The disconnect between one partner being ready and raring to go while the other is dragging from a long day at the office is very real—and happens more often than we may want to admit. In fact, according to a recent survey from Cosmopolitan, nearly half of married millennial women said they wish they were having sex more often. YIKES.
The survey, which came out in August, drew 1,162 participants ages 20 to 29 from the media outlet and its sister publications’ social media accounts. Overall, 52 percent said they wished they were having sex more often. Men were more likely than women to say they wanted a romp in the sack more often, but still nearly half (47 percent) of women said they wanted more sex.
A 26-year-old women named Shannon, who’d been married for three years, was one of the respondents who said the number of times she got it on with her man dropped after they got married. “Our ‘honeymoon period’ lasted quite a bit past the honeymoon,” she told Cosmo. “We used to have sex pretty much every day—now I’d say we’re lucky if it’s once a week.”
Since Cosmo’s survey is hardly peer-reviewed research, we reached out to Megan Stubbs, a board-certified sexologist based in Michigan, to give us some perspective. “I think people always experience a shift in their sexual frequency, whether they’ve been married or in a relationship for a long time,” she says. “It’s fair to say, when you’re first starting out in a relationship, you’re obviously putting your best foot forward. You’re more accommodating, more open to having intimate time. But then as you progress in your relationship, you get married, you get a house, you get a job, you’re like, we’ve got the relationship on lock, so maybe sex falls by the wayside.”
Stubbs says it’s important to remember that sexuality frequency ebbs and flows. “Maybe you’re [having sex] four times a week for the first couple months of marriage, and then it slows down to maybe once or twice a week," she says. "It can go back up again.”
The time to talk to your partner about having more sex is usually when there’s something glaringly off, and that’s different for every relationship. Recognizing that this conversation can be both awkward and uncomfortable, Stubbs suggests one way to broach the topic is for each partner to write down on a piece of paper how many times they’d like to be intimate each week, and below that number, write down how many times they think their partner wants to be intimate—and then compare answers. You may be surprised, she says.
See more: 8 Reasons Married Sex Is the Best
“Like so many things in sexuality and relationships, it just boils down to communication,” Stubbs says. “Be open to hearing what your partner has to say and find a happy compromise.”