Inevitably that butterfly in the stomach feeling subsides, along with the five-times-a-day lust fest. And at first it makes way for an even better chain of phases: The no-games phase, the falling-in-love phase, the sit on the couch together watching T.V phase and the snuggle phase. While these subsequent phases may lack the glamour of the initial courting phase they are just as fun and just as exciting. That is until they become the default setting.
Somewhere along the way things become stagnated. The couch becomes the third party in your relationship. You love each other. Madly. But sometimes even love can become a little yawn-worthy when it sits next to you on the couch all night farting. Where's the excitement? The thrill of the chase? The effort? It's all a sure thing. Want to have sex? Sure, why not. There's no seduction, no flirtation. No attempt to charm you knickers off. It's all too easy. So easy that it gets a little dull. Have sex? With you? Again? sigh. Well if I must. I think Erica Jong summed it up perfectly in her book Fear of Flying when she wrote: 'Even if you loved your husband, there came that inevitable year when fucking him turned as bland as Velveeta (processed) cheese: filling, fattening even, but no thrill to the taste buds, no bittersweet edge, no danger.'
I want to be wooed! I want to meet a tall dark stranger at a jazz bar and have him give me the eye. I want him to smile at me seductively over his whiskey glass and dip his fedora at me. Then when he gets up on stage to do his set he sings directly at me like he is making love to me with his brooding guitar riffs. By the time he's reached his last song I. Am. His. Afterwards he takes me wildly in the alleyway out the back and I don't even know his name. Is that so much to ask? I want love letters! I want first kisses! I want to feel that insane lustfilled hunger again!
Well personally I have always blamed kids (after kids come into the picture, your husband's penis has about as much appeal as a bag of dead puppies. Sad but true!). Yep kids, lack of exercise, headaches, a far too comfy couch and mornings. But it turns out that I can now blame monogamy itself for my lack of interest in getting freaky. That's right! According to a survey by Dietrich Klusmann, a psychologist at the University of Hamburg-Eppendorf in Germany, a woman's desire for sex with her long-term partner starts to plummet after the five year mark, whereas males tend to stay interested in sex with their long term partner for longer. Much longer. Yep men are pretty much happy to just have sex in general but women, we need excitement! We need variety! Interestingly, in the same study it was found that women who did not live with their partners, actually maintained a higher level of lust for them for much longer. I could see that. People are always way sexier when you don't have to clean up their filth.
Monogamy can be a challenge for both men and women but women are quicker to tire of it. This is believed to be because men are innately programmed to lust for the woman nearest to them, so they are pretty much always going to be interested in their monogamous partners. But seeing as us women tend to lose interest in sex with the same ol' man, we tend to just lose interest in sex all together. And what's worse, we start to think that there is genuinely something medically wrong with us. But there's not. We are just programmed to seek another mate. To find a new fella to sow our oats. Yep, monogamy is not what Mother Nature had in mind (turns out she was a bit of a slapper!). We are programmed to re-populate the earth and add to the gene pool by mixing things up and having one child with many, many different men.
The problem is that monogamy is quite convenient. I quite like my husband. He's nice. We have kids together. He makes me laugh and he's my best friend. He's like a cozy bed on a rainy night. He brings in the fire wood and I cook the dinner. I don't want to break-up with him just for the sake of excitement. I don't really fancy a one night stand or an affair. They both seem like a lot of work. I am not really about to go a doof the next hot piece of meat who gives me the glad eye and wakes up my hibernating libido. But gee, I'd really like to fall in love again! I am in mourning for the flirtations and first kisses that I will never have again!
But who really cares? So what if the sex has faded away a little? Who cares if the spark has gone? You love each other right? That's enough right? Well not always. The problem with monogamy becoming monotonous is that it can lead to a relationship breakdown. If your hubby isn't getting any and is suffering in silence it can lead to infidelity. So too for the woman who is bored of sex with her partner and secretly craves the excitement of a new lover. So What do we do? How do we survive monotonous monogamy?
If it's actually quality time you want with your lover then you may need to book it in. Get off the couch and out of the trackies! Get away from the kids and talk of chores. Get away from the T.V and away from the laptops. Turn off the phones! Talk. Laugh. Eat dinner. Walk on the beach. It's amazing how much you can love someone again just by taking domestication out of the equation and actually having a conversation.
Go out in a group
Going out with a group of friends can help you re-ignite the attraction you once felt for your partner. Seeing them interact with other people, seeing them talk to other women, seeing them dressed up nice. All of these things remind you of who you fell in love with.
Are you a busy body? Do you are your hubby never see each other? Are you always working or always with friends? Well then perhaps you could try staying home for a change. Sit by the fire, have a glass of wine and talk and make-out.
Talk about sex
Sometimes the best thing to do is be honest. If you see a hot guy at the store who made you wink, tell your partner! Tell him all about it. Encourage him to tell you about his fantasies. This opens up the relationship to a new area of arousal. You're not actually sleeping with anyone else but it's that outside stimuli that can help get the juices flowing again. You could even try role playing. He could be the hot plumber who came by today to fix the shitter. You could be the receptionist he saw at the dental surgery. Why not?
Sometimes going away for the weekend with just your lover is the best kind of medicine to cure a sex drought! Especially if you have kids! Dump the little cock-blockers on some willing relative for the weekend and go to a vineyard and re-kindle the spark.
Keep an arousal journal
If your problem is sex (not having enough, or not wanting it enough) it could help to keep an arousal journal. Is it an issue of timing? Are you a day person? Or perhaps a late night person? Keep track of when you feel horny by keeping a journal. It's not just for practical use, you don't have to have sex at those times. It just can be good to know that you do actually still feel arousal some times (and that you are not really a dried up old maid!). But if you do discover you are a lunch time lover perhaps you could arrange a lunch date for a treat?
An orgasm is one of the best gifts you can give yourself. If you are bored of sex with your partner have sex with yourself and go from there. You could even ask you husband to join in, if you want.
Men need to ejaculate. It is just the way it is. For women, orgasms are nice but they are just not as pressing. Sure there are some women who want to get one away all the time but men need to ejaculate like they need to breathe and eat and sleep. If they do not they get very grumpy. So, if you are not at all interested in having sex with you long term parter then you need to be open to the fact that he will need to masturbate and/or watch porn. Some guys are fine with masturbation alone, others still prefer the real deal. Some women actually send their husbands to a prostitute. Yep. They are so uninterested in sex (and so emotionally secure) that they'd rather their husband be "taken care of" by a professional who uses protection, than be tempted to have an affair which could potentially break up the family. Makes sense. Kinda.
Sex is kinda like going for a run. The idea sometimes seems like a lot of work. The thought is sometimes exhausting in itself. But just like a run, you're always glad you did it, afterwards. Sometimes the best thing to do is, just do it.
Write an erotic novel - together!
It could be hilarious. It could be ridiculous. It could be a best seller! Or it could make you rabid for each others naked bodies! Go on! Turn off Graham Norton and start writing about quivering members.
If your boredom is purely sexual and you are both game, why the heck not!? Go on get freaky! There are heaps of websites for swingers and hell, you could probably just use Tinder. Just don't pull out the key bowl at family Christmas. That could get awkward.
"How hypocritical to go upstairs with a man you don't want to fuck, leave the one you do sitting there alone, and then, in a state of great excitement, fuck the one you don't want to fuck while pretending he's the one you do. That's called fidelity. That's called monogamy. That's called civilization and its discontents.” - Erica Jong, Fear of Flying.
All images by our favourite photographer Connie McDonald.