Coolidge Effect in women

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The Bored Sex

Is this due to more women orgasming more frequently today??

The sexologists' advice shows a distinct lack of imagination IMO.


They recommended pursuit of novelty

This merely defers the problem until either the couple runs out of "novel" ideas...or their pursuit of novelty leads them to incompatible, or even destructive, demands.

For example, some of the most heartrending stories we see on recovery forums are by men whose pursuit of novelty led them to driving their wives into cuckoldry so they could get their voyeuristic buzz by watching and/or by being humiliated. (Both turn-ons apparently inflated through porn viewing...given that as they unhook from porn use they strongly regret their choices and lose their taste for such things.) Grim reading.


It makes sense that as

It makes sense that as sensation-seeking escalate the partner becomes, or is felt to become, progressively unable to deliver the desired sensations or in the intensity desired and so the partner becomes itself insufficient ("there must be something better out there").So, what is in the beginning a sensation seeking approach becomes ultimately a new partner seeking behaviour, when the old partner fails to deliver novelty

Coolidge effect in women

You mention that this article is evidence of coolidge effect in women. But there are a few problems I hope someone can explain:

In the article, it mentions 2 German studies which says while men’s interest in their wife or girlfriend stays steady over time, the interest of a woman in their boyfriend or husband dramatically decreases over time, significantly more than for men.

So that means more than one variable must account for this difference, considering both the husbands and their wives have the same amount of sex (since they’re doing it with each other).

1. What was the cause of the decline of desire in women for their husbands or boyfriends, but stayed steady for men for their wives or girlfriends?
If the coolidge effect was the cause of the decline of desire, then the men’s desire should have declined also, but it didn’t even decline, let alone decline at the same rate as women.

2. It says that for couples who live apart, the women still had desire for their partners, but sex is still occurring, and all entirely with the same person, so these separate living arrangements wouldn’t significantly matter if the problem was the coolidge effect, but it does. It would just decline at a slower rate if sex was less frequent, but it apparently didn’t decline at all.

3. Has there been evidence of the coolidge effect occuring in women before? In most examples explaining the coolidge effect, it’s usually describing a male losing interest in a female. Not the other way around. But the studies mentioned in the article says that it is women who lose interest, not men.

First, even in animals

the Coolidge effect has shown up in females. (The study I recall was on Syrian hamsters. I can find it if you don't.) Also, I recall an article or book on the Maasai, where a woman was interviewed who explained that (in their culture's economic circumstances) women are wise to have multiple lovers (and ask gifts from each).

For a long time, humanity believed that most women wanted stable relationships and men less so. (The research bears this out.) So, until recently, most researchers weren't looking for the Coolidge Effect in women. I suspect that assumption was true where women couldn't earn their own livings and had to make sure their kids were supported by men. Women weren't watching porn and enthusiastically exploiting sex toys then either.

But things have changed. Marriages offer little stability. Women increasingly work full time whether or not they have kids. Women are watching more and more porn and orgasming more frequently on their own with the help of toys. So they increasingly undervalue the synergy and stability of a committed relationship. Also, as sex gets "hotter," overall dissatisfaction paradoxically increases after the initial fireworks inevitably die down.

Personally, I suspect this happens partly because more orgasms mean more post-orgasmic fallout. Also, more porn use is associated with decreased relationship and sexual satisfaction. (This is well established in men, and as research catches up with women's ever-increasing porn use, it is showing up in heterosexual women too.) Very little has yet been done on sex toy use and relationship satisfaction in women except in research funded (and written) by sex toy manufacturers. (Ahem) But there's lots of anecdotal evidence that women who turn to sex toys and porn later find it more difficult to orgasm during partnered sex (much as men who overconsume porn often develop sexual dysfunctions).

Obviously, in long-distance relationships, partners generally have time to "recover" from any unfortunate effects of orgasm while they're apart, which can keep things more interesting despite conventional sex for longer. But they miss out on the benefits of companionship to some degree.

The "unraveling" I'm describing has been going on for decades. As a society, we are pushing hard on the "mating" (churning relationship) pedal with our behavioral choices. This is making it more difficult to sustain our pair-bonds. In fact, they don't even look particularly attractive to many today, in part because such folks haven't seen healthy relationships thrive up close in their parents, and haven't experienced them for themselves.

The reason I wrote my book was because I saw how valuable close, trusted companionship was, and I wanted to undersand how to improve the odds of a permanent, satisfying relationship. Turns out I had to change my putting the emphasis on bonding behaviors + careful use of sexual energy (not making orgasm the goal of intercourse). I was fascinated to learn that this "prescription" had turned up over the millennia in many diverse cultures. Who would have thought??

My theory is that humans evolved from promiscuous mammals. So this "promiscuous program" is just beneath the surface. Yet humans and their offspring are benefited by pair-bonding. We thus evolved such that the attachment cues that bond us to parents and kids have been adapted to keep lovers bonded...when they're engaged in almost daily...and we don't pursue enticing (competing)  stimulation online or with toys.

Instead, most today are opting for the latter, which is making the universal mammalian promiscuous program "louder," and our pair-bonding program harder to hear. Still, we have a choice. We "vote" with our behavior.

One major risk of this situation is that agenda-driven sexologists who study the (rapidly deteriorating) current situation mistake it for humans' inescapable biological reality when it's in fact biology + behavioral choices. I think we all need to know our options more clearly...hence my book.

That said, I also believe people should make their own choices. If they prefer promiscuity, porn and sex toys to stable be it (although it appears to be less ideal for their offspring). If they want stable relationships, they need to know how to steer for them.

Marnia, thanks for being

Marnia, thanks for being generous with your time, energy, and focus, and for sharing the fruits of your research and wisdom with us. Here on a cool, damp SoCal Sunday morning, reading your response is like hearing a thoughtful sermon from a wise, caring Parish Priest or Deacon. Thanks, Teacher!