“Does sex ruin marriage?”

This was a question posed to me by one of my Periscope followers who was eager to know my opinion about how holy matrimony affects the intensity and frequency of sex.  The inquiry couldn’t have come at a more perfect moment as many couples are finalizing plans to jump the broom during summer ’16.

However, it’s a question that many couples fail to address before moving into long-term monogamy.

“Marriage doesn’t ruin sex, but the activity definitely changes once the commitment is made,” I responded.

I wanted to be honest, but also provide encouragement for those who are on the verge of tying the knot.  Sex for newlywed couples is fiery and frequent, and according to sex expert and best-selling author Dr. Laura Berman, “Married couples have more sex than those who are single.”  However, results from a recent Pew Study have shown a rising trend in sexual inactivity in marriages that have been established for a few years.  It’s safe to say that sex becomes less of an active factor in a couples’ life as the marriage brings about more responsibilities, challenges and changes.

But this doesn’t have to be the case for every marriage.  For the couple that views sex as an important and necessary part of their union, here are some things that can be done to avoid the “sexless” trend.

Make sex a common topic of conversation.

It may seem like common sense for spouses who are attracted to each other to talk about sex, but for many this type of conversation isn’t easy.  It can be an awkward topic to bring up, especially if one or both partners has reservations about expressing their desires.  Studies have shown that couples who speak about sex more frequently have more fulfilling sex lives than those who don’t talk about it.  Making sex a common topic of conversation is an easy way to keep the fire burning and the erotic mind moistened as the relationship moves into inevitable changes for years to come.

Accept that your interests will change.

What worked for you sexually when you were single may not apply when you’re 5 years into your marriage.  Interests change as experiences deepen and friends share their intimate stories.  Exploration through internet surfing, reading erotica and even self-pleasuring can bring about changes in one’s sex life that are unexpected. This is completely normal. Hormonal shifts that come with age, fluctuations in body weight, ailments and environmental factors can also bring about changes within one’s sex life.  In order to remain active sexually, both partners have to accept that sexuality is as fluid as water and will shift as frequently as the tides.  Be prepared to keep the conversation flowing about where you both stand within your sexual desires and beliefs and don’t be afraid to let go of mindsets or techniques that no longer serve you.

Make time to actively work on your sex life.

Relationships take work to build and maintain, and the same goes for the intimate aspect of the commitment. Acknowledging that your sex life will experience changes as the years go by means accepting that work will have to be put into keeping things fresh and lively.  Taking classes together that help deepen your sexual knowledge, watching films together, reading erotica, communicating about the stale or cumbersome aspects of your sex life, enlisting the help of sensuality and intimacy coaches or therapists and even writing about how you feel about where your sex life is currently are just a few ways any couple can actively work on their sex life.  Your work schedules and the number of responsibilities at home may make it a bit difficult to fit in sensuality building activities, but you must make the time to do so if your sex life is important to you.

Create a schedule for your erotic expressions.

People make time for things they care about, and sometimes hectic schedules call for erotic expressions to be penciled in.  It may not seem sexy to pick what days you will choose to have sex, but it’s a necessary step in ensuring that time for adult play is a priority.  Create a “Sex Calendar” with your partner. Make specific days your “sex days” and use the other days as time to work on foreplay and intimacy.  Place this calendar in plain sight where each of you can see it and be reminded of how and when you will be working on keeping your sex life spicy.