7 Things Married Couples Do To Damage Their Sex Lives & Don't Even Know It


Whenever I do an interview about being a marriage life coach, a question that typically comes up is what's the one thing that's a consistent issue in marital unions? No doubt about it, sex is in the Top 2. If the couple is not having a sexual issue in and of itself, the other challenges within their relationship are directly affecting—and by that, I mean, infecting—their sex life.

I once heard a senior woman who'd been married 70 years say that one of the main distinctions between married couples and every other type of relationship is sex is supposed to transpire, on a regular basis, between spouses. I wholeheartedly agree. That's why, whenever married partners aren't having 1) sex; 2) consistent sex and/or 3) good sex, I don't see it as a minor inconvenience. I see it as a problem. A pretty major one, at that.

You might've heard that reportedly 15-20 percent of married couples in America are in a sexless marriage (meaning they're having sex less than 10-15 times a year). But if you're wondering what's going on behind the scenes to make that the case, I just want to take out a few minutes to share with you some under-the-radar reasons that are resulting in waaaaaaaay too many husbands and wives not getting the FIRE SEX that they certainly deserve.

Not Making Sex a TOP Priority


Over the years, there are couples who've told me that once I get married, I'll look up and months will go by without any action going on. They say it's a part of marriage (yeah…OK). What's interesting is these same couples hold grudges for weeks on end, constantly fight about stuff and, while they may love each other, they don't seem to like each other very much. My point? It's not "normal" to not make sex a priority in marriage. When a couple fails to do so, it's usually indicative of other issues that are going on.

We make work a priority because we've got bills to pay. We make children a priority because they are our responsibility. If you're married and sex is not a priority to you, think about why it's not important. That will reveal A LOT.

There are 24 hours in a day and 168 hours in a week. A man needs five minutes to have an orgasm. A woman, on average, needs 25 minutes. Finding 30 minutes a couple of times a week to strengthen your immune system, lower your stress levels, and make you feel more connected to your partner—shouldn't that take precedence? (That's a nonrhetorical question, by the way!)

Not Getting Your Hormone Levels Checked

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There's a woman I know who recently went into menopause and refuses to take an estrogen supplement but constantly complains about her husband wanting to have sex when she doesn't. Whenever I mention to her that her hormone levels dropping probably has something to do with her low libido, she brushes it off. That's unfortunate.

In order for us to be in the mood, our estrogen and testosterone levels need to be on point. Just like a woman's libido can tank during menopause (or even perimenopause), a lot of men go through what is known as andropause, which is when middle-aged men see a drop in their testosterone levels.

However, being that things like stress and diet can also alter our hormones, lowered levels is not simply an age-related issue. If lately, you've lost that lovin' feeling, make an appointment to see your doctor. It may just be a matter of altering your lifestyle a bit or them giving you a prescription in order to get your hormones back on track.

Not Going to Bed at the Same Time

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Guess how many couples don't go to bed at the same time? A whopping 75 percent! Why is that a problem? Well, for one thing, with all of the hustle and bustle that transpires throughout the day, sometimes the only time a couple can connect is when they are engaging in a little bit of pillow talk. Then, there are studies that indicate the couples who have mismatched sleeping patterns not only have more marital conflict, they have less sex too.

Case in point. One of my clients is always complaining that his wife's drive is not as high as his. She admits that is true, but she says that a part of the problem is he likes to have sex in the middle of the night when she's an early riser and is more down for morning sex. He has a studio in their home and so he likes to record late at night. Whenever I suggest going to bed with her a couple of times a night, he's got excuses for why he needs to create during that time instead.

Listen brotha, marriage is about compromise. Do you want to create songs or some content for them? Just sayin'.

Not Scaping the "Land"


Another couple that I work with used to not see eye-to-eye on oral sex. Let's just say that the husband was very DJ Khaled about it all (SMH). For years, the wife conceded (reluctantly so) and it really started to take a toll on their relationship. I get why too. A man who thinks he should receive oral sex without giving it is selfish, at best. Love is not selfish.

Yeah, what this husband was on didn't sit well with me, so I dug deeper. Although he did admit that the taste wasn't his favorite thing on the planet, the bigger issue was that there was no landscaping in his wife's nether regions. She said that since he never went down there, she didn't see the point.

Fast forward about three months later, and her face was beaming. When I asked why, her husband said, "Because the jungle is now a golf course." #dead

I've done some unofficial polling about how important pubic hair maintenance is. You might be amazed how much it matters—to both men and women. Sometimes the minor things can become major issues.

If oral isn't happening as much as you'd like, check with your partner about if the hair condition down there has anything to do with it. A little trim may open up a whole new world of possibilities.

Not "Saying Grace"

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Whatever. Laugh if you want to, but I know several couples who say grace before coitus. Like, a literal "Heavenly Father, for what we are about to receive, we thank you" prayer. Even one of my favorite New Age books The Celestine Prophecy touches on the importance of acknowledging a higher power when it comes to the resources that we have; how when we do, it makes experiencing those things that much sweeter.

