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Health & Sex

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365 Nights of Sex: Can It Strengthen a Marriage?

When their marriages fell into the doldrums, two long-married couples decided to find out if having sex every day could boost their relationships.
By Suzanne Wright
WebMD Feature
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

If you decided to have sex every day, would your relationship benefit?

Two long-married couples decided to find out. When lovemaking fell off their respective "to-do" lists, they ditched the sweats, bought sex toys and books, stepped up exercise, lit candles, and took trips. Then they chronicled their "sexperiment" in two recently released books, Just Do It: How One Couple Turned Off the TV and Turned On Their Sex Lives for 101 Days (No Excuses!) by Doug Brown and 365 Nights: A Memoir of Intimacy by Charla Muller with Betsy Thorpe.

Recommended Related to Sex & Relationships

Marriage Advice: Stop Having the Same Fight

By Laurie Puhn Almost every couple has one: that seemingly trivial fight that just keeps cropping up, day after day, month after month, making you feel as if you're stuck in your very own version of Groundhog Day. Perhaps it's about your husband's leaving his cereal bowl by the sink rather than in the dishwasher, or your forgetting — oops! — to tell him that his mother called. The issues that trigger bickering can seem insignificant, but when fights keep on resurfacing, your otherwise happy marriage...

Read the Marriage Advice: Stop Having the Same Fight article > >

But will daily sex really help a relationship that's hit a rough patch? Some experts say yes; others aren't so sure. As for the two couples who tried it, the Browns and the Mullers, both say the experiment strengthened their marriages in -- and out -- of the bedroom.

Charla Muller had been married for eight years to her husband, Brad, when she embarked on what she calls "the year of the gift" as a way to celebrate her husband's 40th birthday Rather than fixing anything wrong in her marriage, she writes that frequent sex made her happier, less angry, and less stressed.

Doug Brown's wife, Annie Brown, initiated the offer of daily sex after hearing about sexless marriages on Oprah. He had a similar revelation after they started having daily sex. A feature writer for The Denver Post, Brown writes of releasing "an avalanche of flesh pleasures upon our relationship."

"There's a special sense of being desired that only comes from sex," he tells WebMD. "You can be good at your job or at sports, but the daily confirmation you get through sex is a super feeling."

(Is this something you’d ever try? Why or why not? Talk with others on WebMD's Sexuality: Friends Talking message board.)

Reversing the Downward Sex Spiral

According to the National Opinion Research Center, the average American couple reports having sex 66 times a year. Newsweek has noted that 15% to 20% of couples have sex less than 10 times a year, which is defined as a "sexless" marriage.

Familiarity, advancing age, work pressures, the challenges of raising a family, and household responsibilities all conspire against regular sex among many otherwise loving couples who feel too harried to get physical.

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