Dating in college can be tough, so being in a long-term relationship is a rarity. For those who are lucky enough to be in a relationship, sex, no matter how much you’re having, is important. The longer you are in a relationship, the more ways that sex in that relationship changes. Carole Lieberman, M.D., a psychiatrist and author in Beverly Hills, notes that there can be both positive and negative changes. “Some changes may bring you closer together, and some may send you looking for new excitement,” she says. Here are just some of the ways your sex life changes the longer you are with someone.
1. You learn to communicate
Sex may be a natural instinct, but good sex is all about communication. You'll learn what your partner likes once you guys can talk about it. At least, that's what Sarah*, a graduate student at Temple University, thinks. She's been hooking up with the same guy for a year and knows how important it is to be vocal.
“If you're always doing missionary and it's not fun for you, let them know,” she says. “There's a ton of positions to try and sometimes it can be fun figuring out what works for you and your partner.” The longer you are with someone, the better you get to know them, emotionally and physically.
2. You learn what you like
If you’re not into self-pleasure, you might not know exactly what you enjoy in bed. At least, not everything you like or don’t like. The longer you’re with your partner, the more you’ll learn what makes you tick. This learning curve is partly because you’re with someone who makes you comfortable, but also because there’s less pressure for both of you.
Karen*, a junior at the University of South Carolina, agrees. “There’s definitely less pressure, which doesn’t only make it more fun, but it also gives you the chance to get a little ~crazy~ and even be a little selfish when it comes to getting what you want out of sex,” she says. That familiarity and comfort you have with your partner will make you feel more willing to explore.
3. You get more confident
Now that you know what you like and what your partner likes, you’re more likely to be confident in the bedroom — Demi Lovato — level Confident. Karen loves that there is less stress when you've had sex together for a while. “When you first start out with a person there’s a lot more self-consciousness and more pressure to be ‘good,’” she says.
4. You may get bored
Over time, boredom can creep up on you and your partner in the bedroom. This is especially true if you keep doing the same thing over and over. Jessica*, a sohpomore at SUNY Fredonia, doesn't deny that sex can be boring. Her recommendation: Take a break. Isn’t there a saying that distance makes the heart grow fonder?
Whether you are in a committed relationship or just having a purely sexual relationship, keeping things interesting will get you out of a sexual rut. Dr. Lieberman recommends introducing new positions, locations or even sex toys. Obviously, you should never do something you are uncomfortable with, but trying out something unfamiliar could make sex less ordinary.
Ordinary sex comes with the territory of long-term relationships. But there are still good things that come with time! The longer you’re with someone, the more you learn about their body, your body, what you like and what you hate. This all comes with an overall confidence boost. There are lulls, but that gives you the chance to switch things up with your SO. Knowing about these changes beforehand could make you more confident in the bedroom now — AKA a win-win for both you and your partner.
*Name has been changed