If you’ve been with someone for a long time, you might notice you have to be a little more creative when it comes to how, when, and how often you have sex. It’s typical to feel like things have gotten a little vanilla when it comes to your sex life, but a new study claims that feeling can come sooner for people who identify as women.
A study conducted by British researchers asked 4,839 men and 6,669 women about their attitudes towards sex. Of those surveyed, 15% of people who identify as men and 34% of people who identify as women reported that they had a lack of interest in sex.
Although people of both of these genders reported feeling less interested in sex, especially with age, women in relationships reported it happening much faster. In fact, women reported a lack of interest in sex once they were in a relationship for more than a year, according to the study.
This goes hand in hand with another part of the study claiming women with three or more partners in the past year were less likely to report having a low sex drive than those who had sex with only one partner. Women were also twice as likely to suffer from a low sex drive than men were.
Though the rates at which they experienced a lack of interest in sex differ, the reasoning both men and women reported seemed to be similar. Both genders cited physical and mental health, poor communication, and a lack of emotional connection as a reason why they weren’t as interested anymore.
The authors of the study noted that their findings are a good reminder that partners should be communicating about their sex lives, which can help boost sex drive. The study found that when heterosexual couples found it easy to talk about sex, women were more likely to be satisfied with their sex lives.
As with most relationship issues, a difference in sex drives can sometimes be overcome with some open communication. There are dozens of things that can be causing a low sex drive, but the first step to tackling them is talking openly about your sex life, any issues or concerns you may have. If you do this in a gentle way, you’re probably going to have a lot more success.
There is no “set” amount of sex that a couple should be having at any point in their relationship; whatever you’re both comfortable with is the right amount. But as this study showed, that doesn’t always line up. Keeping the communication open so you can find an amount you both can be happy with is imperative to keeping you both happy and sexually satisfied.
This article originally appeared here.