sexual desire of men and women
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Her sexual desire drops, his stays the same

By Nikoleta Popkostadinova Wednesday, March 14, 2012 - 19:30
Women want sex less and less as a relationship goes on, while men stay as horny as ever. It’s fact, not just cliché. You can work out exactly how much a woman will want sex just by looking at the length of her relationship, say researchers.

When they first got together, neither of them could keep their hands off each other. Nowadays, he’s still raring for action but she says, “Not tonight dear, I’ve got a headache.”

This scenario might be a stereotype, but there’s science to support it. Women’s interest in sex with their partner drops by the month, according to a study at the University of Guelph in Canada.Scientists quizzed 170 students who had been in heterosexual relationships for between one month and nine years. They asked them to rate their relationship satisfaction, sexual satisfaction and sexual desire.

Precise figure

All the students said they were generally happy both with their relationships and sex lives. But the women ranked their sexual desire lower depending on how long they'd been together with their partners.

The researchers say the data lets them pin down a woman’s sexual urges by a precise figure. For every month the women in the study had been in a relationship, “their sexual desire decreased by 0.02 on the Female Sexual Function Index."

Meanwhile, men said their interest in having sex with their partners stayed as strong as it was right at the start of the relationship. Clearly, it’s a recipe for rows and frustration.

Evolution

Women’s dwindling desire may be down to the hormonal change as a relationship moves from the wild passion at the start of a romance to the tender love in a steady relationship, the researchers say. But just as important is whether the woman feels relaxed, playful and sexy, and there’s enough time set aside in the relationship for sex.There’s also an evolutionary theory to explain the sexual desire gap: quantity versus quality when it comes to having children. Men’s lust remains steady as they try to father as many babies as possible, while women’s interest shifts to making sure the children they already have are raised properly.

Just normal

Whatever the reasons, the findings can help couples manage their relationships over time, say the researchers. Being aware that women’s sexual desire is likely to decrease as months and years go by can help both partners realise it doesn’t necessarily mean there’s anything wrong with their relationship. It could be just normal.Knowing that women lose interest in sex in long-term relationships while men don’t can help couples have more realistic expectations about their sex lives so they aren’t disappointed when passion and yearning take other forms. And it can help couples respond to the changes as they happen and put more effort into their sex lives.

Keeping things fun

"When an individual has had sex with their partner over the course of many, many years, it takes creativity and openness to keep things fresh and exciting," the researchers say."Making time to be together and keep one's sex life as an important part of one’s relationship is very important, and putting in effort and keeping things fun and interesting are crucial components."

Is it always the woman in the relationship whose sexual desire dwindles - or do you know different?

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