The Science Behind Why It's So Hard To Sleep With The Same Person Forever

by Dan Scotti

If our primitive ancestors, rock and roll tour buses, or former President Bill Clinton have taught us anything about the sexual tendencies of our species, it’s that we can’t be strapped down to one person for too long.

Sure, we try. We date, and we think about marriage; in fact, the end goal is marriage, but it’s not so much an instinct as it is something we just figure we’re “supposed” to do.

That’s not to say marriage is a bad concept in any way because, clearly, it’s stood the test of time.

With that said, when relationships don’t last as long, people tend to sit around, with a tub of ice cream and regrets, and wonder, why?

Well, if your partner was unfaithful, at any rate, or if you were unfaithful, the answer might not be too cryptic.

Humans aren’t naturally monogamous creatures. This means humans are not biologically predisposed to tie themselves down to one other person, at least not 'til death do them part.

The premises of dating, and typical marriage customs, as written by Daniel Engber for Slate, are not to be confused with mating habits.

When we see a women at the bar, buy her a drink and start schmoozing with her, it’s perfectly natural to be thinking about sleeping with her, rather than marriage plans.

Sex is a mating habit – deciding which color curtains would go best in the bathroom with another person is not.

Still, we promote the idea of marriage, relationships and commitment, in general, regardless of genetics or biological predispositions. “Polygamy causes problems,” Engber says.

However, new studies suggest people locking themselves into relationships, against their natural desires, may be equally as problematic.

Women lose interest over time

According to Jennifer Abbasi of Live Science, while men tend to maintain a constant passion for sex, women lose interest over time.

She continued to add that another component that factors into a decrease of sexual desire is the transition from passionate love to compassionate love, which typically comes with committed relationships and time.

Sex researcher Sarah Murray continued to say, “When an individual has had sex with their partner over the course of many, many years, it takes creativity and openness to keep things fresh and exciting.”

This is why, women especially, might feel as though they’re “bored” of sleeping with the same person.

A lot of times, relationships encourage those involved to become complacent, or not try as hard as they would had they been trying to make a positive impression on someone new.

Monogamy kills the male sex drive

According to Christopher Ryan of Psychology Today, the constant drain in libido men will experience over the course of a relationship is the product of staying with the same woman, monogamously, for too long.

Ryan explained how certain theories revolve around the idea of non-bedroom matters carrying into the bedroom, such as general frustration with one another.

Mark Luczak, a married man, as told on this Huffington Post piece, claims, “The excitement of newness, and thus the frequency, of sex often might just eventually fall victim to routine, shifts in the priority of other responsibilities, and even complacency — for both genders — as a relationship progresses into the longer term.”

Monogamy might be more difficult for women

According to Melissa Dahl for NYMag, staying true to one person may, in fact, be more difficult for the woman involved.

Dahl draws the connection between the effect of long-term relationships on the female sex drive and the age that, biologically speaking, their sex drive should be most thriving.

Despite the fact most women in committed relationships will report low desires for sex as they turn the calendar, this isn’t a reflection of their hormones calling it quits. In fact, Dahl reports women will hit their best sexual form during their 30s and 40s.

Men, on the other hand, will experience theirs in their early to mid 20s. Sheesh.

By staying away from committed relationships, women will not experience the same dip in libido that accompanies monogamy. This will allow women to fully engage in their “sexual prime.”

We're natural cheaters

According to Meghan Laslocky of CNN, only 3 to 5 percent of mammals are monogamous. Laslocky goes onto say that no species has ever truly accomplished the act of monogamy.

Studies on the prairie vole, a species thought to be highly monogamous, showed that sexual monogamy not only hinges on the hormones the brain releases, but also the receptors.

Laslocky goes on to explain how, with regard to humans, the number of specific receptors varies from person to person. This results in certain people being born with a higher inclination to gravitate towards sexual polygamy.

She continues to use the quote, “Once a cheater always a cheater,” to further explain this dynamic.

In effect, there is some truth to that cliché, being that, aside from any type of behavioral or motive-based intentions, certain people are just genetically dreadful at maintaining a faithful sexual commitment.

Unfortunately, there’s not much we can do. We live in a society promoting monogamous marriage, and frankly, until something else comes up, it seems as though that’s the best way of handling intimate relationships.

For now, the best advice you could take is not to rush into a commitment if you aren’t 100 percent invested. And, if you feel the urge to seek a new lover, make sure you handle your business with your current one, first.

Remember, that’s somebody’s daughter.