We joke about the death of sex in long-term relationships. “Oh, you’re married now? Hope you enjoyed the sex while it lasted!” We tease each other about monogamy not being natural, asking couples, “How can you be comfortable only having sex with one other person for the rest of your life?”
Those comments are funny, but they’re not always accurate. Yes, sex CAN get boring with the same partner over a long period of time, but that doesn’t mean that monogamy is to blame for it.
In fact, if approached with the right attitude, monogamous sex can actually be more rewarding and more fulfilling than most people can imagine. (It’s true!)
With that in mind, in our latest Expert video, Senior VP of YourTango Experts Melanie Gorman gathered together a panel of psychologists and counselors and asked them — Is sex better in a monogamous relationship?
Experts Dr. Eli Mayer, Sue Butler, Ian Kerner, and Lewis Brown Griggs have extensive experience on this topic and, in their wide-ranging conversation (which you can see above), they discussed the positive and negative impacts that monogamy can have on a couple’s sex life.
You can see their full discussion in the video, but, taken from their conversation, here are 6 definite ways that monogamous sex can actually IMPROVE your sexual relationship with your partner.
1. Monogamous sex comes with emotional benefits.
When you have sex with a long-term committed partner, you bring the best qualities of your relationship into the bedroom with you. If you share a sense of trust and honesty in your day-to-day lives, that same personal intimacy will be carried over into your sex lives, which can have a tremendously positive impact on the sex itself.
2. Monogamous sex has physiological benefits as well.
When you’re in a trusting relationship, it is much easier to take the leap and start having unprotected sex (which, depending on your preferences, can feel a lot better). You also get the added bonus of less sexual anxiety during the act itself. Because you don’t have to worry about past sex life of your partner — presumably, you’re already well versed in their history — your stress level drops and you get to enjoy the act more.
3. Monogamous sex is familiar… in a good way.
Granted, sometimes sex between couples gets TOO familiar and things get stale, but, in the best moments, you’re having sex with someone who knows your body backwards and forwards. There’s no ramp-up period, no learning curve. When you initiate sex, they already know where all your buttons are and they know how to push them. (Which is a good thing.)
4. Monogamous sex can support sexual diversity.
Exploring your sexual boundaries can be a scary experience. But, when you have a committed partner by your side, venturing into the unknown isn’t quite so intimidating. For example, many monogamous couples do decide to seek out additional partners to join them sexually.
While you may think that stretches the definition of monogamy, the important thing to acknowledge is that the couple is choosing to incorporate new people into their sex lives TOGETHER. They’re making a unified decision as partners to include a third-party — however they deem fit — so no one is straying outside of their relationship. They are trying something new, as a unit, to make their mutual sex lives so much sweeter.
5. Monogamous sex fosters honesty.
Telling a sexual partner EXACTLY what you need isn’t always easy. You don’t want to hurt their feelings or indicate that they’re doing something wrong. Fortunately, in an ideal situation, if you’ve been in a relationship with someone you trust long enough, you won’t have any hesitation to tell them “No, not like that… like THIS.”
Now, if you’ve been keeping your sexual preferences secret from a long-term partner, sure, there can be some awkwardness if you finally have to admit that you’d prefer to change up your established sexual routine, but, again, there should be enough trust between you that you’re comfortable telling them that you need something different.
That kind of honesty isn’t exclusive to monogamous relationships, but the trust and familiarly of the monogamous bond can make those conversations a lot easier.
6. Monogamous sex can be just as adventurous as non-monogamous sex…
… IF the couple commits to it.
Frequently, when a couple has been together for a long time, they either stop having sex on a regular basis or they become apprehensive to try new things. What those couples don’t realize is that a monogamous relationship is the PERFECT sandbox to explore and evolve sexually. It gives you a safe place and a safe, trusted partner to experiment with.
That’s important because the monogamous couples that thrive sexually do TWO important things — 1). They commit to having regular sex (even once a week can hugely impact how you feel about your relationship), and 2). They stay committed to bringing newness into their sex lives whenever possible.
Monogamy can be wonderfully beneficial to your sex life, if you and your partner trust each other, stay honest with each other, and really work to keep your sexual relationship curious, fun, and fearless.
Are you struggling to bring some energy into your sex life? Has monogamous sex lost its thrill for you? If so, please visit the websites of our Experts and contact Eli, Sue, Ian, and Lewis directly. They’re here to help.