Everyone knows that a sexual relationship does not necessarily equal a romantic relationship. I know I have had sexual relationships with people I wouldn’t even consider friends let alone lovers.

But what about the other way around? Can you have a true, beautiful and romantic relationship without sex? Or… Worse still… With sex you don’t enjoy?

I think without any sex yes you can. The promise of sex, the hope of sex, that can sustain you for a long time. But bad sex?

I’m a big believer that a good and healthy sexual relationship is a key part to a relationship with a partner. If you do not have any kind of sex life there is little to separate your relationship with your partner to your relationship with your friends. Whilst I don’t think you need to be having bed breaking, chandelier swinging, wall climbing sex every night for a good relationship, I think sexual contact and intimacy is a necessity. For me it certainly is anyway. Without it I wilt. I need it for the intimacy, the connection, and because it feels too damn good to go without.

So… Accepting the premise that good sex is required for a good relationship, what else? Friendship. Talking, laughing, and a connection on a mental and emotional level.

Sacrifice sex, you’re left with just another friend, and whilst a friendship is never a bad thing I want more from a partner. Sacrifice the emotional and mental connection and you’re left with a fuck buddy. Someone to enjoy, play with, then send away.

Find the two combined? Are you set for life?


The Gymnast and I have always got on. Always talked, always laughed. We still talk and laugh. We still care about what the other is doing. We have had a sex life with such a chemistry that it was a little bit ridiculous. Yet no relationship.

I have male friends with whom, should I ever try it, I would probably have amazing sex. They certainly seem to think so on the occasions it has been suggested. But, no relationship. If I were to have sex with them it wouldn’t change our friendship into a partnership, it would just be some fun sex, then some awkwardness, then some friendship again.

So what’s the magic ingredient? Part sex. Part friendship. Part chemistry. You need that extra dollop of something special. And it needs to be felt in equal measure on both sides of the equation.

To be honest it’s no wonder so many people end up compromising and settling with someone who is either amazing in bed but dull, or great company but doesn’t satisfy them. Because that mix, that magic blend, that is rare. It is hard to find.



About J.J. Barnes

Author of The Lilly Prospero Series Writer and Podcaster at Blogger at Rose And Mum And More Contributor to The Huffington Post
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