Sexual Desire Discrepancy as a Feature, Not a Bug, of Long-Term Relationships: Women's Self-Reported Strategies for Modulating Sexual Desire

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This new research by the Kinsey Institute unfortunately demonstrates that the policies they have tried to teach us for the last 60 years are not working. Maybe it's time we stopped relying on sexologists for advice and demanded real research on the effects of sex on the brain and on pair bonding.



Sexual desire discrepancy is commonly reported by couples in long-term romantic relationships. Given the idiosyncratic nature of desire, and the lack of a "one size fits all" model approach to address desire concerns, it is useful to understand more about the range of ways that women and their partners modulate sexual desire.


This study aims to assess women's strategies to influence their sexual desire and the self-reported effectiveness of these strategies.


One hundred seventy-nine women who had been in a relationship with a male partner for 5+ years completed an anonymous Internet-based survey.


Participants responded to three open-ended items about the strategies they use to address desire issues and how helpful those strategies are.


The most common responses regarding what participants did to get desire back on track included: communication, trying to meet partner's needs, having sex without desire, and having patience/letting time work out the problem. Women also mentioned several specific strategies they had employed: communication, scheduling sex, lingerie, and a date night. However, a large number of women discussed that the issue was not resolved, and they were dissatisfied with attempted strategies.


This research provides valuable insight into the construction of women's sexual desire and the strategies used to navigate sexual desire in long-term relationships.

Herbenick D, Mullinax M, and Mark K. Sexual desire discrepancy as a feature, not a bug, of long-term relationships: Women's self-reported strategies for modulating sexual desire. J Sex Med **;**:**-**.

 [J Sex Med. 2014] - PubMed