No, your sex life won’t die just because you’ve been together a long time but something else might just kill it though.
Is monogamy detrimental to a good sex life?
One of the claims I come across again and again these years is that monogamy is detrimental to a good sex life.
The claim is that monogamy kills the eroticism. So if you’re in a monogamous relationship, your sex life will naturally worsen as time goes on and your desire for one another will decrease and finally, eroticism will be history.
That’s what they say.
The argument basically being that we are not biologically “created” to be with only one partner.
When the initial “in-love feelings” have faded away and you both feel super secure, there’s only one way for the sex life to head and that’s down.
The argument is that when the friendship becomes strong and there’s a lot of safety and security between the two of you, the oxytocin hormone is released, and when that happens as if it’s some sort of event that happens once and can’t be undone, it becomes difficult to feel erotic and lustful towards your partner.
However, if that’s correct, why is it that there are loads of well-functioning, long-term couples stating that they have a wonderful and satisfying sex life?
Couples that are still turned on by one another, still find each other sexually attractive despite having young children, disagreements, stress, ups and downs; you know, the stuff everyone go through.
I find that very interesting.
A long-term relationship and a hot sex life
If the hypothesis that “friendship, intimacy and security ruins a sex life” is correct, then how come these couples have both a nice and safe relationship and a lovely and naughty sex life?
I’m not the only one who’s been curious about this.
Among others, Northrup, Schwartz, and Witte have conducted a study with more than 70,000 participants from 24 different countries. This study set out to discover the actual differences between couples who had a good sex life and the ones who had a crappy one.
The results were pretty interesting. They found 13 similarities between the couples that stated they had a nice sex life. This was regardless of age, country, social status etc.
More than 50% of these points are activities, which we know release oxytocin. Oxytocin promotes friendship and intimacy. One of the things the couples did was to turn to each other both emotionally and physically. Daily. I find this very interesting as it’s in complete disagreement with what you tend to hear; that when a long-term relationship turns super secure, the sex life dies.
It’s much more likely that it’s all about context
It’s about the space you create for yourself in which to have a well-functioning sex life. Emily Nagoski talks about this in her new book: “Come as you are – the surprising new science that will transform your sex life.”
Do you have enough time for a sex life?
It’s not about the monogamous sex life in itself; that’s not what kills the erotic element.
No no, it’s the way in which we often tend to treat our sex life in the monogamous relationship. That’s what kills it.
4 of the 13 points from the list of couples with a great sex life are:
- They kiss each other passionately for no reason
- They prioritise their sex life and it’s not at the bottom of the to-do list
- They speak comfortably about their sex life or learn how to
- They know what turns their partner on/off erotically
It’s interesting, isn’t it?
Even if we skip past the research and the studies already done and jump right into my own clinic, what I keep experiencing is that the couples who want to get their sex life back on track always want the same thing: more time together.
This is simply because more time together often creates more lust for one another and that equals more sex.
I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve heard the sentence: “If only we had more quality time together, that would improve our sex life and we would desire each other more.”
And when I then help them prioritise this time together, they’re right; their sex life improves.
They’ve always instinctively known that if they followed their longing for more quality time together – time to connect emotionally – then that would in turn create more and better sex. They just didn’t listen but instead chose to accept the myth that a long-term relationship always ends up killing the sex life.
I find this very interesting and just really lovely. And perhaps you’ll find it inspirational too. This means that you’re the ones with the power to create a fantastic sex life – nature certainly isn’t ruining it for you.
Maj’s tip: You can be in a monogamous relationship and have a hot sex life.