Dissatisfied spouses are increasingly turning to magazines, movies, books and the internet for tips that will spice up their sex lives.
But the fear of living up to exaggerated ideas of how sex “ought to be” has put them under pressure, causing them to avoid it completely.
A survey for the relationship charity Relate found couples find heated sex scenes in films like ‘Fifty Shares of Grey’ more frightening than inspiring.
It also discovered that couples forget about the goodness of their sex lives because they are too busy trying to have “amazing sex.”
The full study will be published in September in collaboration with Marriage Care and Relationships Scotland.
Relate said couples are determined to bring spontaneity back into their sex lives, but research shows their busy lives deter them, as they often have to “plan for intimacy.”
However, couples should not stop planning sex or stop kissing in front of their children, the charity said, as it is “reassuring” for children to see their parents love each other.
“It’s sad that so few people are sexually satisfied and put pressure on themselves to perform,” Psychosexual therapist and Relate Institute lecturer Cate Campbell told the Guardian.
“Noticing what is going well, rather than dwelling on problems, is quite difficult when we’re all bombarded with messages about how sex ‘ought’ to be,” she said.
Sexual intercourse doesn’t have to be disappointing as there’s “plenty that can turn your situation around so you can enjoy a sustained, fulfilling sex life.”
Campbell said couples “may feel concerned” if they haven’t had sex in the past month, but there are “plenty of other ways to be sexy.”
In a YouGov study surveying 6,000 British adults, 45 percent said they were “fairly satisfied” or “very satisfied” with their sex life, while 51 percent said they had not had sex in the past month.
A BBC cross-cultural internet survey examining over 200,000 participants and analyzed the difference in sex drives between men and women.
It found men across all cultures reported higher sex drives and less restricted sexual attitudes than women.
In a report published on Thursday, the Institute of Economic Affairs suggested the government should fully decriminalize prostitution because 21st century men “need more sex.”
It said men’s high desire for sex means prostitution can never be eliminated and the ‘world’s oldest profession’ must be treated like any other job.
Campaigners against gender violence dismissed the claims, branding them “alarmingly one-sided” and “laughable.”