What does? New research from the University of Toronto found that the secret to a happy sex life in an LTR is super-hard...work.
For the study, researchers surveyed 1,900 people in heterosexual and same-sex relationships on their relationship beliefs, as well as how satisfied they were in their sex lives. Based on their answers, researchers divided participants into groups with "sexual growth beliefs" (i.e. those who think that sexual satisfaction comes from working at it) and "sexual destiny beliefs" (people who think that sexual satisfaction comes with finding a compatible sexual partner). They found that the belief that a great sex life takes hard work (as opposed to expecting that it will just happen as long as you love the person) results in hotter, committed-to-each-other sex.
Scientists also found that there's a honeymoon phase that lasts about 2 to 3 years for everyone. During this time, people who have sexual growth beliefs and those with sexual destiny beliefs are both happy with their sex lives. But after this phase, people who were more likely to believe that sexual satisfaction takes some nose-to-the-grindstone action were more likely to be sexually satisfied.
They also found that women tend to buy into the concept of soul mates and romantic destiny more often than dudes, but we're also more likely than men to believe that sex takes long, hard, strenuous work. Wink.
Lead study author Jessica Maxwell says it just makes sense. "We know that in long-term relationships sex isn't always going to be perfect, and sexual desire often declines," she says. "The individuals that are best prepared to handle these challenges are those who take a more pragmatic view of sex and are ready to work to make their sex life better."
The bottom line: Working to make your sex life better will actually make your sex life better. Just a little something to keep on the backburner.
This article was originally published by our partners at WomensHealthMag.com.