New research shows that if they want to maintain a healthy sex life, men should probably change partners about every twelve months or so.
Remember the seven-year itch? That was the theory that people would become bored in their long-term relationship after seven years and started looking around for a new partner or a potential affair.
It turns out that seven years was overly optimistic – and it’s not actually men that are the problem. A new study of over 11,500 adults in relationships shows that women tend to lose interest in sex after just one year with their partner.
Researchers from Southampton university interviewed 6,669 women and 4,839 men who had at least one sexual partner in the past year. The women were twice as likely as the men to report a lack of interest in sex. Only 15 per cent of men as compared to 34 per cent of women surveyed said that they had lost interest in having sex for at least three months out of the previous year.
Women in particular reported that their desire for sex declined sharply after living with their partner for 12 months. Men, on the other hand, did not see similar a decline in their interest in sex with their partner, no matter how long the relationship.
Health issues, having young children, and having sexual preferences that differed from their partner’s were amongst the most common reasons for women’s lack of desire.
Alternately to starting a new relationship every year in order to maintain a healthy sex life, you could try talking to your partner. Apparently, that helps.
The researchers found that having open conversations about sex improved the situation. Those people who were most able to talk about sex with their partner tended to have better sex lives.
The study’s lead author Professor Cynthia Graham said, “Our findings show that for women in particular, the quality and length of relationship and communication with their partners are important in their experience of sexual interest.”
This study is published in the British Medical Journal Open.