It’s been thought that one of the reasons men avoid settling down into coupledom is that they fear the boredom (and possibly the lack of variety) of being with one woman, but research now shows that guys may need to be worried about the women they are with being bored with them.
A new study says that women in long-term relationships are four times more likely to get bored with their partners after just one year, but that same trend does not exist in men.
Researchers at Southampton University who gathered findings from more than 11,000 study participants found that women in relationships of a year or more were four times more likely to not be interested in being intimate than those in briefer relationships. However, they also found that men’s interest in sex does not decrease with time.
“’Our findings show us the importance of the relational context in understanding low sexual interest in both men and women,” says lead author professor Cynthia Graham. “For women in particular, the quality and length of relationship and communication with their partners are important in their experience of sexual interest.”
The study, which was a part of the National Survey of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles, included 6,669 women and 4,839 men who all had at least one sexual partner in the past year. Research also found other sexual history informed present and future coital behavior of the participants.
Related: Women’s DNA Gets Stronger With Sexual Intimacy
Both men and women who had past sexual experiences of forced sex were at risk from being turned off by sex. Other issues that put a damper on sexual intimacy also included poor mental and physical health and having had a recent sexually transmitted infection.
Women experienced their own special set of circumstances that caused sexual interest to wane. They included the much previously reported transition into motherhood. Women had decreased libidos when they had children under five years of age.
Having three or more sexual partners in a year decreased interest in sexual intimacy in women as well as if they had distinctly different sexual preferences from their partner. But they also found it easier to broach the topic of sex and fulfilling their needs than men did.
Related: Regular Sexual Activity Could Improve Cognitive Function in Older Adults
“It highlights the need to assess and – if necessary – treat sexual interest problems in a holistic and relationship, as well as gender-specific, way,” adds Graham.
A second Kinsey study released in August revealed that there is a magic number — for how often people are meant to have sex — and it’s dictated by one’s age.
Researchers found that people between the ages of 18 and 29 have sex on average of 112 times a year, but that number drops off for men and women a decade older. For participants between the ages of 30 and 39, sexual intercourse drops to 86 times annually. Finally, for those in the 40-49 age range, that number falls to 69 times a year.
Ronke Idowu Reeves is a writer and journalist who hails from Brooklyn, NY. Her news and entertainment stories have appeared on WABC-TV-New York, Fox News Channel, VH1, BET.com plus in Sundance Film Festival’s Sundance Daily Insider and People Magazine.