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The "Seasons Of Sex" That Married People Go Through

Everything has seasons and stages...even our sex life.

Marriage

Before I attempt to explain what I mean by "seasons of sex" as it relates to something that, I personally believe, all married couples experience, let me start off with a bit of advice to any engaged folks (or people who desire to be married someday) who may be peeking in.

Because I'm pretty confident that every husband and wife on the planet will agree that marriage ain't for the weak (not by a looooong shot), I'll begin by saying three things. One, if you suck at forgiving, you will suck at marriage; marriage requires some level of forgiveness on almost a daily basis. Two, if you are considering marrying someone who has no clue what their purpose in life is, it's probably best that you wait; a healthy marriage consists of two people who are able to support one another in their purpose. People who have no clue what their purpose is can actually put a lot of stress and strain on a relationship until they do. And three, it is absolutely imperative that you join your life to someone who understands that, as with nature, marriage has seasons; if they don't know how to embrace and endure that, it's going to be an extremely bumpy and potentially devastating ride.

Are you ready to delve into just what I mean by that?

The Seasons of Marriage

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Seasons. If you read up on why we have spring, summer, autumn and winter, the gist is that, as the earth rotates, based on how close we are or aren't to the sun, seasons shift. When it comes to unions like marriage, a really good book for any couple to add to their library is Dr. Gary Chapman's The Four Seasons of Marriage.

According to him, spring is "The excitement of creating a new life together…not exclusively for newlyweds". Summer is when "Life is beautiful and reaping benefits of efforts to understand each other. Spouses share a deep sense of commitment, satisfaction, and security in each other's love". Autumn is when "…marriages look fine externally; outsiders may even comment on how happy the couple seems to be. Yet inside the marriage, things are changing". And winter is "characterized by coldness, harshness, and bitterness. The dreams of spring are covered with layers of ice. Conversations are only about logistics—who will do what and when they will do it. Communication is relegated to silence, arguments, criticism, and, at times, verbal abuse. Lives are lived independently, although under the same roof. This is caused by rigidity: unwillingness to consider the other person's perspective and work towards compromise".

Based on his description, the summer season is great. Problem is, if you're not aware that winter happens too, when winter arrives, you might panic and think you need to end your relationship. Thing is, just like when winter weather rolls around, so long as you are prepared and patient, it tends to pass—whether it's "winter" when it comes to your marriage overall or "winter" as it specifically relates to your sex life. It's all about knowing what typically comes with each "sex season" so that you and your partner can commit to getting through each of them—together.

Spring Sex: The Beginning of Sex, When Things Are Fresh and New

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Ah, newlyweds. Ain't they precious? They're so in love that, just being around them makes you want to test your blood sugar levels. And, if they are open enough to share with you what their sex life is like (trust me, many of them are), they basically can't seem to get enough of each other. Sex, on a daily basis, is almost a given, and coitus 2-3 times a day is certainly not inconceivable. It's nothing for them to drop off of the grid on the weekends or to take little trips to small towns to test out random bed and breakfasts. For them, everything is awesome because everything is exciting and new (especially if they waited; a great read is "How Leaping into Bed Harms Relationships"). In their mind, their sex life will always remain just as it is. Why wouldn't it?

Unfortunately, something that a lot of newly married couples don't factor in is their biggest sex organ is their brain. Meaning, a part of the reason why the sex is so bomb is because they are so in sync. No real tests have come yet. There might be little irritations here and there but not anything that's too earth-shattering. The marriage is too new for things like boredom to set in. Plus, just like spring is the season when seeds are planted, they are still figuring out what turns each other on, which makes sex the ultimate adventure.

Summer Sex: When Sexual Satisfaction Is at Its Peak

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Summer sex. It's truly the only thing better than spring sex! The reason why it is able to top it is because this is when you and yours have truly mastered what make one another tick. You know each other's spots. You have figured out the guaranteed ways to make each other climax. If there is any room in the house where you feel like you both are totally on the same page, it's the bedroom and, because of that, you can't seem to be able to get enough of each other. No matter what is on the agenda, you are going to make sure you make time for sex because you can't recall the last time that you "engaged" and you were even close to being disappointed. Just like the actual summer season, your summer sex is hot—blazin'! Even during your spring sex, you had absolutely no idea that sex could be so good.

