How to keep the passion alive in a long-term relationship
How to keep the passion alive is one of those age-old relationship questions. It’s often said that sexual satisfaction declines as relationships go on, but new research says that it doesn’t always have to be that way.
A new study has kept track of a number of couples’ sex lives and found out the factors that can help keep the flame alive as a relationship progresses.
Among other things, they looked at:
- intimate behaviour like kissing, cuddling, and laughing together
- sexual variety like new positions and sexy lingerie
- setting a romantic mood
- frequency of sex
- oral sex
What did we learn?
The study asked couples to rate their sexual satisfaction at the start of new relationships in 2006 and then again more recently.
Most reported feeling happy with their sex lives at the start, when the relationship was still new. Ten years later, around half said they were generally satisfied, with 34% feeling dissatisfied and 17% feeling neutral.
Over a third of the total participants (38% of women and 32% of men) said they were just as happy with their current sex lives as they were at the start of the relationship.
So what’s the secret? Well, satisfaction was most keenly felt among those who had sex more frequently, had more oral sex, had more consistent orgasms, had more variety in the type of sex they were having, and more variety in the setting and the communication around sex.
By looking at couples who had succeeded in keeping the passion alive, the study found some useful suggestions for improving a sex life that’s at risk of losing its spark. Here are the top tips:
- Make the time. If you need to set up date nights or weekends away, do it.
- Slow down with the foreplay. A combination of soft and passionate kissing can heighten arousal and passion.
- Mix it up. Try out different positions, wear sexy underwear, or give each other massages.
- Get into pre-sex foreplay. A sexy text during the day can help you both get both in the mood.
- Talk about your fantasies. You are more likely to hold onto your passion when you feel comfortable asking each other for what you want.
- Keep up the intimacy after sex. Expressing your love or having a cuddle afterwards can increase your overall sexual satisfaction.
- Do your research. If you run out of ideas, look up some new ones. Even just trying something new as a one-off experiment can help you feel more satisfied.
So, despite the often held belief that passion fades over time, it doesn’t always have to. Many couples do manage to keep the fire alive, and you can too.