Sex in marriage, when properly viewed and understood, becomes a part of several traits that strengthen and heighten the chance for a successful marriage. It is not the only thing of importance, but it is certainly one that must not be neglected. Dr. Willard Harley has a great book entitled His Needs, Her Needs: Building an Affair-Proof Marriage. He offers ten things you can do to strengthen your marriage, one being sexual fulfillment. It is not a guarantee that you won’t experience sexual awkwardness or struggle but strengthening all aspects of marriage will certainly help. In v. 5 Paul tells couples to not “deprive each other except perhaps by mutual consent.”
Another “need” Harley wrote about is affection. Men have to understand as much as we desire physical contact, affection is important to our wives.
Intimacy is more than physical and should never be trivial. Kevin Leman says that “sex begins in the kitchen,” meaning that it cannot be divorced from partnership with the wife in their whole life together, including doing dishes! (Kevin Leman, Sex Begins in the Kitchen: Creating Intimacy to Make Your Marriage Sizzle [Grand Rapids, MI: Revell, 2006]).