The First Year of Marriage and Sex: What You Need to Know

Updated 07/28/15

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Whether you've been having it together for years or are waiting for the honeymoon for sparks to fly, trust us when we say you've still got a lot to learn about the first year of married sex. Here, experts break down five key points you need to know.

Your ravenous sexual appetite might be sated by the time you return from Maui.

The good news is that honeymoon sex is hot. And even the weeks following your whirlwind vacation could remain that way, as "the novelty of being husband and wife will most likely elevate your sex life for a while," says Emily Morse, Ph.D., host of the "Sex With Emily" podcast, and author of the book Hot Sex: Over 200 Things You Can Try Tonight. "It's usually after a couple months that couples start to notice a decline in the quantity or quality of their sexual interactions." Why? Ava Cadell, Ph.D., founder of and author of Neuroloveology, explains it this way: "You become family, and attachment replaces physical attraction and lust."

Communication, not bedroom moves, is what will make first-year sex satisfying.

Married sex — even in those blissful newlywed months — can "be disappointing when couples don't communicate their wants, needs and desires, or if they have unrealistic expectations," warns Cadell. To keep things hot, newly married couples will have to talk it out. "Being married doesn't make you a mind reader," Morse says. "It's important to stay in tune with each other's sexual expectations and needs. If you're having sexual concerns or want things to change in the love-making department, talk to your spouse and let them know how you're feeling. A difference in expectations can be a recipe for a sex-life disaster, and only worsens over time."

Dating can go by the wayside — but it's an important tradition to maintain.

It's tempting to return from your honeymoon and slip into a relaxing routine of dinners in and binge watching TV. But "to maintain a healthy sexual relationship after marriage, keep doing what you did when you were dating," says Cadell. "Go on dates, have make-out sessions, kiss often, give compliments, have quickies, and be playful."

Sex should make it onto your to-do list.

Think you won't have to schedule sex that first year? Think again! "Couples are often shocked to discover that sex does not naturally work itself into their hectic married life routine," says Morse. "This is why couples need to make sex a priority from the minute they say 'I do.' Plan time to be together, maintain regular physical contact, and hug, kiss and hold each other as often as you can."

There's no such thing as a "normal" amount of newlywed sex.

Your newlywed neighbors might be keeping you up each night while you're lying platonically next to each other — and that's OK. "There is no designated amount of sex that any newlywed couple should be having, so wipe that idea from your expectation board," Morse says. "In fact, scratch all expectations. When you put pressure on your sex life, it actually has the opposite effect — it makes you want to have sex less!"

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