Are You Still In Lust?

It is widely accepted that the initial sexual attraction and excitement experienced with a new partner will soon wane.
I listened to psychologist Esther Perel in her TED talk entitled “The secret to desire in a long-term relationship.” She starts her talk by saying, “So, why does good sex so often fade, even for couples who continue to love each other as much as ever? And why does good intimacy not guarantee good sex, contrary to popular belief? Or, the next question would be, can we want what we already have?” She goes on to discuss how security and caretaking is the anthesis of desire. In spite of the title, I do not see that she offers a solution to this dilemma other than learning to live with it.
However, not all couples experience this loss of sexual attraction for each other. In the book “Why Men Want Sex and Women Need Love: Solving the Mystery of Attraction” the authors state that about five percent of couples do not lose their initial sexual desire. However, they do not go into why the initial passion remains for some couples. I am very interested to learn what is different about those five percent. Perhaps there are things that we can do to help keep the lust alive.
As I read here about the exciting sexual escapades and the desire for each other by couples who have been married forever, I believe that most of those five percent have found their way here to Marriage Heat :-). I would appreciate hearing from couples who have been married long enough to no longer consider themselves newlyweds, and still, at least on occasion, experience extreme excitement about having sex with your spouse.  You can’t believe that, of all the people on earth,  you get to have sex with him/her!
Things you could comment on: describing how you feel about sex with your spouse now, how you felt about your spouse when you met… Was there anything different about how you felt about your future spouse relative to other people you’ve dated? Is there anything about your lives when dating or over your many years of marriage to which you attribute your long-lasting infatuation? Or anything unique about your spouse that attracts you?
This is anonymous, so please don’t be shy or afraid to toot your own horn!

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24 replies
  1. Cuddles says:

    Thank you for posting this question ILoveMarriage. It's vitally important to me.

    Part of my request to God when I asked him for my new man was that we would fall deeply in love, including desiring each other, AND LEARN TO STAY THAT WAY. I guess that puts me in that five per cent maybe? I'm thinking that there really is a learning process in this and I intend to make notes.

    I'll be following this post and comments with great interest!

    Cuddles xxxx

    • ILoveMarriage says:

      Hi Cuddles–


      I think that a big reason why most couples fall out of lust is expectations. We are told over and over that lust doesn't last. Sure enough, when you are dealing with diapers, lack of sleep, job loss, etc., the sexual excitement will not be there all the time. But rather than accept it as the new norm, accept it as an event. A normal event that will pass.

      Part of the reason we are in lust while dating is that we put a lot of effort into the relationship. If married folks put as much time and effort into their relationship as they did when dating, fading lust would not be so big a problem.

      As the following posts reveal, there are things you can do to fuel the lust!

  2. Hot4him says:

    These are interesting and important questions. My husband and I have been married for seventeen years, still find one another unbelievably sexy, and make love nearly every other day. I think the secret to our success is that we work at it instead of expecting it. I still make sure to let him know I appreciate his body among all the other things I love about him, and he does the same for me. We sometimes send one another racy texts or provocative pictures out of the blue. We both buy me lingerie sometimes, both separately as surprises and sometimes shopping together. We still, after all these years, try new things. (I just found out this year that I like to be spanked, which has added a whole new element to our lovemaking.) We use lots of different positions, and sometimes use sex toys. In other words, we try really hard to keep things as fresh and exciting as we can. And we are very open and honest as well. We discuss our fantasies, tell one another what feels good in the moment, and express when we feel like we’re falling into a rut and then choose together something to do about it. We have not had a consistently great sex life for all 17 years (and I think that’s an unrealistic expectation) but we identify what works and what doesn’t, and understand that our bodies and preferences change with time, and try to keep it fresh.

    Best of luck! Hope this helps.

