The sex life of a couple really is its own beast. It has a heartbeat and needs, like a living thing. You’d never know, by looking at a couple, what their sex life is like. The wildest couples might be pretty vanilla in bed. The quietest couples might have a sex dungeon. Very happy couples may not have done the deed for months. Couples who fight all the time might do it every night, regardless of their disputes. While a couple’s emotional dynamic certainly goes through phases, that part of the relationship often stabilizes pretty quickly—it either works, or it doesn’t, and the couple breaks up. But a couple whose emotional life is very healthy can still experience a sex life that goes through a lot of shifts. Especially when they’re together for a long time. Here are sex life stages every relationship goes through.
Finding your rhythm
It’s rare that the first few times you have sex with someone are amazing. You’re both still insecure, and not sure what the other one is into. You’re coy and careful. Or, you come in too hot and shock the other one. Either way, it can be clunky at first—that doesn’t mean things can’t be great (my sex life with my partner of six years has only gotten better and better).
Then, doing it like rabbits
When you do find your rhythm, you’re doing it like rabbits. Nobody can get ahold of you. Sex is an important part of chemical bonding in the beginning of a relationship, and it feels like a drug at first. You’re doing it three times a day, and you can’t imagine doing it any less (that changes, of course).
Then you reach that stage when you feel comfortable opening up about some of your fantasies, needs, wants, and desires. You know each other well enough to know you can say what you need in bed, without being judged.
Trying some of that stuff
So next, you try some of that stuff. One person has always wanted to do it in a hammock, do it in an elevator, or use food. It’s exciting, and you start texting each other the things you’ll do next…it’s like an assignment you’re happy to complete.
Reverting to a routine
You get honest with yourselves and realize that, like everybody, you can be a bit lazy in bed. You don’t always have the stamina or even desire for bondage and food usage. You slowly phase that stuff out, and return to “normal” sex.
That first night you don’t
Then there is that first night you don’t have sex. You cuddle, watch TV, and fall asleep. You wake up panicked. Is this relationship over? Is your partner no longer attracted to you? Are you just friends now?!
Trying not to be “that couple”
You are so dead set on not being that sexless couple, that you make a plan to have more sex again. Even when your partner is exhausted, you still try to get things going. You’re ignoring the energy in the room—you’re denying it. It’s clearly just…not like it once was. You’re doing a striptease and he’s craning his head around you to see the television. It’s good you initiated, but it’s not really taking.
Accepting that sex slows down
Finally, you accept it—as all mature couples do. You’re not going to do it, three times a day, forever. And you don’t have to—you are very bonded now. Your bond is strong, and you don’t need to have sex all the time to maintain it.
Letting it slow down too much
Then, you both become a little too comfortable with the fact that you don’t have to have sex all of the time. You accidentally don’t have sex for a month. Whoops. How did that happen?
Falling into a schedule
You analyze what occurred. You figure out how to fix it. Okay, so, he gets home late these nights, you get home late those nights, and that leaves these two specific nights the best nights for sex. You make a mental note. You initiate things on those nights, and it goes great.
Realizing you’ve fallen into a schedule
Oh no. You realize that you’ve fallen into a schedule. Just because you’ve discovered what schedule works best doesn’t mean you necessarily want to pencil sex into your calendars. So, you try to be spontaneous and break schedule…Eh. It’s just not great. You’re both tired or stressed. The schedule works for a reason.
Doing it on a schedule can, of course, feel like a slump. There’s no more spontaneity. But you don’t know what to do. Trying to be spontaneous hasn’t worked either. You feel like you’re forcing him, if you do it when he’s exhausted. How do you move past this?
Vacation is a sex party
Somewhere along the line, you go on a weekend getaway, and you re-find that high sex drive you had in the beginning of the relationship. When you’re both relaxed, away from work and worries, you want to do it all the time again. It’s exciting and feels new. It’s a loophole—something you can turn to next time things slow down.
You get a post-trip bump in your sex life. You see that all you had to do was break away from your regular lives and responsibilities for a minute. You’re definitely still very into each other—it’s just that life has a way of interfering sometimes. But you carry some of those vacation sex vibes back into real life.
Random bouts of high libido
If you’re together for years and years, you’ll have highs and lows. But every once in a while, you’ll have those odd bouts of high libido. You’ll have a week when you do it every night and twice every day on the weekends. Who knows where these come from? But they’re certainly fun when they come around.