Sex in a Long-Term Relationship: Debunking Fears and Assumptions

sex in long term relationship

For most of us, sex is one of the fundamental elements of a long-term relationship that can make or break a deal with our significant other. We all know that sex changes over the course of a relationship. The way it starts at the beginning of a relationship can be totally different from how it is a few months down the line. But when it comes to our perceptions of sex, there are a few mistruths – or rather romanticisms – that have been very subtly ingrained in our minds. That isn’t to say all we’ve been told about sex is a lie. But it’s worth revisiting those niggling thoughts at the back of our heads just to reassure ourselves and strike a good balance.

Mundane means boring

A lot of people seem to have the opinion that sex routine means a duller and less romantic relationship. We’re surrounded by TV and novels that feature frisky foreplay and spontaneous sex on a regular basis despite couples being together for over a decade and so it’s easy for our own sex lives to seem dull in comparison. But when you think about it, it actually reflects the stability of the relationship. This simply means that you and your partner have found what you both like and that you’re comfortable. When you first start dating, that’s the period to test the waters so it’s only natural that with the time you’ll end up repeating only the highlights of your time together. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with a familiar snuggle-sex-sleep. Don’t fret over thinking that your partner may be bored as they’ll just be happy to have found a routine you’re comfortable with. However, if it is playing on your mind as a concern, approach the topic openly with them and see if they have any suggestions. If you’re the one who wants to spice things up a little, take the initiative.

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The more, the better?

Another major concern I’ve heard friends converse about is that they don’t have sex nearly as often as they used to. Maybe you’ve gone from twice a day to twice a month without so much as a sultry glance. It’s tempting to worry that this is because they’ve gone off you or they aren’t interested, but that’s one of the least likely causes. But (surprise, surprise) it’s probably because they now know you better and want to spend time in your company doing more profound things like watching reality TV or complaining about their workday. They actually want to spend time with you and get your opinion on the important things rather than just getting down and dirty.

This is a natural change that marks the transition from simply ‘romantically involved’ to ‘best friends’. But, as I said before if you are still concerned then just approach your partner openly about it before jumping to any conclusions. Remember though, there are other factors that come that can also affect libido, such as tiredness, illness, medications or stress, just to name a few.

Spontaneous make-outs vs scheduled sex

So not only are you worrying that you’re having sex only once a month, but now you start to realize that each time it happens to fall on the third Sunday of every month. It’s almost a set calendar date to the extent that when someone asks if you fancy doing something social, you debate whether that actually counts as having plans. But when you’re working around a typical routine of work and hobbies then, of course, any ‘extracurricular’ sessions are going to fall into a similar slot each time. Instead, think of this as something to look forward to with anticipation. Besides, anything outside of the schedule is even more spontaneous and a definite bonus, which will make the experience even more exciting overall.

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No need to woo each other

It’s fine to initiate each session with “want to have sex?” and go from there, but a little flair can go a long way to inviting change if that’s what you feel that you need. The danger of being comfortable and open with each other is that it can be too comfortable. There’s no pizzazz sometimes. If you’re courting, putting a little effort into the pursuit gives you a refreshing, little edge of playfulness. Make it flirty and tease them a little maybe with a few kisses or acting coy and dominating. This will bring the youth back into the relationship by making a little game out of it all. Whether it’s just foreplay or you maintain the playfulness for longer, it’ll definitely give the mood a little boost. And if you really want to change it up and make a difference then there’s always music, lighting and smells to play with. Even if it’s something subtle, like a different moisturizer or perfume or some nice underwear, it can make all the difference for both of you.

He won’t like me if I change

Maybe you don’t look quite the same as when you first entered into your relationship. You may have lost or gained weight, your hair might have changed. Maybe you stopped or started shaving, developed wrinkles, got a tattoo. It could be anything. But as long as you are happy with your own body image or are working towards what you want for your own personal well-being and happiness, your partner should be there to support you. Most relationships have an element of physical attraction, but never feel that if your physical appearance has changed that you’ve somehow breached some sort of unspoken contract. A partner is with you for who you are. A relationship should be built on a deeper connection. After all, it’s only human nature to change over time, like a flower is destined to bloom, but if you are concerned then, as I always say, just speak to your partner honestly.

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Overall, I think everything is about balance. Balancing being comfortable around each other with igniting a spark from time to time, when the mood takes you. I also feel that it’s crucial to be open and honest with your partner as soon as something troubles you because then you can just tackle it straight away rather than fretting over it. A problem shared is a problem halved, after all, and sex is still quite a taboo subject beyond our own inner circles. So, it isn’t always easy to get a wealth of advice considering every relationship can be vastly different. But hopefully this article has reassured you that romance isn’t always new and shiny like we often see on television – and that’s the beauty of it.

Lauren is a recent Creative Writing MA graduate now cast out into the real world. Fiction writing is her main genre, but she also writes poems, articles, and just about any other form of writing to change things up every now and again. Music is one of her greatest loves.


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