  3. LovingMan says:

    Cuddles… I too pray that I will always find my wife beautiful and sexy to me. It has worked for decades now. I still think she’s both gorgeous and cute. She still thinks I’m cute too. And we make sure we tell each other.
    ILoveMarriage… every time I get to make love to my wife I can hardly believe that I am so blessed! Our regular sex sessions are scheduled. We have intercourse every other day. She usually needs a bit more time between sessions to orgasm so we do a quickie then two days later do a full lovemaking session. She usually has two orgasms in our full lovemaking sessions. Sometimes she’ll come during a quickie too. So we enjoy our regular sexual relationship. Then, from time to time, she’ll absolutely blow my mind with her raring to make love. She’ll do something totally unexpected like walking into the kitchen in sexy lingerie. . . or interrupting my shower to flash me in her cupless teddy. Or she’ll go on a sex bender and want it every day for several days.
    I have written role plays, and once in a while, we go to sexy hotels and act out the role play in a themed room. I cherish the memory of those times. I think that all marriages need those mindblowing sexy experiences.
    But the regular sex is important too. It keeps us bonded. I think that scheduled sex is important to keep the flame burning. Then, from time to time, you also get a major flare-up of passion.

  4. Victor0884 says:

    My wife and I have been married for 19 years. We have a very active sex life, sex for us is very good. I attribute this to open communication about what we like and to openly talking about sex. I know this is difficult for some but that is what keeps us interested and excited for each other. Examples of this would include talking about sexual fantasies, we have shared fantasies about threesomes during sex. My wife likes fantasizing about women during sex, it really turns her on. Fantasies only as we would not actually indulge but they are great turn ons. We try to keep it exciting with bondage, toys, different places and positions. The communication is key though as your spouse has to feel comfortable sharing their intimate desires with no judgement from you when they share. Communication about sex with your spouse should be the main priority, once you get to this point you can keep the fire burning.

    • LilaY69 says:

      Does your wife read MH also? Tell her to join the family! I love the honest and open communication about sex and erotic sex fantasies from other couples. It's also a big turn on, and an aspiring affirmation by others!

      Would love to hear more about you and your wife's sex fantasies! Please seriously considering submitting some material! I will be soon also.

      Lila 😘😘

  5. EroticUT says:

    We've been married for 22 years and sex over the past five has improved immensely as we open up and explore. I'm able to share my fantasies, but my wife still has not – says she does not think that way. Is that true for women or is she just not comfortable sharing yet? I love fantasizing and using erotica to discover new ideas. She is hesitant but gets turned on anytime she reads stories here. I've also noticed nudity from TV series like Yellowstone and Outlander turn her on, and she is noticing that the sex after is so wonderful as she lets go of her inhibitions. We have incorporated toys, and she is finally comfortable masturbating and seems to enjoy if I share a voyuer, threesome, or foursome fantasy. @Victor0884, I'd love to have my wife fantasizing about another woman. Any ideas how to incorporate toys to initiate that?

  6. ILoveMarriage says:

    Thanks to all who have replied so far!

    Here is my answer. We are still infatuated with each other after over 35 years of marriage.

    The sexual attraction to her was way stronger than anyone else I had ever dated. Sure, I looked forward to and fantasized about being marriend to and having sex with whoever I was dating (or wanted to date 🙂 ) at the time, but my desire for sex was more general and not so focused on any particular person. But when I met my future wife, I wanted sex with HER.

    The main thing that attracted me to her first was that she was easy to talk to and I feld comfortable discussing anything with her. It wasn't love at first sight. She was and still is drop-dead georgeous — certainly among the most attractive women I have ever seen. But I didn't fall in love or experience extreme sexual attraction until after a few dates.

    I think pheromones are a factor. Literal chemestry. She doesn't wear perfume, and uses unscented deoderant. But even when just being near her, she smells great! Oral sex with her au naturel pubic hair is absolutely divine.

    We were affectionate while dating — lots of holding hands, hugging, and French kissing. But we waited until our honeymoon to do anything sexual. We were young aspiring professionals when we met, so we had a long courtship and engagement. Much of our relationship before marriage was long-distance, which gave us an opportunity to really get to know each other without the physical interfering. When we finally did marry, WOW! We still feel like we are making up for lost time.