And you know what? It might sound crazy, but the folks who pray before sex say that the experience is soooooooooooooo much better whenever they do.

Look, if you're saying "Oh God!" during sex anyway (and A LOT of folks are), why not get things going by asking him to give you the strength and power to set it totally off up in your bedroom?

Makes good sense to me. Either way, don't knock it until you try it.

Not Having Foreplay Throughout the Day


I remember hearing a senior-aged pastor once say (from the pulpit, which I really dug) that he and his wife continue to have off the charts sex. Why? Because of his foreplay game. Only, he wasn't talking about the stuff that happens moments before intercourse. He described ironing his wife's clothes the night before, helping her with the dishes and calling her in the middle of the day, just to say how much he loved her as being acts of foreplay.

A man working two jobs being told how much he's appreciated. A new mom being told how unbelievably sexy she is. Their spouse can be clear on the other side of the town when they say these things yet I'm willing to bet that their partner wants to jump their bones the very moment they get home!

A lot of married couples are totally jacking up their sex life because either there's not enough physical foreplay before sex or worse, there's not enough "I want to stimulate your mind and connect with you emotionally" foreplay throughout the day.

Try it. See how much your spouse ends up liking it.

Not Being Spontaneous (Even If You Have To "Plan" It)


I can't stand the whole "Who wants to eat the same food every day?" line of thinking some folks have for why they don't want to get married. Feel free to jump in the comments here but, from what I hear, a lot of husbands and wives don't get sexually bored due to them always having sex with the same person; it's more about always doing the same things with the same person—week after week, month after month, year after year.

An author by the name of François Du Toit once said, "The moment you exchange spontaneity with rules, you've lost the edge of romance." Along these lines, when's the last time you've inboxed your spouse a hotel reservation, sent them some sexy lingerie via a courier or initiated sex in a location that was nowhere close to your bed?

A lot of us will put creativity into any and everything BUT our sex lives. Surprise your spouse with something sex-related that they would never expect. I'd be floored if it didn't help to add some spice into your sex life!

A lot of us will put creativity into any and everything BUT our sex lives. Surprise your spouse with something sex-related that they would never expect. I'd be floored if it didn't help to add some spice into your sex life!

Featured image by Getty Images.

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ACLU By ACLUSponsored

Over the past four years, we grew accustomed to a regular barrage of blatant, segregationist-style racism from the White House. Donald Trump tweeted that “the Squad," four Democratic Congresswomen who are Black, Latinx, and South Asian, should “go back" to the “corrupt" countries they came from; that same year, he called Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas," mocking her belief that she might be descended from Native American ancestors.

But as outrageous as the racist comments Trump regularly spewed were, the racially unjust governmental actions his administration took and, in the case of COVID-19, didn't take, impacted millions more — especially Black and Brown people.

To begin to heal and move toward real racial justice, we must address not only the harms of the past four years, but also the harms tracing back to this country's origins. Racism has played an active role in the creation of our systems of education, health care, ownership, and employment, and virtually every other facet of life since this nation's founding.

Our history has shown us that it's not enough to take racist policies off the books if we are going to achieve true justice. Those past policies have structured our society and created deeply-rooted patterns and practices that can only be disrupted and reformed with new policies of similar strength and efficacy. In short, a systemic problem requires a systemic solution. To combat systemic racism, we must pursue systemic equality.

What is Systemic Racism?

A system is a collection of elements that are organized for a common purpose. Racism in America is a system that combines economic, political, and social components. That system specifically disempowers and disenfranchises Black people, while maintaining and expanding implicit and explicit advantages for white people, leading to better opportunities in jobs, education, and housing, and discrimination in the criminal legal system. For example, the country's voting systems empower white voters at the expense of voters of color, resulting in an unequal system of governance in which those communities have little voice and representation, even in policies that directly impact them.

Systemic Equality is a Systemic Solution

In the years ahead, the ACLU will pursue administrative and legislative campaigns targeting the Biden-Harris administration and Congress. We will leverage legal advocacy to dismantle systemic barriers, and will work with our affiliates to change policies nearer to the communities most harmed by these legacies. The goal is to build a nation where every person can achieve their highest potential, unhampered by structural and institutional racism.

To begin, in 2021, we believe the Biden administration and Congress should take the following crucial steps to advance systemic equality:

Voting Rights

The administration must issue an executive order creating a Justice Department lead staff position on voting rights violations in every U.S. Attorney office. We are seeing a flood of unlawful restrictions on voting across the country, and at every level of state and local government. This nationwide problem requires nationwide investigatory and enforcement resources. Even if it requires new training and approval protocols, a new voting rights enforcement program with the participation of all 93 U.S. Attorney offices is the best way to help ensure nationwide enforcement of voting rights laws.

