What does sex mean to you? There are more answers to this question than I can come up with on my own. I'll start a list below. I hope you'll wonder for yourself the many meanings it has for you and for your partner, and begin that conversation with each other -- with curiosity, caring, and an open mind. Your meaning likely changes, both over time, and at any given time.
At times sex is:
Just pure pleasure.
Reassurance that you're attractive.
Expression of love.
Expression of lust.
Currency (if so, for what, and when?).
The completion of touch.
For the good of the relationship.
To ward off feelings or thoughts.
To please your partner.
To be pleased by your partner.
Out of guilt.
To flaunt death.
. . .
If you feel embarrassed, ashamed, or worried to talk about sex with your partner, please know you are not alone. Many couples find it difficult to discuss their sexual feelings and interactions. Some couples assume that the talk(s) they had about sex when they first got together were enough and that nothing has changed.
I have found that when couples do talk about sex in my office they are both embarrassed and glad to have the conversation.
Keep in mind--and this is huge gender bias I've noticed over the years--that sex helps men feel connected, and women need to already feel connected to want sex. Quite a conundrum. More to talk about.