The truth is, s*x changes over time when you’re dating someone.  The longer the relationship lasts, the more it’ll change.  This is just nature, and it’s really not such a big deal.  The thing is, though, not everyone is aware of these changes.  So, as a result, it never hurts to know what you’re in for.  The kind of s*x you have on the first date won’t be anything like s*x on your five year anniversary.  But that’s OK.  That’s just the way things work.  Doesn’t mean that there’s anything wrong.  Keep reading to discover how s*x changes over the course of a relationship, according to renowned s*x therapist.

Following your s*x life. When it comes to being in a relationship, your s*x life will evolve, and no one knows that better than clinical psychologist and s*x therapist Megan Fleming. She’s decided to do us all a favor by breaking down the way s*x changes over the course of a relationship, according to Cosmopolitan, so we can all sleep soundly tonight.

The beginning. When you first start a relationship and start having s*x with this new person, everything is obviously… new. You’re getting to know their body, and at the same time, you’re getting used to them not just seeing you naked, but seeing you lose yourself in s*x — which is probably the most vulnerable you’ll ever feel ever.

Starting with a sense of selfishness. When you first meet this person, it’s not uncommon to feel a bit selfish, and that’s OK. It’s natural. You’re trying to figure out how this person will please you and if they can please you. As Fleming states, “In some ways, when you have a new partner, you can let go and focus on your own pleasure.”

Starting a relationship. This approach, however, changes once you actually start to develop the relationship. This is the point in time where s*x starts to feel like a duty, and you want to put your best foot forward. “Once you’re in a relationship,” Fleming says, “you often feel a sense of responsibility.”

The honeymoon stage. Everything always seems much more fun and exciting in the honeymoon stage. Once it starts getting serious, though, this can change. In fact, as Fleming puts it, Some people have a hard time eroticizing the familiar and they only can really find a huge turn-on when they’re not in a relationship.”

Treading new ground. This is why the beginning of a relationship can seem a bit strange. You’re in this mental space where it’s not new, but you’re entirely comfortable with this person, so you hold back a bit. Naturally, this will change once you’re dating for a bit longer, but it can be slightly awkward at first.

Safer (and more satisfying) territory. If you’re worried that this relationship isn’t quite what you wanted it to be, give it some time. “For some people,” Fleming says, “only when they feel safe, relaxed, and secure can they actually push their boundaries.” So, you may just need to get used to this person before s*x is truly at its best.

Later. Once you get to the six to eighteen month mark, you’re at pretty awesome part of your relationship, s*x-wise. According to a study published in “Archives of S*xual Behavior,” this is the time in a relationship where couples tend to be at a bit of a s*xual high. For some people, however, this isn’t a good thing.

Chasing the high. A lot of couples are at their most satisfied at this point in time, but this can be a bit dangerous for the relationship. They don’t realize that the high isn’t meant to last, and as a result, they assume that the relationship is crashing and burning. If couples can see past this, they tend to last.

Evolving as a couple. Once you reach the end of this point in a relationship, you’re sort of crossing over into a more developed and matured part of your relationship. However, as Fleming puts it, “Some people are always chasing that high, that feeling of incredible attraction, but that’s meant to end.”

Getting married. Now, getting married is a huge step in a relationship, but how exactly does that affect your s*x life? Well, even though it doesn’t necessarily make or break your s*x life, couples often feel safer with each other, which makes them more adventurous when it comes to exploring each other s*xually.

Communication. It’s at this point in a relationship where communication is key — or at least, it ought to be. So, even if things are quite as hot and heavy as you’d like it to be, you should be close enough with your partner to open up about it. If something isn’t working, this is the point in time where you can just talk about it and potentially fix the issue.

Less spontaneity. When you’re married, s*x isn’t going to be nearly as spontaneous as it used to be, simply because you’ve got conflicting, busy schedules. But that’s OK. In fact, this can be viewed as a positive, in that couples can “identify the value of prioritizing their s*xual time.”

Parents. Now, you’re a parent, which means that your s*x life is quite different than how it used to be. This is when it’s important for couples to understand that s*x isn’t going to be feel like as much of a priority as it used to be — and there’s nothing wrong with that. You’re going to be a hell of a lot more exhausted than usual, so s*x may not seem quite as stimulating. However, you’ll still want it, and you’ll just have to work it around your schedule, which you’ve gotten used to by now.

Menopause. Now, we’re at that point where menopause has entered the picture. But does that mean s*x is over? Not at all. In fact, Fleming says that s*x can seem even more exciting because you no longer have to worry about having unplanned babies. Still, since your estrogen isn’t what it used to be, s*x will likely take longer, and patience will absolutely be a priority.

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