Better than Sex



I WASN’T surprised by a recent hotel industry survey that showed couples who go away are more likely to watch television than have sex.

Around 80 per cent of Australian hotel guests responded that they preferred to turn on the TV or an in-house movie instead of their partner, the online survey revealed.

It seems to me that most people in long-term relationships are more driven by a need to escape the mundane, and become part of a murder mystery or medical crisis, than have a shag.

And most people I interviewed  had 1 to 3 things they’d rather be doing than having sex with their partners. I casually asked a few people who’ve been together five years or longer. Here are some of the answers:

“Eat chocolate mousse; watch House; sleep; anything; eat a home-cooked lasagne; play with the dog; watch internet porn; watch a great film; read Vanity Fair; be skiing; watch soccer; go to a great dance party; be online; have sex but with someone else.”

What are the things you find better than sex?  Or how do you keep it hot & spicy?

Go to “comments” button above


Read full story in today’s   The Australian


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42 Responses to Better than Sex

  1. Ruth Ostrow 9 July 2011 at 4:40 pm #

    Mary men go through andropause similar to menopause. Hormone replacement ie Testosterone and its precursors work wonders for men. There are other things too. A good sex therapist is Jo Anne Baker in Sydney on 93610433. See her credentials on her website The Pleasure Spot. Click on About Jo Anne Baker. If you are not in Sydney she may be able to help over the phone or refer you to a reliable doctor for men in this area. Good luck Ruth

  2. Mary 9 July 2011 at 4:05 pm #

    I’m 51 menopausal but haven’t lost interest in sex although I was interested to hear about the benefits of HRT. It is my partner who has lost interest in sex over the last few years. stress, depression and anxiety seem to be the problems as I believe he does love and care for me. I do feel sad about it and wonder if it will ever get any better and it is hard being left wondering if sex will ever be okay again. I would be happy with some sex life rather than none.

  3. Mazkal 7 July 2011 at 8:52 am #

    There is nothing that I prefer more than a good shag with my partner of almost 8 years. In all that time my desire for her has not changed in the least.

    She may think differently and seems to have set times when she is keen for a shag, if late at night she will often prefer to sleep rather than have sex. I personally find this frustrating as I will shag at any hour of the day.

    So for her, there are times when she would prefer to sleep than have sex. She also thinks that there are times when a simple cuddle is better than sex. Very different for me though, nothing in this big wide world is better than sex.

  4. DoubleR 6 July 2011 at 2:03 pm #

    hmmm, now I’m wondering whether or not I should reveal that, or perhaps you could have a guessing game with other commenters, to see how many think I’m male and how many think I’m female? I’d be curious to know what others might think, just for a laugh.

  5. Ruth Ostrow 6 July 2011 at 12:40 am #

    Hi Rob I never got your email, sorry. My U RL has been putting comments into spam for some reason. But I just looked in there too… thanks for trying again and a rather lovely image.

  6. Rob 5 July 2011 at 10:13 pm #

    Hi Ruth-
    Put a comment on here last night but lost in the ether it seems or maybe you thought it too limp!

    After near 30 years-I reckon there should be something in this electronic age ( no nothing like that!) that each participant has that takes a password and it starts beeping when it gets a match.

    It could well save a lot of time anguish or embarrisment on the male side of town!

    I have blissful memories from back around 2001 before Sept 11 of driving my 450 hp loader with its 30 ft stickrake on sunny winters days- listening to Bruce Springsteen tapes whilst turning my own country of suckers and dead logs into a manicured parklike landscape.

    A real romantic ,aren’t I

  7. Ruth Ostrow 5 July 2011 at 7:25 pm #

    Are you male or female???

  8. DoubleR 5 July 2011 at 6:10 pm #

    Hi Ruth, I loved reading this column, it made me laugh and was as heartening as a Sunday roast on a cold winters night. Once upon a lifetime ago sex was a very desirable and sought after activity for me, a time when not having, or desiring, sex was unthinkable. But, oh, how times have changed and I am that person who does not want to have sex. I would rather do anything than have sex and life has never felt so good. Go figure, but it is true!

