Must Sexual Passion Die

Question: Dear Luise: I am interested in your take on the absence of sexual passion in most marriages after a while. I’m young and not married yet but it seems to be an accepted fact that passion dies with time. Is it necessary for that to happen? I sometimes think I would rather stay single if that’s the case. I love the excitement of a new relationship and the passion that goes with it. I don’t think I am the kind of person for a ho-hum existence. Nan

Answer: Dear Nan: There are many ways to look at this. Don’t expect to find a formula. Just try to look at it as a lot of people who have varied tastes, energy levels and priorities. Many that are your age would agree with you.

How you feel about this sounds like it has a lot to do with novelty. The very nature of novelty is temporary. The focus of a couple may start out as heavily sexual. Almost everyone knows how if feels to think of nothing else and to mark time by how soon you can engage in it again, what you can do to enhance it and how long you can prolong it. That can be quite wonderful.

I think what happens as time passes is your focus shifts. Novelty can’t stay novelty it slides into routine. Look at something else…your first new car, maybe. The whole experience is so exciting for most of us that we can’t sleep in the process of making the choice, following through with the purchase, taking possession and driving off…free as a bird and thrilled. However, does it, do you, stay at that emotional pitch? No, the car becomes part of your life. You may always love it but you can think of other of things.

Yes, I know there is no comparison between the two. That’s deliberate on my part. What they have in common is novelty. It’s not sustainable.

That said there is a vast difference in how people use and sustain their sexual energy and expression. I’m not saying that there aren’t couples that don’t have a lifetime of really marvelous sex. Yet even the definition of what “marvelous sex” means can vary. You will define and redefine your take on it.

Why not just stay in the present and not worry about the future? We all learn and grow in our own way, creating our own preferences while adjusting to others. You won’t have to give up anything you prize. If it shifts, it will be because you have. You may even decide to call it expansion not contraction. Blessings, Luise

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