Original Illustration by Stephanie DeAngelis
The best long-term relationships come with security and support, but one side effect of being in it for the long haul with your S.O. could be a loss of interest in sex. It's easy to get into a routine and even feel bored with your partner, but there's no need for guilt, and there's plenty of ways to spice things up in the bedroom. A new study published in BMJ Open found that disinterest in sex is relatively common in women who have been in a relationship for more than one year, Prevention reports.
Researchers surveyed thousands of men and women aged 16 to 74 who had at least one sexual partner in the last year and found that 15% of men and 34.2% of women reported a lack of interest in sex. There are a variety of factors that can contribute to a lower libido in men and women, but among only women, a lack of interest in sex was higher for those in a long-term relationship lasting more than one year.
It's not unusual to feel this way when you've been with the same person for a long time—even if you're still madly in love with them. "A lot of couples struggle when their sex lives become too routine," David Klow, LMFT, and owner of Skylight Counseling Center in Chicago, told Prevention. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to help you reawaken your interest in sex if you want to. Klow advises couples try different positions or find new places to have sex.
According to Ramani Durvasula, Ph.D., and author of Should I Stay or Should I Go?, "Sex doesn't always have to be all candles and foreplay." She suggests spicing up your routine with a quickie every now and then while continuing to build intimacy with date nights and cuddling.