14 April 2020
Women’s sexual desire has been shown to decline over the course of loving long-term relationships. Yet, accounts of partnered women’s subjective experience of this occurrence are rather limited. In order to broaden the examination of this topic, the present exploratory qualitative study extended it cross-culturally to explore how women in Israel are impacted by, perceive, and experience this decline in their sexual desire, with the objective of sketching an account of the experiences of women who share this reality. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 15 women, aged 25 and over, in fulfilling long-term heterosexual relationships. The participants reported a sharp decline in sexual desire in comparison to the early stages of the relationship, experiencing it as quite perplexing given their love and affection for their partner. All also described their intimate connection as based on much more than sex. Additionally, while the reduction in desire did not result from difficulties in the relationship it did create some. These included frustration, conflict, and pressure from partner, which often led to sexual compliance on the women’s part. Suggested solutions included open and honest dialogue, thoughtfulness, and mutual respect. A critical discussion of the findings outlines implications for partnered women’s and couples’ wellbeing.
Moor, A., Haimov, Y., Shreiber, S. (2020). When Desire Fades: Women Talk About Their Subjective Experience of Declining Sexual Desire in Loving Long-term Relationships. The Journal of Sex Research. DOI: 10.1080/00224499.2020.1743225
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