    We both have good libidos. Not unusual for a young guy, but not necessarily a given for a woman. Even the marriage is difficult, her need for sex has always been a healing factor. She has always been sexually generous with me. Our libidos decreased later in life, but we are both taking bioidentical hormones, and having the best and most frequent sex of our lives.

  7. Victor0884 says:

    Well, EroticUT, it is not something that is initiated by toys. It began with trust between my wife and I. Took us a long while to get there. A lot of woman get turned on by fantasizing about being with another woman. Not something they would engage in for real but the fantasy is a turn on. Women can appreciate the beauty of the female body and be straight. That is how it started with my wife and I. She was comfortable enough with me to share her appreciation of the female body and shared she was turned on by female nudity. My wife says a woman’s body is just more sexy than a man’s. I agree, but it is just a fantasy she uses to get turned on.

    • LilaY69 says:

      I also share your wife's fantasies of being with another woman, and having a threesome. I can also attest to being turned on by seeing other beautiful women naked, or seeing their sexy curved bodies in general. I think most women do at least to some degree. We females are very beautiful and erotic, and we can also enjoy that. I don't believe it to be perverted, or unnatural… as I said I believe most other women also have fantasies of being with another woman or being turned on by the sexy female erotic form as many polls and studies have shown.

      As I've mentioned on MH before, both my husband and I also enjoy exploring and sharing our sex fantasies. One of my biggest fantasies is having a threesome, and experiencing another woman in bed. My husband of course is extremely turned on by it, and the fantasies are indeed very sexy but we would never tempt ourselves. We enjoy them just as that– fantasies. We plan on submitting some of these fantasies.

    • SecondMarge says:

      I have hesitated to admit it here because in the past any same sex fantasy was rejected. I can’t see how the art that is a woman’s body does not turn everyone on. So I share the fantasy of being with another woman. Needless to say my husband encouraged those thoughts when he was alive. Now that I am single who knows. I am quit certain there is nothing wrong about these desires/fantasies. They can at very least feed my mind during self pleasure.

  8. SecondMarge says:

    I don’t know that I ever have been in lust. The descriptions I read are not familiar to me. My first marriage was as close to an arranged marriage by our families and our church as you are likely to find in the US. I just felt like it was expected of me. He never in word or deed made me feel like he lusted for me.

    My second husband was a wonderful older man that certainly loved and lusted for me. To me he was such a good man who treated me so well that I certainly loved him. Did I feel lust? There were times I wanted him to have sex with me but I never had a strong physical desire that some call lust.

    I guess some of us just never are meant to feel lust.

    So am I “still” in lust?

  9. J. G. says:

    Hmm, lust? It is different then it was 35 yrs ago. My hormones are at a lower level, no doubt. Do I still get a thrill touching, cuddling, talking sexy? No doubt. Do I still find my sexual pleasure in our mutual pleasure? Without question. I’m more grateful for my wife, more appreciative now of her desire for pleasure, of her sensual enjoyment of sex. For me, it is at least in part her love of sexual pleasure, both erotic and sensual, that keeps me lusting after her. And I think the cycle is circular, because my lust for her in part motivates her sensual playing and sexual enjoyment. She is desired, knows it and feeds off of it. I realize that she is rare, and I tell her how much that means to me. It would make me incredibly sad to have a wife act like a roommate. She has always been pure and, since getting married, purely naughty. We do have a lot of memories which we love to relive. Great topic. Reminds me how blessed I am.

  10. AdamW says:

    There is a distinction between sexual attraction and sexual satisfaction. I have never stopped being very sexually attracted to my wife, and she still seems very attracted to me. However, she has a lot of issues, which I wrote about in my "Three Things" post, that really get in the way of having a fully satisfying sex life. But it's not about lack of sexual attraction.

