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What Sex Is Really Like After Marriage

Three people open up about how marriage has changed their sex lives.
PHOTO: ISTOCKPHOTO

We hear a lot about sex after marriage. How marriage makes couples sexless and boring. How marriage is a prison. But is that really the case? Three married people share how their sex life has changed after marriage.

How old are you?

Man A: Thirty.

Man B: Twenty-eight.

Woman A: Twenty-nine.

How long have you been married? How long have you and your partner been together?

Man A: My wife and I got married relatively early, at least for everyone we knew. We got engaged in college and got married relatively soon after we graduated. So we’ve been married almost 8 years now. We’ve known each other for…well, we knew each other since middle school, but we started dating our sophomore year of high school. So…wow, like 15 years. Half our lives.

Man B: We’ve been married for just under a year. Our wedding anniversary is coming up in the next few months. We’ve known each other for about six years total.

Woman A: I married my husband just over three years ago. We’ve known each other for a while. We met in college, but we didn’t start dating until after we graduated, but the timeline there is a little blurred. I would say we’ve been dating for three, so six years total. If you asked my husband, you might get a different answer.

Has your sex life changed after you got married?

Man A: Of course it has, but we’ve also been married so long it’s pretty much inevitable. We definitely don’t fool around as much as we did when we were teenagers, or even as much as we did in college with the privacy that gave us. But it’s not like we got married and that was a death sentence. I think kids absolutely change your sex life [Editor's Note: “Man A” and his wife have two kids]. But marriage on its own doesn’t do much.

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Man B: No way. I know we’re still newlyweds in some people’s eyes, though. I mean, our honeymoon was almost all sex. We have sex probably just as much as we did when we lived together.

Woman A: Absolutely, but that isn’t a bad thing. We never moved in together before marriage. 

Do you think it’s marriage itself that affects it, or are there other factors?

Man A: I think on a long enough timeline, everyone’s sex life would dip and eventually go back up. I definitely don’t have the energy I used to, and we’ve probably gone a month before without having sex, although on the average we still have sex at least once a week, if not more. I know a month sounds like a lot, but I’ve been with my wife for over a decade.

Man B: I do think that it’s not so much getting married but moving in together that can change it. It doesn’t feel like you have to have sex every time you see each other. You don’t have to jump all over each other because you’re not sure if you’re going to get the chance to have sex later in the week.

Woman A: It’s not as if marriage is some magical thing. But I think that all the factors that come along with marriage are going to affect your sex life, i.e. moving in together and growing old. But I hate the idea that women have sex until you “put a ring on it” and then they don’t care anymore. Like it’s somehow our fault.

Would you say you have sex more or less often overall?

Man A: Overall, we have less sex now, but like I mentioned, we used to basically do nothing but have sex. It’s tough to go up from there.

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Man B: Since getting married, it’s definitely about the same.

Woman A: Definitely more initially, and then maybe a little less, but I think it evens out.

Would you say that, regardless of frequency, the sex is better or worse overall?

Man A: That’s a tough one, but really I think it’s about the same. It’s different than the sex we were having in our teens. But I can’t say it’s not good. We have a great sex life.

Man B: I would say that on the average, it’s roughly the same. Our honeymoon sex was some of the best sex I’ve ever had, though.

Woman A: I would say it’s better overall, because we’re never having sex out of obligation. Our nights aren’t: date, then back to my place, then sex. We just have sex when we want to.

Do you feel the need to spice up your sex life?

Man A: We’ve definitely tried a few things that were “experimental.” Well, for us at least. Think the kind of stuff you’d see in 50 Shades of Grey. And yes, it was because of that movie.

Man B: No, but we’re also pretty spicy to begin with.

Woman A: No, not really. I have a few things I’d like to try, though.

Have you experienced any of the “rockiness” or “dry spells” people tend to associate with marriage?

Man A: I don’t think in the way that it’s depicted on TV or the way people joke about it. We’ve had some dry spells but it’s not like we feel there’s this huge rift there. We miss it, but it’s usually because we have so much going on. Like, we’ve just had a baby, or one of us just got a promotion at work and is really busy or working long hours. Other things happening in our life that are positive are going on, and sometimes our romantic life took a back seat. I think it’s something that will happen to any couple at some point, unless they schedule sex on their calendar.

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Man B: No, we haven’t. I don’t know that I’m the best person to really field this question, though. But, if this is fair to say, I don’t see our sex life slowing down any time soon.

Woman A: We’ve had a few fights or tense times that’d I don’t want to get into detail about, but yes, those moments affect your sex life for sure. The make-up sex is amazing, though.

Do you have any advice to give to newlyweds who are worried about their sex life?

Man A: Don’t get into your own heads about it. You’re going to have plenty of sex. Hopefully you married the right person and it’s a lifetime of sex. It’s not bad to make a conscious effort to have more sex. But don’t start thinking, ‘We didn’t have sex this week. Our sex life is over.’

Woman A: Like anything else in a relationship, your sex life is something you should always be working on. In a healthy marriage where you’re both communicating, it’s something that will come pretty easily.

Man B: Enjoy yourselves. Just have as much sex as you want and don’t worry about what you’re supposed to be doing.

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This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.