Happily married for a decade, the couple cannot bear to even imagine their lives without one another. Yet, astonishingly, they haven’t made love for more than two years.
Both insist that their marriage, which followed a two-year courtship after meeting on a dating website, is stronger than most. It’s just that sex, they say, is not important to their happiness.
‘We still turn each other on but we don’t want to take it any further,’ says Charlotte. ‘We don’t have the time or the energy.
‘I find it hard switching off knowing that our four-year-old, Addison, is in the next bedroom. I think if Chris really missed sex he would tell me, or I’d catch him watching porn on the internet as a substitute.
‘But he doesn’t seem to want to go back to having sex, either.
‘We sound like Darby and Joan, I know – even though I’m only 34 and Chris is 40 – but that, to us, is contentment.’
Charlotte and Chris, it seems, aren’t the only ones whose sex life has dwindled to nothing. A recent survey estimated that 15 to 20 per cent of couples have sexless relationships – defined by experts as making love fewer than ten times a year – while around 5 per cent go without altogether.
Actress Helen Mirren spoke for many of these couples earlier this year when she said: ‘I think the power of partnership in marriage is under-recognised in our society. That’s what makes marriages work, not sex.’
In a seX-obsessed society, where everyone – young, old, male and female – seems to be boasting of how many times a week they ‘do it’, it may come as a relief to many that couples like Charlotte and Chris are happy to admit that sex plays no part in their marriages at all.