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Sexpert’s answer to why sex stops could save your relationship

Meagan Morris is an entertainment and lifestyle journalist living in New York City. In addition to SheKnows, Morris contributes to many publications including The New York Times, Yahoo! News, PopEater, NBC New York and Spinner. Follow he...

Sex Box teaches us why couples should have sex even if they don't feel like it

You'd probably assume that a show called Sex Box is nothing but another crude way to push the limits on televised sexuality. But, you'd be wrong.

The show, airing Friday nights on WETV, explores very real — and sometimes very painful — issues couples face when it comes to intimacy and sex. On the show, each couple consults with a trio of psychotherapists and relationship experts before and after having sex in the large box situated the stage. The idea is to get the couples to bare their souls when their bodies are most vulnerable: right after sex.

One of the common themes between the couples on the show? Dying sex lives with no idea how to change it. It tackles the very real problem that happens when relationships change from new and exciting to boring and complacent. The sex is the first thing to go when a relationship hits the wall, but that can mean the end of a relationship.

"Relationships are built upon intimacy, which involves getting to know our partners and spending lots of time with them," says Sex Box relationship expert Dr. Chris Donaghue, Ph.D. "This is the closeness that makes us feel safe and secure, but it is also what lowers our sex drive. As we further build a life with our partners we create even more closeness and see sex as less of a needed resource."

However, it's the most vital resource in a strong intimate relationship. "Couples can overly rely upon talking and time together, forgetting that sex, with all the neurochemicals, hormones and other biological benefits, is our most powerful form of bonding," he adds.

Take one couple featured on this week's episode. Taylor and Jarric started their relationship going at it "like rabbits," but let the spark die off after she gave birth to their son. Ultimately, she revealed her own hangups about her body caused the rift between them. After some prodding and backstage conversation the pair went back to the Sex Box and did the deed, to good results. The extra bonding time was just what they needed to put the spark back in their relationship — and they reported a stronger relationship afterward.

"Sex is our fastest, most intimate, and most powerful form of bonding," says Dr. Donaghue. "Our lack of desire for sex is a sign that we are backing away from intimacy and connection."

How can you relate this to your own relationship and sex life? Dr. Donaghue says it's all about prioritizing sex and pushing through with intimacy even when you don't feel like it.

"Keep sex sacred. Nothing negative is discussed during this time," he says. "Push aside other responsibilities to lay around and spend sexual time with your partners."

"The longer a couple goes without having sex, the harder it is to begin again," he adds. "The spark can always be salvaged if a couple is willing to prioritize sex, have sex that makes them anxious, and bring eroticism into their relationship daily."

So go ahead and get it on... right now!

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