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If “Sex is Optional,” How can a Couple Possibly Stay Connected?!

In this episode Mark and Steve address a super common question—if "sex is optional" in a relationship, then how can a couple possibly stay connected?! This question actually came in recently from a PBSE listener. Here's how she asked it—

"Hi, I’ve been binge listening to your podcast for a few days now to try to understand my partner’s addiction. I have been able to take away a ton of great stuff, but I have a question. You often say that sex is optional. I think I understand the sentiment, but is it truly reasonable that a couple can sustain a relationship without physical connection for the rest of their lives?"

- Yes, it IS possible for sex to be optional in a relationship!

- Sex is "part" of physical connection, NOT the "be all, end all."

- A couple can be "sexual" while not achieving "intimacy."

- In the "True Art of Intimacy," there are 8 areas of intimacy, only one of which is "sexual."

- We can build a relationship based on sex and hope that the rest of our intimacy follows—OR—we can first build an emotionally-intimate/vulnerable relationship and allow the physical side of the relationship to "reflect" and naturally flow from the emotional intimacy foundation.

- What does "sex" and other forms of physical intimacy "mean" and represent for you in your relationship? If sex were to be removed from the relationship would your overall connection and intimacy still be fulfilling; would it be enough? Why or why not?

Learn more about Mark and Steve's revolutionary online porn/sexual addiction recovery and betrayal trauma healing program—"Dare to Connect!" You have live access to Mark and Steve in 3 one-hour sessions every week—addicts, spouses and couples! And live support groups on weekends, facilitated by Mark and Steve! To try a free, 2-week trial, visit—

Find out more about Steve Moore at: Ascension Counseling

Learn more about Mark Kastleman at: Reclaim Counseling Services

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