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Is sex important in a relationship? And is it a solution to the contradictions of intimacy?

For the role of sex in intimacy, the documentary “A Week of Sexual Improvement Experiments” (7 Days of Sex) has a bold experiment – each episode invites two couples with a broken marriage to take part in a seven-day sex experiment. During these seven days, whether they get along well or argue constantly, they must flirt and have sex at night.

There are a lot of contradictions between the invited partners, and they all hope to solve their problems through this experiment.

Does sex really have such a magical effect?

Is sex important in a relationship?


A week-long sex experiment.

Julia and Anthony’s keyword is “avoidance.” They have been married for eight years, have sex up to twice a month, and have been in bed for nearly two years. They often quarrel over poor communication, which makes them less sexually attractive in each other’s eyes.

And the root cause of the quarrel is that the two people do not have a common circle of life and common friends, will not spend weekends, vacation together, the quarrel has become the only way of communication.

For another couple, Royce and Brianna, the problem is even worse – they are “not very equal.”

Brianna is a full-time housewife, but Royce can’t understand her fatigue but has been accused of not taking children, not doing housework, or even being able to prepare dinner for him before he comes home; (This marriage problem seems to be very similar to many families around us…)

Brianna used to have a fitness habit, and after having children, endless trivia forced her to give up her gym and gradually fell out of mind for less “realistic” things like “sexual attraction.”

After only two years of marriage, endless quarrels have left them with little sex.

The couple’s relationship changed dramatically after seven days of sex.

For the first two days, the couple would still argue over trivia, but everyone was willing to continue to follow the experimental rules and fulfill their sex promises. Two days later, things changed subtly.

The first couple, in fact, did not appear principled harm, they have a deep emotional basis, but like most relationship burnout partners, because of the lack of common topics, so that life is filled with trivia.

Experiment days more than half, two people no longer avoid communication, they began to introduce their friends to each other to know each other, so that each other into their own circle of friends.

His wife, Julia, found herself beginning to miss her husband during the day as if she were back in love. So she decided to write a love letter on her napkin, telling her husband, “You were, and will always be, a hero in my life” and actively expressing her love. 

In the second couple, something magical happened.

Husband Royce after his wife went out to exercise to take the initiative to buy food to cook, take care of the children, he felt confident that he could easily handle housework and children but did not expect the whole process in a hurry, a moment the water opened, a moment the child cried … The whole process also made him realize for the first time his wife’s hard work as a full-time housewife.


His wife, Brianna, who had her husband to do the housework, freed herself from household chores for a while, went shopping, dressed herself up, and gradually felt her charm again.


The relationship between the two couples is heating up rapidly.

After the experiment, the first couple’s wife, Julia, eventually offered to tear down her bed and move back to her original bedroom, where the two had a small party to celebrate. Husband Anthony tattooed his wife’s name and wedding anniversary on his chest because she cared about whether he had any tattoos on her. He showed her his love in this way and said he had learned the key to communication this week – to think differently.

For the second couple, Royce and Brianna, the sex experiment brought them more of a re-division of family responsibilities than romance. They shared their thoughts, and the husband promised to do his family responsibilities, take care of the children and share the housework, but he also wanted his wife not to put all her love and passion on the children; ”


Asexual marriage is prevalent

Every month, 21,000 people search for asexual marriages, far more than “unhappy marriages” and “loveless marriages,” according to Google Search.

In Maslow’s hierarchy of demand theory, sexual demand is in the most basic position. In China, cases of asexual marriage abound, and a 2009 survey by Professor Pan Yuming of the Institute of Sexual Sociology at People’s University found that asexual marriage accounts for 25% of Chinese couples. By 2018, conservative estimates are over 33%. In divorce cases, more than 60% are due to disharmony in sex.

It’s worth noting that people who don’t have sex and don’t have sex with others are called asexuals, and according to statistics, 1% of people are asexual. It is also known as asexual marriage if it is a prior agreement not to have sex with each other, but this article is not discussed. What we’re talking about is a marriage that was originally sexual, then asexual or less sexual.

According to the 2015 Survey of Chinese Citizens’ Happiness Literacy, jointly released by the Chinese Sex Society and the Men’s Section of the Chinese Medical Association, 75% of people are unable to obtain high-quality sex because of emotional stress. In marriage, in addition to increased stress, child care, family chores will consume some of the sexual attraction of both parties, sexual needs have become less important. Therefore, the prevalence of asexual marriage is not surprising.

The study also showed that more than 40 percent of the population ignored their partner’s sexual choices – because it was difficult to speak out about sex, couples tended not to discuss sex, let mention “sexual improvement.”


Asexuality, cause or effect?

There is a similar plot in the film The Smiths. Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie play a couple who are married for seven years and are as bland as dead water. However, when a kitchen fight turned violent into intense sex, all the hatred between them disappeared.

But can sex alone ease the couple’s conflicts and repair an intimacy that is on the verge of breaking up?

In fact, “One Week of Sexual Improvement Experiment” seems to be the use of sex to ease the contradiction between husband and wife, in fact, sex is by no means a direct factor, it is just a guide, to provide an opportunity for communication between partners, to promote two people to improve communication, change thinking, learn to accompany and understand, so that the long-term relationship between husband and wife a new, giving birth to a love-like freshness.

Communication is the first step in moving intimacy from stalemate to moderation. Because the needs of marriage, or the need for intimacy, are essentially a kind of life support, a kind of emotional communication.

Also, intimacy and communication and understanding between the two parties are often inextricably linked, and the loss of sexual attraction is often accompanied by communication problems between husband and wife. A partner who can’t communicate well, doesn’t even want to talk to the other person, and how can he have sex with the other person?

Sex by itself does not solve all the problems in intimacy, but it always improves intimacy by bringing about a willingness to communicate and a change of heart.

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