Sex is an essential part of a loving relationship. When one or both parties decide that they no longer want to get it on, the relationship can often fall apart. In fact, sex is cited as the number number one reason why long-term couples break up.
Whilst it is normal to go through dry spells, most couples are willing to put in a little extra effort in the bedroom to get things steamy again. Even though it’s inevitable that they will have less sex as the relationship goes on, it shouldn’t stop completely. Appearances are more important than ever in 2017, and many people go to extreme lengths in order to be in peak physical shape. However, it turns out that there are a number of people out there who are now sacrificing sex for the perfect body. Logic might dictate that the fitter you are, the more sex you will have, but the University of North Carolina has proven that extreme exercise regimes can kill a person’s sex drive. What’s more is that it happens almost instantaneously. For obvious reasons, spending too much time at the gym causes people to become too tired to get frisky in the bedroom. But an extreme exercise regime also causes an under-functioning pituitary gland, which results in low levels of testosterone and estrogen. Women, in particular, are susceptible to the side effects of exercising too much. We need a certain amount of body fat for our reproductive systems to function. Without it, we’re unable to have children, and this leads to the absence of a sex drive. Four female fitness fanatics recently opened up about how the gym has affected their love lives, and their answers are shocking to say the least. After reading about their experiences, you’ll be forgiving yourself for having that extra cheat day… Twenty-five year old Nikki Harvey revealed that whilst her hard core exercise regime has improved her happiness and wellbeing, it could lead to the end of her long-term relationship with her 26-year-old partner Jordan Burgess, a personal trainer. “In the autumn of 2014, I was a size 16, drinking, smoking, living off junk food and generally pretty miserable,” Harvey said. “One night I met Jordan and we quickly became an item.” “He’s a rugby player and he caught me crying to myself in my bedroom when I couldn’t fit into my size 14 clothes. He told me anyone can turn their life around and inspired me to get healthy and take up fitness and bodybuilding.” “I signed up for a 14-week intensive program, pushing me harder than I ever dreamed possible. I loved every second. Every gram of excess weight was stripped from my body – better than any faddy diet.”
“I now train every morning at 5:30 am for two hours, then do an hour’s cardio every evening.” “It really impacts on my relationship. I haven’t been on a date night with Jordan since January, and my libido has vanished.” “Right now I have zero sex drive so Jordan and I haven’t made love for two months. Jordan hates it, but he knows it’s not because I don’t fancy him. I love my training so much that two months ago I quit my job to do it full time.” “In April I came second in the UK Bodybuilding and Fitness Federation National Finals and qualified for three international championships.” “My libido might be gone, but I look better and am now so much healthier. I just hope that Jordan will stick by me without sex.” Unlike Harvey, however, the next interviewee has stopped having sex altogether and believes that her new body is worth it… Gabriella Prior, who is just 22 years old, said that she has not had sex in over 18 months. She last got it on around the time that she began her gruelling fitness regime, and now she prefers being fit to having a good sex life. “At the start of 2016, I did almost no exercise. I went out drinking, enjoyed lazy weekends, had boyfriends and a healthy sex life,” she said. “I wasn’t depressed, but I felt like I didn’t have any hobbies.” “One morning, on a whim, I decided to join the nearby House of Pain boxing gym. I was nervous, but when I left I was so full of energy, I couldn’t wait to do it again.” “Exercising is now like a drug to me. Within weeks. I was training twice a day for two hours each session, five or six days a week. I still do that now.” “It’s 100 percent effort training with weights, sparring and cardio. Boxing isn’t a sport you do by halves. I can hardly tie my shoe laces after I have finished a session, let alone think about sex. I used to have boyfriends, but they ran their course.” “Now I don’t have time to meet men. I have realized I don’t need a relationship or sex to be happy. I value independence and fitness more than I thought possible. My sex life now is a dim and distant memory.” “I hope that if I ever want to, I can reduce the intensity of my training and then get my libido back. But I’m not bothered now.” “I’ve had a couple of short-lived relationships since I started training but quickly I’ve been dumped because they thought I was boring, as I did not want to have sex all the time.” “I have been crowned Miss Fitness Inspiration UK, which means more to me than any amount of sex.” It’s no secret that some people have much higher sex drives than others. Prior to getting fit, the next woman interviewed was getting down and dirty almost every night of the week. Now she’s not had sex in months… The beginning of a relationship is exciting, and it’s often when couples have the most sex. Exploring your partner’s body and getting to know their likes and dislikes is extremely important if the relationship is going to last. So it only made sense that 25-year-old Milly Mahoney’s partner, 26-year-old Manny Tankov, felt frustrated when her libido dropped after she hit the gym after previously having sex almost every night of the week. Her extreme dedication to fitness is now putting a real strain on their relationship. “I remember seeing a friend’s washboard stomach on vacation three years ago and thinking, ‘I want that.’ I’d done a bit of running before, but knew I had to hit the weights to get the body I wanted. So I joined a gym.” “Five or six days a week I train as hard as I can for two hours, to the point of exhaustion. When Manny comes on to me, sex is the last thing I want as I’m shattered. I push away his hands. He’s visibly frustrated and takes a few minutes to calm down.” “Before I started training I would have sex at least five days a week, which seems strange now. I’m also obsessive about my diet, weighing every last gram of protein or carbs – which means we do not eat takeaways together or have date nights in restaurants. I’ve been with Manny for 18 months and he understands how much I love working out – it was my physique that first attracted him.” “I’m training for a bikini competition, and we haven’t had sex for two months. I guess it’s a bit like giving up drinking for a month – you realize how much better you feel, then when it comes to the end of the month, you question if you actually want a drink at all anymore.” “I feel fantastic and look great. No amount of sex beats that.” Whilst sex is an important part of a relationship, it’s not the only thing which keeps two people together. You could have the best sex of your life with someone, but be unable to hold a decent conversation with them… Stacey Boyce firmly believes that her marriage can stand the test of her extreme fitness regime, although she admits that if often leaves her too tired to even cuddle with her partner. Working as a conference director in a city 50 miles from her home means that her days start at 5 am so she can hit the gym, and she often finds herself going to sleep after midnight – which means there’s no time for sex. “I have been training really hard down at the gym since 2014. While I love it and wouldn’t change a thing, it gets harder every year. I’m in the gym most days of the week, and my diet is so closely controlled, it has become completely addictive for me.” “I have been with my husband, Mark, for six years, and thankfully he also works in the fitness industry. He understands the way I am, to a certain extent, but the strain on our relationship is massive.” “Before I started with all the gym training, it was totally different between the two of us. We would have sex at least three times a week. Now, sometimes we don’t talk for days – and having sex even once a month is a push.” “My libido is non-existent. I know I’m demanding a lot from my body by lifting massive weights and sometimes I can’t even cuddle. Every single muscle in my body hurts, making sex completely out of the question.” “I’m exhausted all the time, and when I’m training hard, I have hard pecs instead of boobs, so definitely don’t feel at all attractive or feminine.” “I get so focused on myself, constantly checking my weight, measuring body fat, weighing food and training for endless hours. I know it’s very selfish to behave in this way. But that’s how I became a 2015 British UK Ultimate Physiques Bikini Champion.” “Of course, sex is natural and enjoyable. But if you are in a loving and understanding relationship, the sex can wait.” Personally, I’d be willing to sacrifice the amount of time I spent in the gym for the sake of a relationship. After all, no relationship is without compromise, and plenty of people who hit the gym are still able to have healthy sex lives. What do you think of these women? Would you be willing to give up sex in the pursuit of the perfect body?