How Does Sexual Satisfaction Change Over Time in Relationships?

How Does Sexual Satisfaction Change Over Time in Relationships?

What happens to sexual satisfaction over the course of time in a romantic relationship? Does it increase as partners learn how to pleasure each other? Or does it decrease as those initial feelings of passion subside?

Previous research has led to conflicting conclusions. In addition, most of the studies in this area suffer from major limitations. Perhaps the biggest is a persistent focus on cross-sectional rather than longitudinal data (i.e., looking at data from just one snapshot in time, as opposed to tracking actual changes in satisfaction over a period of months or years). Moreover, a lot of the research is based on non-representative samples (e.g., focusing only on young adults or college students).

A new study published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior addresses these main shortcomings in an attempt to perhaps provide a more definitive answer to the question of how sexual satisfaction changes with relationship duration.

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