Autumn Sex: This Is When Feelings of Discontentment Creep In

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Autumn is an interesting season. The reason why I think that the word "interesting" is appropriate is because the weather is a bit unpredictable. Some days might be unseasonably warm while others might surprise you and be freezing cold. On average, though, while the season is pleasant enough to look at, there is a chill that is low-key uncomfortable. It's like a precursor to something that's a bit more…trying. So is the case with autumn sex. During this season, the sex is not always bad. At the same time, it's not always good either. Sometimes, you can go a couple of weeks without intercourse and not even notice—or worse, without even missing it. Sometimes you'll have it but prefer not to cuddle before or after, or you prefer to cuddle for nights on end without doing anything more than that. You find yourself looking at your partner and, while you're still into them, it's not quite like it used to be. It's not uncommon for the feelings that come during autumn sex to be so subtle that even your partner fails to pick up on them. All I know is that if you don't talk this season out, it can sho' nuf lead to the next season—winter sex.

Winter Sex: Sex Has Waned; Activity Is Virtually Non-Existent

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A couple of years ago, I checked out a movie that had winter sex written all over it. It was called Afternoon Delight and it was about a married couple, with a young son, who had fallen into a serious sexual rut. The wife's therapist alerted her to the fact that marriage without sex is a red flag. In response, the wife did what a lot of spouses tend to do when they are told that—she got defensive. Then she started to do some destructive things…like bring a stripper into her house to serve as "the nanny". It's a fictional occurrence, but the film was written well enough to explain my point. A little one in the house. Fatigue. Not making time to emotionally, let alone physically, connect. Not dating each other. Not making sex a priority (sex shouldn't be seen as a marital luxury; it should be treated as a marital necessity). These are just some of the things that can usher in the winter sex season—a time when there is barely any sex to speak of. When it comes to the health and happiness of your relationship, it tends to potentially do the most damage. The thing to keep in mind is, like all seasons, even this one shall pass.

What to Remember About Your Seasons of Sex

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How many of y'all remember the 80s pop group Exposé and their hit "Seasons Change"? Just like it's unavoidable that the planet's relationship to the sun will cause seasons to transition in and out, in many ways, the same point applies to married couples and their relationship; their sex life is no exception. And how can I be so sure that, just as spring sex comes and goes, so does winter sex and vice versa? It's actually due to a quote by a cartoonist by the name of Richard J. Needham who once said something extremely insightful and profound—"You don't marry one person; you marry three: the person you think they are, the person they are, and the person they are going to become as the result of being." Personally, this is why I think Scripture doesn't say that once two people are married that they are one; it says that they become one (Genesis 2:24-25).

Marriage is the process of constantly learning how to become "one" with your partner throughout life's transitions, and you and your spouse's changes. The ones who truly understand this have a far greater chance of, not only surviving, but thriving as a married couple—and handling the shifts in their intimacy.

Know what else? They have a much greater chance of not being the kind of couple who stays "stuck" in winter (a sexless marriage) for years on end. They take note of what's going on (and what's not going on), then they put forth the effort to address the matter so that they are able to reconnect. As they continue to evolve and become different versions of themselves, that is what can bring them back and spring (a newness of sex), to summer (hot 'n heavy sex), and provide them with the ways to proactively work through autumn (the ho-hum times) and not make reckless decisions like engage in an affair or abandon the marriage altogether during the winter.

Just imagine how many marital unions could remain intact if more couples saw their intimate life from this perspective. No matter what weather season you love and which one you hate, you adjust, right? You don't end your life, just because there is a season that you aren't particularly fond of; you prepare for it and endure. More couples should avoid the thought of ending their marriage just because late fall or winter has arrived as far as their sex life is concerned. In a similar manner, they should prepare and endure. Another baby is coming? Prepare and endure. Someone is about to lose their job? Prepare and endure. Health issues are on the horizon? Prepare and endure. Do this and the season won't last always. Seasons are never designed to. What you can know, without question, is they are so much easier to get through when you're committed to going through them together. Whether it's the weather or the…seasons of sex.

Want more stories like this? Sign up for our newsletter here and check out the related reads below:

10 Wonderful Reasons Why Consistent Sex In Marriage Is So Important

10 Simple Ways Married Couples Can Make More Time For Sex

10 Married Couples Share The Keys To Their Totally Off-The-Chain Sex Life

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

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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.

Reparations

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
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