    I think that's part of the issue the experts are getting at. The lucky 5% are the couples who are able to really feel in tune with each other AND able to act on it to their mutual satisfaction. Attraction will always ebb and flow a bit, and it has to match up with opportunity. The rest of life and responsibilities will sometimes get in the way. And people have to feel sexually attractive and confident themselves in order to act on their attraction to their spouse. Confidence (but not overconfidence) is inevitably the sexiest thing in a person in the long run.

  11. California Coastal says:

    We are closing in on 25 years of marriage. Technically, we didn't have sex till our wedding and I think that kept us wanting each other and helping build the intensity of the excitement. Now, when I say "technically" I mean there was no penis in vagina activity … LOL. I grew up clothing optional and his family was also somewhat casual about clothing. Having or bodies totally exposed enabled us to touch each other often. We kissed deeply, touched each other sexually and even gave each other oral sex. However, no actual intercourse. Those feelings we had in the beginning have never waned. We continue to remain totally open to each other sexually. There have been periods where sex took a back seat, but now that our daughter is in grad school six hours away we can freely indulge and at most any time and anywhere, including outdoors in the back yard. We freely and joyfully submit to pleasuring the other one. I love to suck his cock and when he ejaculates I joyously swallow his semen since I consider that the most intimate act one can perform for a spouse. He is devoting a part of him to me so we can have a part of the other and be one. It has contributed to our infatuation with each other.

    • ILoveMarriage says:

      I should have titled this post "Are you still in lust with your spouse" :-).

      "Define lust."
      A strong desire. More specifically for the purposes of this post, having a desire for sex with your spouse that is a lot stronger than any other sexual attractions you may experience.


  12. HigherQuest says:

    We are approaching 50 years together and a couple of years ago we both acknowledged our sexual relationship was lacking in many ways. In previous years we approached the subject but never seemed to gain any ground in those conversations. We decided it was time to resolve the staleness that had infected our sexual relationship. We set a few boundaries as we began to explore our sexuality afresh…no sex outside of our marriage, which included strip bars, webcam sex, or flirtatious behavior towards another, and we agreed that we would both lay down – as much as it is possible to do so – our past set of sexual lenses that we approached Scripture with. We began to ask the Lord to open our eyes to what He forbids, what He doesn't forbid, and what He wholeheartedly supports.

    We considered every aspect of human sexuality as described in the Word, every Hebrew and Greek word or phrase that addressed the subject, and a clear perception of His design for human sexuality. It was an amazing season in our lives. I won't go into the specifics of what we came away with accepting as appropriate for us, but I will say our horizons opened significantly and it has made a huge difference in our marriage. We went from having sex every one to three months, to sex two or three times each week. She went from almost never having an orgasm to have one to three orgasms each time. We read together, we talk about everything, and we changed in too many areas to take the time to share here.

    I want to make it clear that we are as committed to a monogamous marriage as ever, and our basic approach is that whatever the Bible doesn't forbid is fair territory to explore. Everything we enjoy involves the two of us alone, but the sources of stimulation far exceed what we permitted in previous years. We have sought to test the freedoms we have experienced by clear Scriptural teaching, by whether it encouraged or hindered our worship of Jesus, whether it drew us closer to Him or caused any distancing from Him, and whether we could engage in whatever it was we were enjoying with Him being bodily present while we enjoyed it.

    Our sex life is soooo much improved because of this journey. We have studied, read, written down our studies, prayed with incredible intensity, and have emerged with a sexual enjoyment like we had…if not better…in our first year of marriage. Guilt, shame, depression, and fear have all been removed from our experience of sex, and we truly believe the joy we experience in it is the joy of the Lord.

    I love what Paul says in Romans 14:22  The faith that you have, keep between yourself and God. Blessed is the one who has no reason to pass judgment on himself for what he approves. 23  But whoever has doubts is condemned if he eats (does), because the eating (doing) is not from faith. For whatever does not proceed from faith is sin. 

