Amy described sex in the first year of her relationship with Jordan:
We couldn’t keep our hands off each other. Sex was so exciting. Just thinking about him aroused me. It was like play. We couldn’t get enough of each other.

Jordan: She used to send me texts during the day taunting me about what she was going to do to me when I got home. We acted out our fantasies and explored new ways of touching each other.

Amy: After we got married, life became more serious and we had sex less often. It wasn’t as passionate as before. It became something “to do” on the list.

Jordan: Once kids came along, we really slowed down. Amy was always tired and we were constantly running with the kids.

Amy and Jordan’s experience of sex becoming less frequent and less satisfying over the years is common. Once the “newness” wears off and life becomes routine, our love lives follow. Couples spend less time in the bedroom, kiss less often, become less creative, and lack the energy and enthusiasm that was once so natural.

A recent study, reported in the Journal of Sex Research: “What Keeps Passion Alive? Sexual Satisfaction Is Associated With Sexual Communication, Mood Setting, Sexual Variety, Oral Sex, Orgasm, and Sex Frequency in a National U.S. Study*,” found that couples most satisfied with their sex lives shared certain factors. They also found that passion can be kept alive in the bedroom for decades.

Researchers from the Kinsey Institute, California State University, Sonoma State University and Chapman University surveyed 39,000 heterosexual couples in relationships for at least 3 years. They found the couples satisfied with their sex lives had these factors in common:

  1. Couples Had Less Satisfaction Over Time
    In the first 6 months of their relationship, 83% were satisfied with their sexual connection. At the time of the survey only 43% of men and 55% of women were satisfied. And 41% of men and 27% of women were dissatisfied.
  2. Satisfied Couples Had Higher Frequency of Sex
    Happier couples had more sex. In the group that was satisfied, 79% of men and 81% of women were having sex at least once a week.
  3. Men and Women Defined Satisfaction Somewhat Differently
    The factors that led to satisfaction of men were setting the right mood, sexual variety and communication. For women, the satisfaction meant the number of orgasms, mood and communication.
  4. Satisfied Couples Had More Communication, exhibited by these 5 behaviors:
    • Praised a partner for something they did during sex.
    • Asked a partner what they wanted sexually.
    • Shared what they themselves desired from a partner sexually.
    • Communicated during the day to tease about something they wanted.
    • Asked for feedback about how something felt.

    The more these actions happened, the higher the degree of satisfaction.

  5. Satisfied Couples Said “I love you” During Sex to Set the Mood
    These words were important to the satisfaction of 75% of men and 74% of women.

How do you keep passion alive in your relationship? If it has faded, start working on it now:

  1. Talk about sexual satisfaction and how to increase it with your partner.
  2. Have more sex, even if you have to plan it.
  3. Tease during the day before you have sex.
  4. Be more daring – try new positions, new toys or fantasies.
  5. Set the mood – candles, music, lingerie.
  6. Ask for what you want and ask your partner what they want.
  7. Tell your partner what they did that you liked.


*Journal Reference:
Frederick, David A., Janet Lever, Brian Joseph Gillespie, Justin R. Garcia. What Keeps Passion Alive? Sexual Satisfaction Is Associated With Sexual Communication, Mood Setting, Sexual Variety, Oral Sex, Orgasm, and Sex Frequency in a National U.S. Study. The Journal of Sex Research, 2016; 1 DOI: 10.1080/00224499.2015.1137854.

Image Copyright Sergey Skripnikov