These assistant U.S. attorneys should begin by ensuring that every American in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons who is eligible to vote can vote, and monitor the Census and redistricting process to fight the dilution of voting power in communities of color.

We are also calling on Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to finally create a fair and equal national voting system, the cause for which John Lewis devoted his life.

Student Debt

Black borrowers pay more than other students for the same degrees, and graduate with an average of $7,400 more in debt than their white peers. In the years following graduation, the debt gap more than triples. Nearly half of Black borrowers will default within 12 years. In other words, for Black Americans, the American dream costs more. Last week, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, along with House Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Maxine Waters, and others, called on President Biden to cancel up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt per borrower.

We couldn't agree more. By forgiving $50,000 of student debt, President Biden can unleash pent up economic potential in Black communities, while relieving them of a burden that forestalls so many hopes and dreams. Black women in particular will benefit from this executive action, as they are proportionately the most indebted group of all Americans.

Postal Banking

In both low and high income majority-Black communities, traditional bank branches are 50 percent more likely to close than in white communities. The result is that nearly 50 percent of Black Americans are unbanked or underbanked, and many pay more than $2,000 in fees associated with subprime financial institutions. Over their lifetime, those fees can add up to as much as two years of annual income for the average Black family.

The U.S. Postal Service can and should meet this crisis by providing competitive, low-cost financial services to help advance economic equality. We call on President Biden to appoint new members to the Postal Board of Governors so that the Post Office can do the work of providing essential services to every American.

Fair Housing

Across the country, millions of people are living in communities of concentrated poverty, including 26 percent of all Black children. The Biden administration should again implement the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, which required localities that receive federal funds for housing to investigate and address barriers to fair housing and patterns or practices that promote bias. In 1980, the average Black person lived in a neighborhood that was 62 percent Black and 31 percent white. By 2010, the average Black person's neighborhood was 48 percent Black and 34 percent white. Reinstating the Obama-era Fair Housing Rule will combat this ongoing segregation and set us on a path to true integration.

Congress should also pass the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act, or a similar measure, to finally redress the legacy of redlining and break down the walls of segregation once and for all.

Broadband Access

To realize broadband's potential to benefit our democracy and connect us to one another, all people in the United States must have equal access and broadband must be made affordable for the most vulnerable. Yet today, 15 percent of American households with school-age children do not have subscriptions to any form of broadband, including one-quarter of Black households (an additional 23 percent of African Americans are “smartphone-only" internet users, meaning they lack traditional home broadband service but do own a smartphone, which is insufficient to attend class, do homework, or apply for a job). The Biden administration, Federal Communications Commission, and Congress must develop and implement plans to increase funding for broadband to expand universal access.

Enhanced, Refundable Child Tax Credits

The United States faces a crisis of child poverty. Seventeen percent of all American children are impoverished — a rate higher than not just peer nations like Canada and the U.K., but Mexico and Russia as well. Currently, more than 50 percent of Black and Latinx children in the U.S. do not qualify for the full benefit, compared to 23 percent of white children, and nearly one in five Black children do not receive any credit at all.

To combat this crisis, President Biden and Congress should enhance the child tax credit and make it fully refundable. If we enhance the child tax credit, we can cut child poverty by 40 percent and instantly lift over 50 percent of Black children out of poverty.


We cannot repair harms that we have not fully diagnosed. We must commit to a thorough examination of the impact of the legacy of chattel slavery on racial inequality today. In 2021, Congress must pass H.R. 40, which would establish a commission to study reparations and make recommendations for Black Americans.

The Long View

For the past century, the ACLU has fought for racial justice in legislatures and in courts, including through several landmark Supreme Court cases. While the court has not always ruled in favor of racial justice, incremental wins throughout history have helped to chip away at different forms of racism such as school segregation ( Brown v. Board), racial bias in the criminal legal system (Powell v. Alabama, i.e. the Scottsboro Boys), and marriage inequality (Loving v. Virginia). While these landmark victories initiated necessary reforms, they were only a starting point.

Systemic racism continues to pervade the lives of Black people through voter suppression, lack of financial services, housing discrimination, and other areas. More than anything, doing this work has taught the ACLU that we must fight on every front in order to overcome our country's legacies of racism. That is what our Systemic Equality agenda is all about.

In the weeks ahead, we will both expand on our views of why these campaigns are crucial to systemic equality and signal the path this country must take. We will also dive into our work to build organizing, advocacy, and legal power in the South — a region with a unique history of racial oppression and violence alongside a rich history of antiracist organizing and advocacy. We are committed to four principles throughout this campaign: reconciliation, access, prosperity, and empowerment. We hope that our actions can meet our ambition to, as Dr. King said, lead this nation to live out the true meaning of its creed.

What you can do:
Take the pledge: Systemic Equality Agenda
Sign up

Featured image by Shutterstock

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