This Is The Secret To Maintaining Sexual Desire In A Relationship, Says Science

Depending on what research you stumble upon, how often happy couples have sex varies. Some say a couple times a month is average, while others will say once a week is the “ideal” sex amount. But no matter which research results you subscribe to, there is one thing that’s definitely true: Over time, love changes and so does sex. It’s completely normal to go from crazy, mad-for-you infatuation to attachment and comfort in a relationship. And when that happens, you can’t help but wonder where the romance has gone. However, according to a new study, you can actually get that that romance back in your life.

According to the study by Gurit Birnbaum, professor of psychology at the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya, Israel, if you want to keep things hot and heavy in the bedroom, then you need to keep them hot and heavy outside the bedroom, too. As Birnbaum wrote in a press release, “Our research shows that partners who are responsive to each other outside the bedroom are able to maintain their sexual desire.” Takeaway? Rekindling the romance starts outside the bedroom.

I talked to Dr. Dawn Michael, certified clinical sexologist, sexuality counselor, and author of My Husband Wont Have Sex With Me about how couples can rekindle that romance once it starts to wane. 

1. Show You Care Outside The Bedroom

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As the study found, it’s when you show a deeper level of caring outside the bedroom, as in being responsive at all times, that that responsiveness is returned in kind. In showing an interest and understanding, a door to greater intimacy is opened and that spills over into the bedroom. “Intimacy starts outside the bedroom which leads to better sexual intimacy during sex,” says Dr. Dawn Michael.

2. Make Them Feel Unique

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Birnbaum’s research also delved into the idea that relationships that are familiar can kill desire (read: you get bored with your partner), but that wasn’t found to be completely true. While the novelty may wear off after being with someone for awhile, in making your partner feel unique and “worth pursuing,” both partners will show an interest in having sex with each other because seeing your partner as a valuable mate increases sexual desire. 

3. Date Your Partner

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According to Dr. Michael, dating your partner is a great way to rekindle that romance because, again, it’s something fun that’s happening outside the bedroom. “Plan a date every week if possible or at least every other week," says Dr. Michael. "Each person gets a turn to plan a date so that it is not one person sole responsibility. On the date talk about things that are fun, interesting, and sexy.”

4. Flirt With Your Partner

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Flirting never gets old. No matter how long you’ve been with someone, it always feels great to flirt because it takes you back to those early days when everything was so new and exciting. Says Dr. Michael, “Flirt with each other as well as take the time to look nice for each other. If it leads to some hot steamy love making after, then all the better.” 

5. Think Of It Like Eating

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“Maintaining sexual desire comes from the notion that sex is supposed to be fun and enjoyable, like eating a good meal,” says Dr. Michael. “The same dish over and over again gets boring.” 

Not only do you want to switch things up in order to rekindle that desire for each other, but you want to entice, as you would when trying a new dish. “Tease your partner before you go into the bedroom, make it appetizing and it's OK if you both are a little bit hungry. Desire comes from wanting, so create the atmosphere for it.” 

Images: Andrew Zaeh for Bustle; Giphy (5)

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