Couples That Work to Sexually Satisfy Each Other More Likely to Sustain Desire

C. Price

Written by: C. Price

C. Price

C. Price is part of's content team. She writes advice articles, how-to guides, and studies — all relating to dating, relationships, love, sex, and more.

Edited by: Lillian Castro

Lillian Castro

Lillian Guevara-Castro brings more than 30 years of journalism experience to ensure DatingAdvice articles have been edited for overall clarity, accuracy, and reader engagement. She has worked at The Atlanta Journal and Constitution, The Gwinnett Daily News, and The Gainesville Sun covering lifestyle topics.

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How hard a couple works at sexually satisfying each other may help keep their desire burning in the long run.

Conducted at the University of Toronto, a new study found couples with a higher motivation toward fulfilling their partner’s needs have higher overall levels of desire from day to day.

Published in the May issue of Social Psychological and Personality Science, the study involved 44 men and women ranging in ages from 23 to 60 who had been in their current relationship from three to 39 years.

An initial online survey targeted participants who displayed a strong motivation to meet their partner’s needs without expecting reciprocation. Participants also completed 21 10-minute questionnaires and took part in a follow-up session four months later.


“Those with higher motivation toward fulfilling

their partner’s needs have higher levels of desire.”

Those reporting a lower effort to meeting their partner’s needs had lower levels of desire starting out, with the numbers continuing to decline through to the follow-up.

The results held up even when controlling for factors of age, couples with children and those in longer relationships.

Of the participants in the study, 68 percent were married, with 48 percent having children. Eighty-two percent of the respondents were white.

The study suggests those who maintain a higher level of sexual activity for their partner’s pleasure do so knowing how important it is to both the partner and the long-term health of the union.

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