It is not surprising that some women lose interest in sex a year into the relationship. This is according to local sexologist Dr. Eugene Viljoen -- who spoke to HuffPost SA following a UK study, reported by IOL, that did research in this area.
Researchers from Southampton, Glasgow and University College in London interviewed more than 6,500 women and more than 4,500 men aged between 16 and 74, who reported having at least one sexual partner in the last year.
Some 34% of the women and 15% of the men said they were no longer interested in sex – and were distressed by this.
"It is definitely true that there is initial strong desire for sex at the beginning of any relationship especially when it's exciting, ticking all the boxes and you find each other physically attractive," explained Viljoen.
Clinical Sexologist, Dr. Eve concurs. In a HuffPost SA question and answer session earlier this year, she said: "Everybody's sex drive is highest when meeting someone new. The brain loves novelty, unfamiliarity and unpredictability."
However, this excitement alone is not sustainable over a period of time, both Viljoen and Dr. Eve believe. "Unless the emotional investment is strong," adds Viljoen.
The sexologist is of the opinion that sexual interest tarnishes if there is nothing substantial in the relationship outside of sex. "This is why some people opt for other sexual partners looking for that initial sexual thrill."
There are many aspects that drive sexual desire, however, cautioned Viljoen. These include the physical health of a woman, her body image and whether or not she is using medication. "Anti-depressants can play a role in diminishing sexual desire," said Viljoen. Something Dr Eve also pointed out: "Oral contraceptives can lower your desire and more significantly, can be the cause of painful penetration."
Dr.Eve also called fatigue "the culprit" as it can lead to a woman losing sexual interest.
She does have tips, however, for women who may be in long-term relationships and have lost interest in sex:
- Adjust your sexual expectations – focus on quality rather than quantity.
- Ensure your relationship is healthy – anger, guilt and resentment kill desire.
- Use a sex toy to remind yourself just how fabulous sex can be.
- Date nights are essential, just to connect, without expectation of sex afterwards.
- Stop pathologising yourself.