Understanding the Peaks and Valleys of Female Desire
Men and women experience desire differently. Both genders can lose sexual desire over time, but it seems that women can often fall off the deep end of desire later in life. What’s to blame—nutrition? Lackluster male lovers? Or something else?
New research is demonstrating what many people already knew from experience: Women lose interest in sex over time, while men don’t.
The finding has the potential to help couples, the researchers said. Knowing that many women’s sexual desire diminishes over the course of a relationship could encourage both partners to be more realistic about their sex lives, and could help them weather the changes in desire as they occur.
Sex researchers Sarah Murray and Robin Milhausen, both of the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada, asked 170 undergraduate women and men who had been in heterosexual relationships for anywhere from one month to nine years to report on their levels of relationship satisfaction, sexual satisfaction and sexual desire. Desire was scored using an established model called the Female Sexual Function Index, which ranges from 1.2 to 6.0.
The participants reported being generally satisfied with their relationships and sex lives, but women reported lower levels of desire depending on the length of their 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,” the authors wrote online Jan. 23 in the Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy.
In fact, relationship duration was a better predictor of sexual desire in women than both relationship and sexual satisfaction. While the 0.02 decrease in female desire was small, it contrasts with male desire, which held steady over time, the researchers said.
What do you think—what provokes loss of female desire later in life?
“Honor your own heart’s desire as strongly as you do others.” – Claire ext. 5242
“Define your sensuality and sexuality according to what makes you happy.” – Agnes ext. 5400
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