There is a wide range of marital contracts today. Most marriages are, still, between two people, however, there are people who have open marriages, polygamist marriages, polyamorous marriages and sexless marriages. As a traditionalist, my concept of marriage involves a marriage between two people. For purposes of this post, I will discuss marriage between a man and a woman only. This is in no way, shape, or form a political statement. Soon, you'll understand why I am limiting this discussion to marriage between a man and a woman.
As I recall (I was married [and divorced] a very long time ago), there's a statement in the marriage vows about "forsaking all others". Although marriage means different things to different people and although people marry for a variety of reasons, most would agree that the traditional marriage contract includes sexual relations between the two married people. After all, how can one expect one's spouse to forsake all others if one is not living up to his or her marital contract?
There are some people who are asexual and others who have a very low sex drive. If the spouses of these people have a normal sex drive, they are bound to be dissatisfied with the state of their union. They are faced with some difficult choices. They can go for counseling with their spouses, go outside of the marriage for sex, become celibate, or get a divorce. Counseling is, probably, a good first step, however, it might not help.
It is my contention that (1) people who are asexual or who have a low sex drive should find each other and marry each other, (2) a married person cannot expect fidelity from his or her partner if he or she is unwilling to hold up his or her end of the marital contract and (3) a person who has a healthy sex drive should not have to deny his or her needs because of a partner who is too selfish to satisfy those needs.
Although I could discuss this in terms of men not fulfilling the marital contract, I will discuss it in terms of women not doing so as that seems to be the more typical scenario. I had, recently, written a blog post about the importance of honesty in relationships. Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be enough of this, as, based on what I hear from men whom I know well, there are women who pretend to be sexual beings to "snag" a man and, then, once they've accomplished their objective, slack off regarding fulfilling their husband's sexual needs. I am not suggesting, here, that a woman has to go along with all of her husband's sexual demands or that she has to comply every time her husband wants relations. What I am suggesting is that a woman who isn't selfish will do her best to acquiesce to most or, at least, many of her husband's sexual needs, assuming that they aren't repugnant to her, and will try to satisfy him, sometimes, even when she doesn't feel like doing so. A man shouldn't have to deny his needs or martyr himself because his spouse doesn't especially enjoy sex or no longer cares about satisfying him sexually.
Apparently, some post-menopausal women find intercourse to be very painful. I can understand why these women might not want to subject themselves to pain. However, there are many other ways to satisfy one's partner that these women can employ. In my opinion, to deny one's mate the enjoyment for which you both contracted on your wedding day is to break the marital contract and is to show a lack of love and empathy for one's partner.
I am not suggesting that sex is the only component of a good marriage, however, it is an integral component of a good marriage and it is something that nobody should be denied unless there is an upfront agreement between the two partners that the marriage will be a sexless one.
In my opinion, being in a marriage that has become sexless is a very sad state of affairs and is something that doesn't need to be tolerated as it's a broken marriage due to a broken marital contract.