the nights of thunderstorms. Their spouses are suspected of the crimes, but it becomes clear that someone else is responsible. There’s no blood and few clues. A storm photographer specialising in taking lightning pictures may be the only witness.


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