Accept the ups and downs

Our desire is inherently fluctuating, but fewer and fewer couples consent to this reality. They worry because they love each other but do not make love anymore. Why does desire become dull? And how to live his inevitable fluctuations without putting his relationship in jeopardy?

Flavia Mazelin Salvi

After those of 1970 and 1992, the third survey Context of sexuality in France (CSF), huge sociological sum led by the National Institute of Health and medical research (INSERM) and the National Institute of Demographic Studies (INED), trace, as close as possible, our "sexual portrait". More than twelve thousand people have accepted to answer, in all honesty, questions about their practices, their encounters, their sexual health. And on their desire.

Far from the fanciful soundings of whimsical polls placing us, more or less high, on the world scale of the perfect lovers, the study sets a few pendulums on time: only one woman out of ten declares never to know of absence of desire in a relationship of more than five years, against one in three women in a more recent relationship; 38% of women in couples and 20% of men admit having felt an absence or a lack of desire in the last twelve months.

Reasons given? Presence of children, fatigue, heaviness of household chores, economic difficulties ... It remains that beyond the material contingencies, the older the couple, the more the engagement in sexuality decreases. And the more anxiety and questioning increases.

For the psychoanalyst Jean-Michel Hirt, author of The Insolence of Love, Fictions of Sexual Life (Albin Michel, 2007), if the desire has become so obsessive and volatile, is that he does not support the consumeristic injunctions of our culture. "To look normal and flourished, it is necessary to enjoy, to make love, often, a lot, remarks the therapist.The frequency of the relations is moreover, and unfortunately, become the barometer of the intimacy of the couple.We are immersed in a culture of "push-to-enjoy", which does not accommodate the laws of desire because the latter, to develop and express itself, has need of lack, of prohibition, but also of time, and seeking excitement permanently and at all costs is precisely the best way to make desire flee. "

Desire does not erode, it changes of form

Since the discoveries of neuroscience in the field of sexuality, love and desire, we believe that we are biologically nt programmed to want effortlessly from his partner for three years, maximum, time necessary to ensure the reproduction of the species. "This desire is powerful, imperious and generating thrills, that's why men and women long-lasting taste and regret when it becomes dull, says Mireille Bonierbale, psychiatrist and sexologist.But when that desire weakens, that does not mean that the whole desire dies. "

Comparisons and Confusions

According to the couple therapists, the hasty conclusions come mostly from a prejudicial confusion with excitement. " The sexuality of passion is not that of love, says doctor sexologist Gonzague de Larocque. It is the game of comparisons before and after that undermines the confidence of couples and extinguishes their love. Getting used to the other does not sign the end of desire. On the contrary, intimate knowledge can foster a deeper and more inventive sexuality. But for that, one must first accept that with time the desire changes its form. "

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