When sex declines it's easy to blame her hormones but it might be down to you.
Many of us complain that we don't get enough sex. And that's not just true for single men going through a lean spell on the dating front it can be just as likely to apply to men who are happily ensconced in an otherwise loving relationship.
It's common to blame our partners when our sex lives seem to drag. After all, we'd be happy with it pretty much any time. If her sex drive has taken a tumble, it's probably to do with her hormones, or the long hours she spends at work or a general female indifference to sex.
But experts say that something else might be at least partly to blame, and that something else is you. Are you doing something that is killing her sex drive? Here are a list of possible contenders, and what you can do to help bring her libido back to life.
Does she tend to do all the cleaning and cooking? Does she pick your dirty clothes off the bedroom floor? Do you take advantage just a teeny bit of her mania for tidiness and order?
If so, you may be killing her sex drive stone dead. Women who feel used also feel resentful, and resentment is about as far from a sexy emotion as it's possible to get.
The correlation between pitching in with the housework and sex has been proven scientifically. In a study of 7,000 couples published in the Journal of Family Issues, the couples who did most housework together had the most sex.
"Women's feelings about their husband were shaped by perceptions of fairness around housework," said one researcher. Given that, one route to more sex is easy enough to follow. Make the Hoover your sex toy of choice.
According to a survey for the British Heart Foundation British couples love to kiss until they get serious. One in five married couples doesn't kiss all week, the survey found. Two in five kiss for less than five seconds even when they do.
And if you've given up on kissing, you may be missing out on sex. A study published in the Journal of Evolutionary Psychology found that kissing means more to women than it does to men. When asked if they would have sex without kissing, 50% of men said they would but only 10% of women.
And here's the rub. While the importance of kissing declines for men as a relationship goes on, it increases for women. So if you're not getting the sex you want, you might want to pucker up. But make sure you put some passion into it. "Women were much more likely to say they would refuse to have sex with a bad kisser," said one researcher.
You might think those tipsy evenings in the pub are great fun for both of you, and by the end of them you're certainly in an amorous mood. The problem is, your love of the pub might be affecting her sex drive.
Though light drinking can help to put women in the mood too, anything more than a drink or two a day can help to dampen her sex drive, doctors say. Too much alcohol can mean it takes her longer to get aroused, and it makes achieving orgasm difficult. That's true of drugs too.
The answer is to ditch the pub for a night of passion, and make sex more than just a post-pub treat.
Like kissing, compliments can become scarce as relationships age. You no longer tell her how attractive she is. When she's criticising her hair or body, you no longer fly to their defence.
That could be doing real damage to her sex drive. A study that appeared in The Journal of Sex Research found that poor body image can have a serious effect on her libido. Interestingly, the more a woman perceived herself as unattractive, the more likely she was to report a decline in sexual desire or activity.
In other words, if you want more sex, you have to big her up. But you have to mean it, and your compliments will fall on deaf ears if they only appear to be a way to get sex. Tell her how great she looks at surprising times when sex is out of the question (on the way to work, for instance) and you might find sex is very much on the agenda when you get home.
Men in long-term relationships often let themselves go. They wear the same old clothes and put on weight. They take less care over their grooming. It stands to reason that such an attitude can lead to less sex. We might tell ourselves that women are interested in brilliant minds not buff bodies, but it's not true. Women want both.
Scientists in Greece showed the association between weight gain and reduced sex in long term relationships last year. In a study of 17,000 couples, the researchers found that the fatter men got the less sex they enjoyed.
Prof Dimitris Kiortsis, one of the study's co-authors, said single people spend a lot of time keeping fit, "but once they get married they let themselves go. The need to hunt for a partner is reduced."
The result? More fat, worse clothes and less sex. The answer: keep fit and fashionable and you'll spend more time horizontal and naked.
So the fact is, if your partner has become less interested in sex, don't jump to the conclusion that it's all down to her. There are surprising ways you might be turning her off, and easy steps to take to remedy the situation.
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