Maintenance Sex – What Is It, Why Is It Important, And How To Have It?

Sexless Marriage | | , Founder, Author & Editor
Updated On: November 9, 2023
maintenance sex

If you’ve never heard the term “maintenance sex” before, well then, you’ve come to the right place today. Even though this term doesn’t sound exciting and raunchy, and rather dull to be quite honest, this could be an important chapter in saving your relationship. But what is this type of sex and how exactly can it help your relationship? Let’s find out.

According to Jared Diamond, the author of Why is Sex Fun?, our sexuality, while seen as normal by us, can seem bizarre when compared to the sex lives of most other species out there. There are indeed a lot of ways in which humans have sex differently from other species. We humans have sex in private, on any day of the month or year, including when the female is pregnant, beyond her reproductive years, or between her fertile cycles.

We as humans, use sex to develop intimacy and bonding, and most importantly, we have sex for recreation and fun. A lot of animals out there, don’t really do that. We are creatively, incorrigibly, constantly and unabashedly sexual, and our strange sex lives were as crucial to the rise of our status as humans, as were our large brains.

Marriage And Sex

Though sex is an intensely private act, its norms are firmly entrenched in various media. There is no ideal level of sexual activity; it varies from people to settings, to cultural and social mores to fitness levels, etc., yet we are constantly bombarded with the numbers game — how many partners, how many times a day/week/month, how much is normal within the first few years, how much later and we are told what is normal. We even believe that the male libido is more than the female’s.

It is a well-known and documented fact that desire wanes as the marriage matures and one might even find themselves, one fine day, in a sexless marriage. Yet we are sold the idea of ‘unending desire’. Benedetto Croce (Italian philosopher) said that marriage is ‘the grave of savage love’, yet we blame our partners for this very natural decline, or worse, ourselves. We live in a web of contradictions, confusion and discontent. The sex survey we conducted via SurveyMonkey brought forth some interesting data.

what is maintenance sex
Desire wanes after marriage

Did you know that 53% of couples either think that their spouses are unhappy with their sex lives, or worse, don’t know how they feel? But when we asked if they have ever visited a counselor when they had issues in their sex life, 93% answered in the negative?

Did you know that 43% think that a marriage can be happy without sex and just love (companionate)? Yet when we asked how important it was to them for their partner to be faithful, an overwhelming 86% said, ‘important’.

What Is Maintenance Sex?

After collating the above data, we understood how maintenance sex comes into play and wanted to bring the same knowledge to you and to your relationship. There are enough myths about sex out there, a lack of sex-ed, and floating rumors that can make sex a bad experience. Even within the comfort of a marriage, one can easily grow tired of the sex and of the relationship over time.

Especially when the hardest years of marriage begin to kick in, one’s sexual prowess can take a complete backseat — not just because of physical, but also emotional reasons. With the kids constantly around, increasing pressures at work, the 7-year itch in your marriage coming close, good sex can seem like a far and distant dream.

But that’s when you need it the most. And that’s where the idea of maintenance sex comes in.

Why sex is important in a relationship?

The maintenance sex meaning goes a little like this — good sex lies at the core of any relationship along with commitment, honesty, and communication. And sometimes, even when you’re not always in the mood for it, you should consider doing it anyway. Making an effort to get the physical intimacy back and enjoying each other’s bodies is key to getting that relationship fulfillment back.

There is no doubt that sex in a monogamous relationship not only fosters commitment and intimacy, but it also increases the emotional connection with the other person. And lately, if that’s what’s been lacking in your relationship, why can’t sex be the answer?

Sex is not always about what mood you’re in or about having a palpable sexual tension that always comes to you naturally. No. Sometimes, it is just about trying to bring the mojo back — which is quite essential! We know that sex releases certain endorphins, dopamine and oxytocin — they improve one’s overall mood and can give you quite a high. Moreover, sex (not just penetrative) can even help reduce stress by combating cortisol.

Not only is having regular sex beneficial to you, but beneficial to the overall relationship as well. It boosts confidence, fosters love, and creates a lasting intimacy that lasts outside of the bedroom.

How To Have Maintenance Sex?

