Relationships are always filled with highs and lows, but when it comes to sex, there’s a period of peak sexual satisfaction followed by a steady decline, researchers have found in a recent study.
The study, which was published in this month’s issue of Archives of Sexual Behavior, analyzed 2,800 heterosexual German adults in a relationship between the ages of 25 and 41 every year over the course of three years.
Researchers asked couples, both unmarried and married, to rate their sex lives over time and the results revealed a strong trend in the sex lives of people in relationships.
The first six months of a relationship serve as the trial and experimentation period to get to know what your partner likes. Assuming the relationship lasts, sexual satisfaction in a relationship peaks at six months — the following six months are the sexual prime of a relationship when couples reported the highest sexual satisfaction. Then, the researchers reported a steady decline from there.
There was no difference in sexual satisfaction whether a couple was married or not, nor was their any difference in the satisfaction of men and women. Couples who reported their relationship as high quality typically reported higher rates of sexual satisfaction.
Researchers also noted that the study, which will require further research in the future, had couples rate themselves, meaning the existence of a bias.
There were also some limitations to the researchers’ conclusions. The study only focused on heterosexual relationships, does not account for gay or older couples and only focused on the study group based in Germany.