What Is Sexual Currency?Anytime we hug, kiss, rub, squeeze, and nuzzle into a romantic partner, there is an erotic charge. This comes from the sexual relationship that exists between couples. This type of touch doesn’t involve the touching of genitals, but is sexually based in that it allows us “to meet the needs of sex,
Sexual currency is a building block that allows you to sexually relate more easily to each other, leading to more actual sex.What’s more, sexual currency does not just involve touch. It involves all sexually charged interactions. This can include sending a suggestive text, exchanging a look of love and desire with a partner, or telling a partner sweet nothings (or sexy somethings, like a fantasy). While sexual currency isn’t “sex,” it is sexual at its core.
Sexual Currency Is a Part of Your Sex LifeNow, don’t get it twisted. Sexual currency isn’t full on sex, but it is a part of your sex life. “In a relationship, many people often think of their ‘sex lives’ as the relatively infrequent moments of the week/month/year when they are having some form of sex with a partner,” Gurney says. “But in conceptualizing their sex lives in this way, they are losing out on the quality of the rest of their sexual connection happening outside of this narrow window.” Anything that happens between you and a romantic partner that sends a message of love, desire, and attraction is a part of the network of sexual currency. That makes it an essential piece of the overall puzzle. “A good sex life does not happen in isolation, and having low levels of sexual currency can present some challenges to longterm sexual satisfaction,” Gurney says. “I often describe to clients that people with higher levels of sexual currency in their relationships often have more ‘scaffolding’ to allow them to move easily from a non-sexual place (such as doing the washing up or housework together) to initiating and having sex.” Basically, sexual currency is a building block that allows you to sexually relate more easily to each other, leading to more actual sex.
Sexual Currency Meets Our Needs That Go Beyond OrgasmsThere are many reasons to have sex. It’s not just about pleasure, though this is a big part of it. We often have sex because we want to feel close to our partner, to feel connected, and to feel like we’re sexually desired. Sexual currency is a bedrock of relationships because it allows us to meet these needs without the pressure of having full-on sex. "Having some level of sexual currency between us takes the pressure off sex” needing to happen in order for us “to feel connected, excited, alive or desired,” Gurney says. “This can be really useful in inevitable times where sex is off the agenda for a while, such as when a couple has a new baby.”
Keeping Sexual Currency Alive in Longterm RelationshipsAt the beginning of a relationship, there is usually a LOT of sexual currency. Think about when you first started dating your partner. Did you passionately kiss for hours? Did you send a ton of sexts? Were you all over each other like chocolate sauce on a sundae? All of these actions are fueled by New Relationship Energy. This is when your brain is soaked in feel-good chemicals when you first fall for someone. As we get to know someone and become more comfortable, these levels of sexual currency usually begin to decline. We stop making out multiple times a day, don’t flirt with each other, and begin to give less erotic touch. The problem is that the less we engage with our shared sexual currency, the harder it becomes to engage with it in the future. It’s a vicious cycle. This is how partners begin to drift away from each other and start to feel lonely even when they are in relationships. This will impact your experiences in the bedroom, because how could it not? This is the stuff that, sorry to be dramatic, can lead to sexless relationships. “Once this happens, it can be a threat to our experience of desire, or our initiation of sex, as every move we make feels either too obvious, too loaded, or too pressured,” Gurney says.
“So many of us expect that our desire should just be there, but this is simply not backed up by sex research. Desire needs context and triggers.”When you don’t have the cushioning of sexual currency, the gap between not having sex and having sex begins to widen, making one feel like it can’t be broached. When we nurture it, sexual currency becomes the special sauce that keeps our erotic cup full.