If not just for the post-sex cuddles, there are many other great reasons also for having maintenance sex. But it is essential that you try to do it right instead of treating it like some sort of a menial chore. Now that we’ve understood why sex is important in a relationship, let’s now move on to bigger things.

How do you have good maintenance sex? Here are our two cents.

1. Discuss it openly

A good marriage and sex go hand in hand, which is why when you are trying maintenance sex, you should make sure that you have a healthy and open discussion about it foremost. First of all, try to address why you haven’t been having sex in the first place. Is it pressure from work, something the other partner is doing wrong, or just a lack of any mutual attraction signs between the two of you anymore?

Talk about why this has happened and how often you two should now have maintenance sex. Schedule it, plan it, set a date, or don’t if you don’t want to. If you think having sex out of the blue will be better for you as a couple, run with that. But make sure you two are on the same page about these things.

2. Remember, that it won’t always be mind-blowing

If your expectations from maintenance sex is that it will blow your mind and change the face of your relationship overnight, you’re wrong. Just like it takes time to learn conflict resolution, practice honesty, and get better at communicating, consider this to be a similar practice as well.

If you’re in a dead-end relationship, a good round of sex is not going to make all your marriage woes vanish. You have to keep at it. In fact, you not only have to keep at it but also work at it. Try new things, tell your partner what you like, try to satisfy them, and keep the erotic spark alive.

3. Keep changing the routine

Trying the good old missionary position in bed before sleep one day might work. Another day, consider a quickie in the kitchen while the kids are getting dressed for school. To ensure healthy sexuality in marriage, make sure you keep changing things and don’t stay in the same old routine. That old routine is the reason you stopped having sex in the first place.

Why not invest in some new lingerie and sex toys to really take things up a notch? Also, consider watching porn together and trying new positions to keep things fresh. So in other words, shake things up.

4. Focus on the orgasm

Maintenance sex not only helps you have good sex, but also a good relationship. And to do that, you need to focus on the right hormones. When both people orgasm, intimacy and emotions are at its peak. So make sure, that pleasure is a two-way street for both people to really enjoy themselves.

Achieving the big O can seem daunting especially with women since they orgasm far lesser than men, but that’s no excuse not to try. Simply ask her what she likes and what you should do differently. Try everything you can to please her, but don’t be hard on yourself if it doesn’t work.

great sex

5. It doesn’t just end at sex

Even though we are telling you all the great benefits of maintenance sex, we want you to know that you will inevitably have to do more to save your relationship. Even though you’ve understood how important is sex in a marriage to a man or a woman, there are other ways of showing someone you care and giving them affection.

Try to do more things together to keep the romance alive in your relationship. Plan date nights, even double dates if you want. Throw your partner random surprises, bring them a coffee at work or have a glass of red wine in bed before you sleep. Try to do these little, meaningful things along with maintenance sex if you really want to be happy again in your relationship.

Related Reading: 50 Double Date Ideas That Are Fun

6. Identify the stressors that are killing your sex drive

You may not even know it, but it’s possible that your new boss at work is the reason you haven’t been performing in bed lately. Even though that’s troublesome, it does not mean that you cannot work through it and make your sex life great again. Think about what’s causing you to be this way and share it with your partner. Focus on these stressors that may be affecting your mood and try to eliminate them.

Becoming sexually passive in a relationship is actually an alarming cause for concern and disarray. Don’t ignore it and instead try to work on it. Give maintenance sex a shot and see if things change in your relationship. If not, consider meeting a therapist from our skilled panel of counselors at Bonobology.


1. What is maintenance sex in a relationship?

Maintnenace sex is routinely sex not born out of being turned on or for a need of pleasure. It is a sexual ritual born out of a need to reigninte passion and intimacy in a relationship.

2. How often should couples have sex in a relationship to maintain intimacy?

This depends from couple to couple based on their routines and each person’s own sex drive. However, doing it at least once a week is advisable.

3. Why does sex stop after marriage?

Marriage can bring with itself a lot of burdens and challenges, especially once the 7 year itch sets in. Since the couple gets so focused on just surviving, keeping the family strong, bringing in the money and having a social life, the sex might stop.

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