Sex/Life: What Percentage Should Your Sex Life Be In A Relationship?
Netflix’s steamy series Sex/Life may have its critics, but deep down the show raises some interesting points about relationships, love, and relationship stability vs. chemistry.
In the show, protagonist Billie is faced with what seems like an impossible decision: the stable, happy life she’s created with her husband Cooper, or the wild, passionate relationship she experienced with ex-boyfriend Brad.
Throughout the eight episodes, Billie is on a rollercoaster journey when it comes to making her decision: is the 85% she has with Cooper enough to not think about the 15% she’s missing out on? Or ultimately, does that 15% (the lust, passion, excitement, etc.) overrule and override the comfortable stability – or in other words, the 85%.
While the show may be a bit of fun and not to be taken all that seriously, it does raise an interesting question throughout the episodes: can women really have it all and find someone that will give them that 100%, or ultimately does everyone one day need to make a choice like Billie?
We spoke to LoveHoney expert and sexologist Chantelle Otten about Sex/Life, the 85% vs. the 15%, and what it all really means for people’s relationships at the end of the day.
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Every relationship is different
“Steamy sex scenes and NSFW shower reveal aside, Netflix’s Sex/Life focuses on Billie’s need to ‘have it all!’ Throughout the first season we repeatedly hear Billie refer to this 85/15% split of her relationship with her husband Cooper. She has the perfect life and relationship which is 85% of what she wants, but desires the other 15%, the hot, lustful sex life.
Now for anyone who has seen the show, judging by the spiralling crisis Billie gets herself into chasing this elusive 15%, it’s probably fair to say that her desire to have passion and excitement occupies a much higher percentage of her mind. But how much weight should we actually be placing on our erotic lives within our relationships?
The truth is every person is different and every relationship is different. Not only this, but relationships change, grow, mature, fade and everything in between. In turn, this also means the value which we’re placing on sex and erotic, passionate connections within our relationship will change as well.”
Remember the honeymoon period fades
“For many of us, we find in the first 18 months to two years of a relationship, you have the ‘honeymoon period’. During the early stage of a relationship, many couples barely come up for air due to the excitement of falling in love. At this stage, our percentage of sex and physical intimacy within the relationship is increased to something much higher than Billie’s 15%.
Unfortunately, this blissful state doesn’t always last forever. Touch releases endorphins (happy hormones) and the love hormone oxytocin. This initial stage of increased intimacy and infatuation causes couples to feel euphoric and turned on by physical touch. It actually works like a drug, giving us immediate rewards that bind us to our lover.
As that initial desire fades overtime, and we become less physically intimate, we may see our focus shift and our weight on sex lessen — perhaps not to dissimilar to Billie’s life, as she becomes a wife and a mother of two. This isn’t because we love our partner any less, but as our relationship grows and our priorities change, we need to start prioritising time for pleasure and intimacy. There are many healthier and successful ways to bring back that desire, rather than fantasising about and chasing after your (undoubtably sexy but also seemingly toxic eek) ex Billie — take note!”
You can rekindle lost chemistry… here’s how
“To rekindle your lost chemistry, you need to make a definite effort and change your mindset, ensuring you’re mentally open to being erotic. And remember that sex should be about pleasure and enjoyment — many people believe they experience the best sex of their lives as they get older.
Having a routine is great! But a routine in the bedroom?! Nah, not really! Using couples toys on your partner can bring a whole lot of buzz into your sex life! Firstly, and most importantly, have the consent convo, then it’s game time. Try incorporating some fun and imaginative rules and scenarios into play time — for example, tell your partner to sit back and you bring the toy to play with them — and they are not allowed to touch you at all! If they do, they get punished.
Add new experiences and sensations by trying something different! Explore your fantasies or spice up a weeknight dinner by wearing lingerie when you’re cooking and serve yourself up as dessert.”
Take a breath and let go of perceptions and control
“Another idea is to let go of the need to control. Breathe into relaxation. Sex is messy, it is imperfect, it doesn’t have to go in any direction, because you can always do it again tomorrow. Trust in yourself, your lover and the process. Be clear, I dare you to ask your lover to do something just for you in the bedroom. Enjoy the thrill of the unexpected ride.
The most important thing here is to just enjoy Sex/Life for what it is, a steamy TV show and not get caught up in the details. Sex isn’t about math and percentages and it holds whatever weight you let it.”