The key to sex – what is the key to a great sex life? There seems to be an eternal thirst for the answer, yet it seems ever-evasive and illusive. And it seems inevitable that many relationships do not find the answer, hence the high seperation and divorce rates we are all familiar with.
Now separation rates are not the only signifier of a relationship that has failed to capture the fire of an early dalliance with a lover. But its hard to disagree that a healthy sex life doesn’t play a major part in a fruitful relationship.
What is the key to sex?
For many it seems that an ailing sex life is just part of the natural way of things, but this isn’t true. It is a myth that we stop having sex in old age. In fact, the opposite may be true. With OAPs reporting more and even better sex in their 70s or 80s.
With that in mind, it is worth asking again: what is the key to sex? How do we capture that passion and retain it?
The reason sexual favour declines is in part due to a phenomenon known as the Coolidge effect. This phenomenon is observed in all male mammals, including humans, cattle, and dogs. All male mammals get bored of sex with the same female partner over time, and the urge to seek out other partners becomes strong -- if not irresistable. The evolutionatry theory behind the Coolidge effect is that the mechanism evolved to prevent incest and stagnation in the gene pool. Therefore, this phenomenon rewards males who ‘seek out’ other partners to spread the genes.
Modern relationships and the conflict with ancient DNA
Evolution is a bit of a messy process. It is not about organisms ‘getting better’, more than it is just about changing to the environment. The reason the Coolidge effect is so strong must be because it works. Stagnant gene pools quickly become flushed with mutations and irregular genes that can cause sterility, illness, and death.
The evolutionary story of humans is a story that began with all life on Earth. Our conscious brains represent one of the last chapters in this story. Our pre-human ancestors may have been polyamorous, they may have been strictly monogamous, too. The mess is what we have inherited. Brains that can sometimes be torn between both.
The key to sex: knowledge is power
Our DNA is genetic information that is passed down from generation to generation. Part of that encoded information is the desire to reproduce, and the desire to tire of the same sexual partner. But there are ways to get around this. Here are two ways:
Spending time apart: This may sound counter-intuitive, but even a few days apart can relight the fire. In fact, studies have shown that male partners physically produce more sperm whenever they… ahem… “reunite” with their partner. This, too, is an evolved technique. Hardwired into us to reduce the chances of cuckoldry. The by-product is, it restores the passion. The longer the time apart, the better it is. So, treat your partner to a spa weekend, or a mini holiday with friends. It could benefit everybody involved.
Seeking out new experiences: Apart of the monotony may be in the routine of everyday life. What is needed could be as little as a change of technique or tact in the bedroom. But the biggest changes to restore passion involve simply “living” with your partner. A roller coaster; a horror movie, they all speed up the heart rate – this can trigger lost feelings of passion. But even bigger changes, such as holidays to remember; completely new, exhiliarting experiences, they will restore the passion of life. And the passion of love will soon follow. That is the key to sex.
Louis van den Heever is a content writer for Couples Help. Couples Help is marriage and relationship therapy service based in South Africa.