  9. hippymum 5 July 2011 at 1:27 pm #

    HI, interesting topic, Ruth (as usual!). My husband and I were recently told in some (Christian) marriage counselling that those who pray together have better sex! I thought ‘What??’ It seems to be true I have to say 🙂 Other things to keep it hot is we turn the tv on – for the kids on Sat mornings, close the doors and voila! (we still need a good lock on our door) All good…

  10. Shoshana 3 July 2011 at 6:23 pm #

    Ruth ,read your sexy article and could not wait to get into bed– by myself!!!! no just kidding The best place for sex is definately on holidays, as you are not distracted by other stuff. The problem is getting to GO on holidays. Roll on Xmas!!! Keep smiling, that helps Shoshana.

  11. Ruth Ostrow 3 July 2011 at 6:14 pm #

    Sorry guys lots of you went into Spam so I didn’t see your letters. My computer is playing up. Have set it right now and you are all coming through – so to speak 🙂

  12. Ruth Ostrow 3 July 2011 at 6:11 pm #

    Good on you sarahmojo I have to say that I did much the same; left a long term marriage, went back to Uni, travel heaps and have taken up with a wonderful (younger) man. Not a lot younger but enough to keep me on my toes — or rather off them. I am not advocating leaving good relationships because the sex goes off. The sex can always be resparked, but both people have to want it to be. And therein lies the problem. If one person won’t come to the party and one person is still up for it, it does unfortunately signal the end for most people.

  13. Ruth Ostrow 3 July 2011 at 6:07 pm #

    LOL! Yes there in lies the dilemma have people lost interest in sex… or rather lost interest in their partners. 🙂

  14. Ruth Ostrow 3 July 2011 at 6:05 pm #

    I love this response — More Sex!! I think you might win the prize with this one — certainly you are in the three finalists this far.

  15. Lilian Roth 3 July 2011 at 6:00 pm #

    Ruth, you have got abour 20 or more letters on your blog. What is better than sex——–MORE SEX!!!! ha ha luv your articles, keep up the good work Lilian xx

  16. John Stewart 3 July 2011 at 2:18 pm #

    Ruth, this scene is just another reason for society to take up, or at least approve of, polyamory. So the answer to your question “What is better than sex with your partner?” could very easily be ‘Sex with my other partner’, or even ‘Sex with one of my friends with benefits’, (rather than ‘Sex with someone else’s partner’). Polyamory is, at the moment, just a wild thing, but as it developed, it could be as stable as any monogamous or monoandrous relationship. Then it could then be called polyfidelity. I like that better as a name, actually. Sounds almost civilised.

  17. sarahmojo 3 July 2011 at 10:05 am #

    This year I have left my marriage of 26 years primarily because of zero sex. Right now at 51, at uni, many interests, kids grown and peak fitness I am loving sex. As often as possible, no holds barred. It’s definitely about confidence and playfulness, but also about life balance – gotta have the time and the energy. Re sheets: soft, smooth sheets definitely add to the overall aesthetic.

  18. Lucy 3 July 2011 at 5:56 am #

    Ruth, you are so right about high self-esteem and libido. Absolutely, spot on (cough). Passion in longer term relationships? Seems oxymoronic, doesn’t it. You just grow to become good mates – well, that’s what most I know eventually become. As for the 65 year old gent whose wife is no longer interested. Sorry, but most men I know of 65 have lost the plot and are surprised their wives aren’t interested. Now, if it was someone 30 years younger…!!! (Censored)

  19. Ruth Ostrow 2 July 2011 at 8:47 pm #

    Hi Mischi as we laughed about yesterday on Facebook I’m spending the weekend curled up watching DVDs with beloved. On a cold winter night, having your loved one’s around you on the couch with a box of nice chocolates and a great movie is…..dare I admit it….better than sex! And I never thought I would say that 🙂

  20. Mischi 2 July 2011 at 8:42 pm #

    Sometimes I am not in the mood and would rather watch a romantic comedy on DVD cuddling on the couch before falling asleep together. Then wakeup next to my loving husband who I ask to give me a lovely massage with some nice smelling oils which leads to sex usually….

