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"It's been at least two months since we've done the deed," a happily-married woman told us when asked the last time she and her husband had sex.
"Doing it once a week is a good week for us," another new Mrs. admitted. "In fact, I think I'm happy if we hit the twice-a-month mark."
While these findings may seem surprising (after all, aren't newlyweds supposed to be all over each other all the time?), research from The Kinsey Institute makes these ladies' sex lives downright normal. The study suggests that nearly half of married couples have sex just a few times per month. Almost 10 percent, according to the institute, have sex just once a month.
"Married women who say they are totally fine with sex once a week or twice a month aren't that unusual," admits Los Angeles-based psychologist Yvonne Thomas. Stress, feeling tired and dodging life's curveballs — think an unplanned expense or untimely illness — all get in the way of a couple's desire to get it on. "Complacency and taking each other for granted also frequently and unknowingly set in, making things feel too predictable and even boring," Thomas adds. "Sometimes it feels like the thrill, the challenge and the mystery are gone once a couple gets married."
If you find yourself unhappily in this situation (or don't want to end up once you tie the knot), here are four things you can try:
1. Engage all your senses.
Different things turn different people on, Thomas explains, so consider slipping on sexy lingerie, lighting candles and playing sensual music on your iPod simultaneously to stimulate multiple senses at once.
2. Pop in a romantic movie and watch it together.
"This can be a great prelude to making the couple want to personally engage in some romance and lust together after — or maybe even during! — the movie," Thomas says.
3. Institute a weekly date night.
It doesn't need to be expensive. The important thing is for you to spend quality, one-on-one time with one another, Thomas explains. Switch up the day of the week that you hold your dates to avoid it feeling too routine.
4. Give your spouse a compliment every day.
"This helps prevent mood-deflators like complacency and taking each other for granted," Thomas says. "When people feel more valued and connected to their significant others, they are more able to share their love with their spouse through sex."