Study reveals how to have great sex in a long-term relationship

Trying new things and telling your partner you love them during sex are both key, experts say

Foreplay and telling your partner you love them are key factors in maintaining a satisfying sex life in a long-term relationship, a new study has found.

The US team behind the findings studied common romantic and sexual behaviours to find why some couples are happier with sex than others. 

Those who said “I love you” and were intimate by cuddling, kissing and laughing together during sex were more satisfied, the study which focused on heterosexual couples found.

Keeping sex varied by trying new positions and acting out fantasies also helped to keep couples satisfied, as well as setting the mood with lighting, music, or sending teasing texts earlier in the day.

Couples who gave and received more oral sex, experienced orgasms frequently and had sex more often also reported feeling happier in their relationships.

The study published in ‘The Journal of Sex Research’ examined more than 38,747 married or cohabiting couples in the US who had been with their partner for at least three years.  

Participants were asked to rate how satisfied they were with the sex during the first six months of their relationships, and to compare that to how they felt at the time of the study. 

Some 83 per cent of people  said they were sexually satisfied in the first six months of their relationship. However, 41 per cent and 27 per cent of men and women, respectively, said they were currently dissatisfied.   

A further 43 per cent and 55 per cent for men and women said they were currently satisfied, while the remainder felt neutral. 

David Frederick, Ph.D., assistant professor of psychology at Chapman University and lead author of the study said: “Almost half of satisfied and dissatisfied couples read sexual self-help books and magazine articles, but what set sexually satisfied couples apart was that they actually tried some of the ideas.”

Dr. Janet Lever, a co-author on the study, said: “It was encouraging to learn that more than one-third of couples kept passion alive, even after a decade or two together. 

She added that such couples made a conscious effort to avoid getting caught in a routine when having sex. 

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