Improving sex & intimacy: What we know from research



We all want to keep our relationship passionate and connected, and there are ways to both create and destroy your connection that all take place out of the bedroom. What’s most important is not to let sex become the last item on a very long to-do list, the final obligation you turn to when you’re both exhausted. There are concrete ways to ensure you have a great sex life.


In a study of 70,000 responses from 24 different countries, Christianne Northrup and Pepper Schwartz and James Witte, in their book, The Normal Bar, reported the results of their extensive study about love and sex. Couples who have a great sex life:


  • Say “I love you” to their partners every day, and mean it
  • Buy one another surprise romantic gifts
  • Compliment their partner often
  • Have romantic vacations
  • Give one another back rubs
  • Kiss one another passionately for no reason at all (85 percent who love sex also kiss passionately)
  • Show affection publicly (hold hands, caress, kiss)
  • Cuddle with one another every day (only 6 percent of the non-cuddlers had a great sex life)
  • Have a romantic date once a week that may include dressing up, dinner out, massage, and lovemaking
  • Make sex a priority and talk to one another about sex comfortably
  • Be open to a variety of sexual activities
  • Turn toward your partner’s attempt to connect with you


Furthermore, the more couples do these things, the better their sex life is. The champion countries were Spain and Italy. The bottom line: Great sex is not rocket science. It’s very doable, but you have to talk about it and you have to make it a priority in your relationship. CBT can help.


Practice exercise #1:Re-read the list above and identify 2-3 items you could do for your partner. Set an intention to do them this week.


Practice exercise #2:Pick 2-3 items you would like your partner to do for you. Share the list, and ask them.

Noah Clyman, LCSW-R, ACT

Academy of Cognitive Therapy (ACT) Diplomate & Fellow

Certified Trainer/Consultant & Credentialing Committee Member

Fax: 347-470-8870

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