Tracey Cox reveals the five unusual reasons you stop lusting after your partner 

A sex therapist once told me if couples who have been together for 20 years claim their sex life is just as lusty as it was at the start, there are only three possibilities.

No 1: they’re lying. No 2: they’re telling the truth because they didn’t have good sex to begin with. Or sex is all they’ve ever had because they haven’t connected emotionally.

Sorry to be the party pooper, but if you’re looking to keep the sex you had in the first few months going forever, you’re kidding yourself.

It’s impossible to achieve.

Tracey Cox reveals the five reasons you’ve stopped lusting over your partner (stock image)

Long-term sex can be really good and immensely satisfying – but it sure as hell won’t be the sort of sex you had at the start.

Here’s five of the more unusual reasons why lust has to die.

Commitment is a killer

There’s a simple psychological formula that we always want what we can’t have and if something is 100 per cent guaranteed, it loses its appeal.

Once you move in with your partner, sex is on tap, 24/7.

You no longer need to plan where and when you’ll have sex, all you need to do is turn over and there’s a warm body within touching distance.

Familiarity is a desire dampener for both sexes because it instantly strips away the top three turn-ons: availability, adventure and mystery.

Commitment also feeds into a primitive belief that once the chase is over and the prey conquered, it’s no longer worth having.

This is why moving in makes for groin grumbles – “I want someone new to play with!” – and foot stamping.

The things that drive pre-commitment sex – novelty, risk-taking, pushing boundaries – all disappear with commitment.

The sex expert (pictured) told of the six best ways to keep lust going

The sex expert (pictured) told of the six best ways to keep lust going

Not only that but most couples very quickly move into the flopping on the sofa, eating takeaways with greasy hair stage.

Domesticity throws a bucket of cold water over fizzy, sparky sex.

He sees you plastered in night cream instead of make-up, you see him trimming his toenails.

Hardly the stuff of lust – but all part of being human beings who can’t look or act perfect all of the time.

‘Honeymoon’ hormones are pre-programmed to turn off

One 30-year study by one of the world’s leading neurologists recently discovered there’s a reason why those powerful, intoxicating love and sex hormones stop pumping out of our brains around nine months to one year after meeting.

The ‘honeymoon period’ – the giddy, lusty at-it-like-rabbits stage – ends so we can make a logical, sensible assessment of our partner to see if they’re a good choice for a long-term partner.

No-one makes sane decisions when a tongue is snaking its way up our thigh: we need a clear head to assess our partner’s suitability as a potential parent.

Scientists believe the brain is pre-programmed to cut off the supply of lust hormones for that reason: so we can critically evaluate our partner’s strengths and weaknesses.

The researcher – Dr Fred Nour – calls the process ‘Sprog Fog’.

He believes every phase of love has an underlying evolutionary purpose. Lust bonds us. Objectivity is needed to move us along toward long-term commitment.

Tracey says ‘Honeymoon’ hormones are pre-programmed to turn off so your brain can make a decision on whether their partner would make a suitable parent

Tracey says ‘Honeymoon’ hormones are pre-programmed to turn off so your brain can make a decision on whether their partner would make a suitable parent 

Most people assume it means they’re falling out of love when the hormones dry up.

In fact, it’s quite the opposite: Mother Nature is preparing us to make babies and settle down.

The sex hormones give way to cuddle hormones (like oxytocin) for a reason.

Lust wears you out

We think of the beginning bit as ‘true love’ but it’s actually the act of falling in love – a temporary, silly state that can’t be sustained both for physiological reasons and practical ones.

Holding down a job, maintaining friendships, keeping plants and small pets alive – when you first meet, you long to be with each other every millisecond of every day and nothing and no-one else matters.

The euphoria created by the cocktail of brain hormones realised is similar to that created by coke or ‘uppers’.

High doses of dopamine and serotonin mean you feel like you don’t need to sleep or eat and have limitless energy.

The six best ways to keep lust going

 The best gift you can give each other sexually is not to panic when lust gives way to love.

But acceptance doesn’t mean being complacent.

There’s lots you can do to keep sex hot.

Keep doing new things both in bed and out of it.

A study last week found engaging in novel activities with your partner can reignite the passionate feelings you had at the start.

We all know this is what we should do – but how many of us actually do it?

Use sex toys. It’s a low-effort way to introduce variety. If you haven’t looked at what’s available out there for a while, prepare to be impressed.

Keep having fun. We take sex way too seriously. Wrestle around on the bed. Laugh during sex when things go wrong. Introduce a strong streak of playfulness.

Embrace your filthy sides. Own up to wanting to do things like tie-up games or role-play without worrying you’ll lose your partner’s love by appearing less than saint-like.

The more you both move out of your comfort zones, the longer lust will last.

Have regular sex MOT’s. Don’t just assume all is well. Have a monthly check in on what’s still working, what isn’t as well as come up with a few new things to try.

Sort out any toxic lust killers. You can’t have great sex if your relationship is in tatters. Identify the deadly sex poisons that could be threatening yours and confront them head on.


Staying this ‘high’ permanently would wear us out.

We need calm and routine to be able to function. We need time with friends and family and to give our jobs full attention. We need to be able to sleep for eight hours, find time to go to the gym, eat healthily.

Being in lust might feel great but it’s not terribly good for our health, our careers and our relationships.

We stop planning sex

It always makes me laugh when people say, ‘I hate date nights because I hate planning for sex. Sex should be spontaneous’.

“Did you enjoy sex at the beginning, with your partner?”, I ask them.

“Oh yes, that’s when it was best of all!” is the predicable reply.

Yet we never plan sex more, than we do at the start.

Most of us put a great deal of thought into how to make sex great when we first meet someone we like.

We think about what to wear (great lingerie, underwear), dress sexily out of bed, make sure our bedroom has clean linen and nice lighting and frantically search ‘hot sex moves’ to show off impressive technique.

Because we’re trying to woo our partner and make them fall in love with us, we make the effort to have sex even when we don’t really feel like it, which keeps our libidos humming along.

As time marches on, our effort levels drop.

Again, all entirely normal, but lust likes lots of attention.

Stop feeding it and it shrivels and dies.

Lust-driven sex isn’t real sex

Our desire for sex is naturally elevated at the beginning.

The spontaneous lust we experience at the start is entirely effortless: simply thinking about or seeing your partner is enough to get the juices flowing.

The trouble is, the sex isn’t real.

Quite frankly, you could be shagging a sheep and not realise because most of the erotic excitement is being produced by the brain hormones rather than what’s really in front of you.

Low sex drives, appalling technique, a slant towards selfishness – the intense boost you get at the start cunningly disguises it all.

Once it wears off, you’re faced with the reality of each other’s ‘resting’ sex drive – often totally different than it initially appeared – and having to have uncomfortable discussions about what you now need to climax and enjoy sex now once the fairy dust isn’t being sprinkled.

There’s absolutely no doubt about it: sex does become less lust-driven in long-term relationships.

But don’t despair: lots of couples find the less frenetic phase that follows just as enjoyable, albeit in a different way.

Check out Tracey’s brand new product range: the Supersex Soft Feel range at