Women Bored By Monogamy Says Study by W. Martin
(Link): The Bored Sex
Women, more than men, tend to feel stultified by long-term exclusivity—despite having been taught that they were designed for it.
…Marta Meana of the University of Nevada at Las Vegas spelled it out simply in an interview with me at the annual Society for Sex Therapy and Research conference in 2017. “Long-term relationships are tough on desire, and particularly on female desire,” she said.
I was startled by her assertion, which contradicted just about everything I’d internalized over the years about who and how women are sexually.
Somehow I, along with nearly everyone else I knew, was stuck on the idea that women are in it for the cuddles as much as the orgasms, and—besides—actually require emotional connection and familiarity to thrive sexually, whereas men chafe against the strictures of monogamy.
But Meana discovered that “institutionalization of the relationship, over familiarity, and desexualization of roles” in a long-term heterosexual partnership mess with female passion especially—a conclusion that’s consistent with other recent studies.
[Article here cites several different studies that all show the longer a woman is with a man in relationship, her libido goes down]
Many women want monogamy. It’s a cozy arrangement, and one our culture endorses, to put it mildly. But wanting monogamy isn’t the same as feeling desire in a long-term monogamous partnership.
The psychiatrist and sexual-health practitioner Elisabeth Gordon told me that in her clinical experience, as in the data, women disproportionately present with lower sexual desire than their male partners of a year or more, and in the longer term as well. “The complaint has historically been attributed to a lower baseline libido for women, but that explanation conveniently ignores that women regularly start relationships equally as excited for sex.”
Women in long-term, committed heterosexual partnerships might think they’ve “gone off” sex—but it’s more that they’ve gone off the same sex with the same person over and over.
What does it all mean for Jane and the other straight women who feel stultified by long-term exclusivity, in spite of having been taught that they were designed for it and are naturally inclined toward it? What are we to make of the possibility that women, far from anxious guardians of monogamy, might on the whole be more like its victims?
“When couples want to remain in a monogamous relationship, a key component of treatment … is to help couples add novelty,” Gordon advised. Tammy Nelson, a sex therapist and the author of The New Monogamy and When You’re the One Who Cheats, concurs: “Women are the primary consumers of sex-related technology and lubricants, massage oil, and lingerie, not men.”
Of course, as Jane’s example shows, lingerie might not do the trick. Nelson explains that if “their initial tries don’t work, [women] will many times shut down totally or turn outward to an affair or an online ‘friend,’ creating … a flirty texting or social-media relationship.”
When I asked Gotzis where he thinks John and Jane [the martial couple where Jane is bored having sex with John] are headed, he told me he is not sure that they will stay together.
In an upending of the basic narrative about the roles that men and women play in a relationship, it would be Jane’s thirst for adventure andJane’s struggles with exclusivity that tear them apart. Sure, women cheating is nothing new—it’s the stuff of Shakespeare and the blues. But refracted through data and anecdotal evidence, Jane seems less exceptional and more an Everywoman, and female sexual boredom could almost pass for the new beige.