Do Women Really Lose Interest in Sex Over Time?

Illustration for article titled Do Women Really Lose Interest in Sex Over Time?

We've all heard plenty of hacky jokes made about the fact that women want to stop having sex after they've been in a relationship for a while, but men don't. Now there's some new research confirming that, in fact, there is a connection between the length of a relationship and the decline in a woman's desire for sex, but let's not abandon hope just yet.


The research was done by Sarah Murray and Robin Milhausen, both from the University of Guelph in Ontario. They surveyed 170 undergraduates who'd been in relationships that had lasted from one month to nine years. The subjects reported on their levels of "relationship satisfaction, sexual satisfaction and sexual desire." They scored desire using a model called the Female Sexual Function Index, which ranges from 1.2 to 6.0.

The participants were generally satisfied with their sex lives—and their relationships too. But women had lower levels of desire depending on how long they'd been in the relationship.

Specifically, for each additional month women in this study were in a relationship with their partner, their sexual desire decreased by 0.02 on the Female Sexual Function Index.

That may not sound like a lot, but it does add up if you're together for years. The male desire held steady over the course of a relationship. If you're thinking about it in terms of the ol' evolutionary theory, then it would make sense that men have continual high desire and women taper off as they start to raise their kids. But that theory doesn't really make sense when you're talking about a study done on undergrads, who aren't typically starting families together. The sexual habits of college kids—even if they've been in a relationship for years—probably aren't going to match up with the sexual dynamic of an older couple who've been together for 20 years, have jobs, have children, etc. So, until we have some solid long term studies to go on, let's hold off on writing a plot line about a wife who cleverly but continually rebuffs her husbands advances into our imaginary sitcoms.

Why Women Lose Interest in Sex [LiveScience]

Image via altafulla/Shutterstock.



I'm exhausted all the time, after getting up at 6am, dealing with two teenagers-both my son and my husband have depressive and anxiety disorders, my husband's company has been teetering on the edge of dissolution for months and we don't know from one week to the next if he will be employed, unemployed, demoted and I don't make enough money to support us despite working full time. I come to work and deal with a job that frankly, is unrewarding, a coworker who is mentally ill and drains my lifeforce and the knowledge that yet again, I will not receive any financial compensation this year, despite being paid $10,000 under the national average for this job. I'm also dealing with an elderly parent with narcissistic personality disorder and dementia. I have not been able to find time to deal with my own health issues and desperately need to schedule some minor surgery but cannot for various reasons. I'm physically and emotionally exhausted and most of the time I want to sit on the floor and cry, but I can't because I have to hold it together for everyone else.

So sorry, but sex? so far on the bottom of the list, it's non existent.