  21. isee 2 July 2011 at 8:35 pm #

    Clearly Polyester would be a distraction i can also understand fishermans pants and nanna rugs ..maybe you have scratched the surface as to why we are watching Pornstars ,scream in delight on kitchen tables or in some outdoor setting having wild sex …..its minus the distractions of clearly undesirable fabrics .Keep on scratching Ruth your onto somthing

  22. Ruth Ostrow 2 July 2011 at 7:45 pm #

    LOL. I think it was hotels that cater to the holiday market. But re Brace Yourself I know people who get put off sex so easily. Someone once told me he was put off by a woman’s couch throw over. Can you imagine that. Things were going swimmingly but he said it was knitted like a Nana doilly and this put him off. A woman I know was turned off by the guy wearing fisherman’s pants. She couldn’t believe anyone would go out for dinner so poorly dressed. I was once dumped after the first date for wearing Polyester. Well, I can understand that one myself now. But what would turn you off and make you walk away from a good shag?

  23. isee 2 July 2011 at 7:27 pm #

    Hi Ruth thanks for the article love your research and very sad to here the night in a hotel no longer ignites the torch of passion ….has anyone surveyed hotel rooms that charge out at an hourly rate , or is everyone just watching porn on the internet and rolling around in offensive bed linen (braceyourself) Love your work

  24. Ruth Ostrow 2 July 2011 at 5:31 pm #

    You see Brace Yourself I knew you had a sheet fetish, or is it a bunny fetish? Keep it nice this is a family site.

  25. Samuel 2 July 2011 at 5:29 pm #

    Same thing happened when I got my Nintendo 64 sat up till 3am. Now I sit up surfing adult sites, must be addicted to the dopamine!

  26. brace yourself 2 July 2011 at 5:28 pm #

    i actually have a thing for bunnies especially when there all over flanellette sheets … im getting turned on

  27. Ruth Ostrow 2 July 2011 at 5:13 pm #

    The Golden Door Health retreat outside of Sydney offers them but its a long way to Hunter Valley unless you stay overnight which I highly recommend. A friend of mine used to do them in Sydney and another one in Byron Bay. The Sydney guy moved to Bali, but there are therapists doing them. Perhaps you should Google.

  28. Sandy 2 July 2011 at 5:11 pm #

    I’m in Sydney. By the way loved the guy who won’t have sex on bad sheets. He should see my flannelette sheets for winter. They have little bunnies on them. Wonder what they would do for his arousal levels LOL

  29. Ruth Ostrow 2 July 2011 at 5:08 pm #

    Have you tried Watsu? Its a form of massage done in a pool heated to body temperature and the therapist takes you around the pool as you float through the water, and opens up your spine by using this sort of dance. OMG it is heavenly. Please try to find one. What state are you in?

  30. Sandy 2 July 2011 at 5:06 pm #

    My one thing that is better than sex is floating in warm water. I am very sensual and like you Ruth found no loss of libido as I got older. But I would still trade the best sex in the world to be emersed in the warmth. My favourite is clear warm ocean water; but I am happy in a very warm heated pool. Best of all is having sex while in warm water but as a woman who’s been married for 20 years I’m grateful for a foot rub from time to time!

  31. Ruth Ostrow 2 July 2011 at 4:51 pm #

    Going back to University has really helped me. I feel alive again and vital. Doing fantastic things like study and travel lift all your hormones and because of the overall feeling of wellbeing your libido lifts. I promise you this is our secret of success. We’re all mums, but we work and we study new and fascinating things, and we keep growing and moving forward rather than complaining about our men, or our ageing faces and bodies. OK we complain a bit… yes, but I make myself so busy that the focus is all on the positive. A strong self-esteem is a good boost to a flagging sex drive.

  32. Ruth Ostrow 2 July 2011 at 4:48 pm #

    Brace Yourself you remind me of a dear friend of mine. What is this bed linen thing? He can’t have sex if the fabric isn’t good quality and I mean like top weave Egyptian cotton; he also has a real thing for floral design. He says anyone who has floral sheets can’t have any taste and therefore he goes cold. I think this is a fetish that hasn’t been revealed yet. I wonder if the opposite is true – that he doesn’t like someone and then sees that they have fabulous sheets and falls in love? As for the cat dog hair couldn’t agree more. And the smell of doggy… Sorry I am an animal lover as we all know, but one has to draw the line!