    Some of the things we enjoy we would love to be able to share with our Christian friends, but we recognize that they might exceed the boundaries they feel safe with, and we would never want to tempt anyone to violate their consciences. We keep most of it to ourselves and only occasionally discuss them in settings like here. I guess I encourage most Christians to do the same thing. I don't want what I have permission for to encourage anyone to violate their conscience or damage their relationships with others. Sexuality is a very delicate subject among most Christians. I'm personally convinced the Enemy of God and believers has done a real number on the body of Christ over the centuries since Jesus returned to Heaven. He knows the power of a great sex life in marriage and has done all he can to pollute it, damage it, hinder it, and condemn it. He began in the Garden and has never deviated from his strategy to confuse God's intentions for sexuality. It is one of my fervent prayers that the body of Christ will do similar studies and slowly but surely guide the body out of incorrect limitations and into the freedom and liberty the Lord desires for all of us.

    • SecondMarge says:

      I wish there was a special section here that you could open up about those experiences. A section those of us that approve could read them without offending the members that believe such desires are wrong. Sex and religion are two subjects where hypocrisy abounds. Mostly because of fear that others will judge us. I must admit that when I first joined topics like threesomes, same sex, girl on girl, etc could not be mentioned. I think that MH has drifted towards allowing those topics because most of us are turned on by the fantasies. I think it would be helpful if we could bare our souls, so to speak, and admit having those desires. I read fewer comments complaining when such subjects are mentioned.
      It would be great to have a third section here that allowed any stories and discussions as long as there was no physical cheating.

    • PacMan says:

      I love hearing how you and your wife are more open than ever. Hey, you should submit a full post on the site and share more details about some of the exact fantasies you have. It might help others open up more. Might turn on a few couples too!

    • Loves2bthelover says:

      This is a great response, HigherQuest. I know you mentioned that you don’t have time for details, but I (and probably many others) would love to hear about some of the liberties you practice now, that may have been taboo or shameful before. I think it would help this community to hear a few of your favorites.

      [Best to put them in a post versus comment, though. ~ MH]

  13. Maxlove says:

    Am I still "in lust" with my wife? She would probably answer yes, as I would too. Given half a chance, I would ravish her at will – but only if and when she wanted to be ravished. And at her age and mine, having the energy for it.

    We've been married 26 years, and because I was in my mid 30s, she in her mid 40s, you can do the math, and probably understand we face many of the same challenges other older couples do.

    I agree with what many say here, about sharing fantasies. It actually accelerated our dating relationship when she asked about mine, and I shared them, point blank. What I've found through experience, though, is that I can sometimes put the cart before the horse; in other words, putting the thing that *causes* the turn on, before the thing leading up to it.

    The thing that REALLY turns me on is a certain muffle to female lovemaking noises. I love it when we get quiet; I also love to hear my wife get so turned on. Muffling it so that I alone can hear it. (Song of Solomon 8:13). How this is accomplished: a gag, a hand over her mouth, or her screaming blissfully into a pillow, is secondary to being a solo audience, the only one listening to what she's really "saying".

    But it isn't just fantasy fulfillment. Deep connection, and communication, verbal (real, open heart sharing) and nonverbal (the latter, with further allusions to silence, keeping it strictly between ourselves with a soft moan or muffle) are both necessary.

    So are we there yet? Not quite. We've moved from lovemaking two or three times a week (or sometimes in a single night!) to more like months on end at once-a-week, alternating with months-bordering-on-years' dry spells.

    But the love is still there, through this and other hard times.

    Perhaps the best example of "mutual lust", and combining fantasy with deep heart connection was on a vacation in Jamaica in recent years.

    At dinner on the dock overlooking the ocean, she used a "bad" word describing our respective heritages (I'll say we're a mixed race couple and leave the hint at the bad word right there). I quickly shushed her to keep it down, and she obliged with an elegant giggle, putting her hand in front of her mouth to partly cover it. Wearing her pretty Valentines Day dress, as we continued our conversation, looking back on how we had grown individually and as a couple. Falling in love with each other all over again and saying so.

    Then it was back to our room. That night, the next night, and the night after. The lust was there three nights in a row and for some time after.

    And I was frequently rewarded with an ecstatic, wifely muffle and a satisfied, deep sigh.

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