Are We Doomed If Our Sex Life Is Dull?

You've been with your partner almost two years, so the novelty of each other has likely worn off a little bit, and you likely feel really comfortable with one another. There is research that indicates the two-year mark is right around the time where your love for your partner turns from passionate to compassionate. That means that the love grows deeper at the same time as the sizzle starts to fizzle ...

This is the time you can evaluate if the passion is going to be able to stay in your compassionate relationship. There is a book by Esther Perel that I often suggest folks in long-term monogamous relationships read who are in the predicament that you're in. It is called "Mating in Captivity" and the premise of the book surrounds the idea that hot sex requires distance, mystery and danger -- three things that don't coincide well with trust, comfort and compassion. This could be what you're experiencing.

Ian Kerner, author of "She Comes First" and fellow expert at Good in Bed, believes that sex ruts are becoming an epidemic and suggests that couples should try to engage in sex at least once a week to avoid falling into this drought. I couldn't agree more. There is a body of research that suggests that a lot of women have sex for reasons other than sexual desire. Once you get into it, you will likely find that the desire follows the arousal.

So what do you do? How can you spice it up a bit to keep the desire and the mystery alive? Don't worry, ladies, I'm here for you. Here are a few things you can do:

• Continue to compliment each other. I know that sounds simple, but seriously, compliment each other. When he looks great in your favorite shirt or in a certain light, tell him. It does a great deal of good to your relationship.
• Make sure you continue having sex regularly, even if you don't feel the desire at first. As research shows, if you have sex when you don't feel desire, the desire can come after the arousal, and you'll be happy you did.
• Try bringing some excitement into your relationship through watching sex tapes together, dabbling in the wonderful world of sex toys, or engaging in some sort of light bondage excitement.
• Kiss each other daily. This may also seem like a simple one, but this will bring you back to the early days of your relationship when you couldn't stop kissing each other. Also, kissing promotes intimacy, which is what you two need right now.

I do not think your relationship is doomed. As I stated above, the two-year mark is one of the landmarks in most relationships where you start to make the distinction between whether this is going to end or go somewhere further. So, evaluate the relationship; decide whether you think you can bring the passion into these compassionate stages. If you can, hold on to it and take care to acknowledge that the sexual part of your relationship is important. Keep it alive!

Kristen Mark, M.Sc., is currently completing her PhD in health behavior with concentrations in human sexuality and statistics at Indiana University. She is a researcher at the Center for Sexual Health Promotion and researcher and writer for the Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender and Reproduction. Her research largely focuses on sexuality in the context of relationships; maintaining sexual desire; and sexual quality, pleasure and satisfaction. For more of Kristen, please visit Good in Bed

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