  33. No interest 2 July 2011 at 4:38 pm #

    The three things I would rather do than have sex with my ex are:
    1. Drink freshly squeezed lime juice with Madori on a warm day by a cold pool
    2. Going very fast in a speed boat
    3. Watching reruns of Desperate Housewives; Mad Men; old movies

    There are probably about 20 more. What happened to our love? I turned 48. Ruth I don’t know what you and your friends are on, but babe, I have lost it big time since peri menopause.

  34. Mandy and Sam 2 July 2011 at 4:33 pm #

    Our story is that after we had our second child we found that all we wanted to do was sleep. So we hired a baby sitter and tried to take time out to create a bit of romance. We were not even out for half an hour when the sitter texted us. Jonathan our older boy of 4 had decided to crawl into our bed. But instead of crawling into the bed itself he crawled inside the doona cover and got himself all tangled up. He got such a shock he wouldn’t stop screaming. We had to rush home. Those early years were filled with drama after drama. But we got through, We decided not to go out too much but we did find sexy movies and the occasional dress ups to help keep things a little steamy. The truth is unless you put the effort in when you have young kids, you can kiss sex goodbye. Thankfully they’re older. But my advise is don’t aim to high, do what you can. But do something.

  35. brace yourself 2 July 2011 at 4:28 pm #

    i think back to a romantic weekend at a Band B in the Blue Mountains ,the sheets were a brown and orange 70s design and the beds looked like somthing out of the Sullivans . it was a real passion killer hitting the bed with loved one in arms . Maybe its a linen issue some of those hotel sheets are so starched ,but after reading other comments maybe not as alarming as a mouthful of dog or cat hair when you hit the pillow in a moment of passion

  36. Ruth Ostrow 1 July 2011 at 10:14 pm #

    I was the same when we got our first kitten. Then came the second kitten because I could never get enough of those beautiful soft gentle creatures. It is so sensuous holding those purring bodies against yours. Be careful you don’t start collecting puppies!

  37. Cate 1 July 2011 at 10:11 pm #

    Ruth in terms of keeping things hot and spicy, we do like adult entertainment as you call it. I noticed you admited that yourself – or rather your partner did in his letter in your Optus Telstra censorship blog. I think a lot of couples use porn to spice things up especially in long term relationships. it keeps things amusing. We laugh a lot. We actually laugh so much during the dreadful parts that we say we have laugh-gasms. Thanks Ruth, you are always so honest. It’s easy to be inspired to be honest after reading you PS I am enjoying the daily raves.

  38. Marianne 1 July 2011 at 10:09 pm #

    My best “better than sex” story was that my partner brought home a puppy. That was the end of our sex life. He couldn’t get me into bed at night I just stayed up playing and playing. I would spring out of bed in the morning. Thankfully Jess grew bigger and became less cute or I think we would have been heading for divorce!

  39. Ruth Ostrow 1 July 2011 at 8:21 pm #

    Yes know many who have tried HRT. It doesn’t make libido a lot higher unless testosterone is added to the mix, but it does improve things and it makes sex more comfortable and thus women tend to stop avoiding it. It’s so silly no one talks about this stuff. Most women just become frightened because it all starts feeling different. But HRT puts the spring back into the zing if you get my meaning, and the more you do it, the more you want it. So tell her to give it a go, as long as a GP says she isn’t in a risky group

  40. Ruth Ostrow 1 July 2011 at 8:18 pm #

    Amongst the things people told me they would would prefer to do rather than having sex with their partners was “eating a home-cooked lasagne” and “watching House”. Please share! I will offer a prize for the funniest or best story.

  41. JayKin 1 July 2011 at 8:16 pm #

    Prefer to sex? I’m now a male at 65 and there is nothing I prefer to sex with my beautiful wife of 30 years. However she is in her 50s and menopausal and I suspect if she reads this she would be able to find 10 things she’d rather do than have sex! It’s not for lack of loving me, I know this. But for some reason her hormones have gone down and mine haven’t. Has any woman reading this tried HRT and does it help with libido. She won’t take them

  42. sam 1 July 2011 at 8:14 pm #

    Ha, it’s so true. LOLOL. Recently I took my wife away for a dirty weekend. The bed was a gorgeous king sized bed with big pillows and a down donna. We hit the bed and fell asleep. We both slept like babies and woke up the next morning for check out!

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