You’d assume a marriage in which a partner is cheating is a marriage on its last legs, right? New research presented at the 109th meeting of the American Sexological Association begs to differ. A lot of partners are happy in their marriage—but are also looking for an affair, the study of 100 women between ages 35 and 45 found. (Note: Take this with a grain of salt, as study participants were also members of AshleyMadison.com, a site for individuals seeking extramarital affairs.) But the most interesting part of the research? None of the women in the study expressed interest in leaving their marriage. Sixty-seven percent strayed because they wanted more “romantic passion.”
And while it may sound like it would have been a whole lot less trouble to simply schedule a date night, researchers involved in the study say that it doesn’t work that way. “A long standing sexological finding is that sex with the same person gets boring,” explains study author Eric Anderson, Ph.D., a professor of masculinity at the University of Winchester in England, as well as chief science officer at AshleyMadison.com.
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And while seeking sex elsewhere may work for some couples (think Frank and Claire Underwood in House of Cards), that’s not the only way to go (or the best solution!). Start, instead, by simply talking. “A lot of couples, even ones who are deeply in love, just don’t know how to talk about sex,” says Jenni Skyler, Ph.D., a sex and relationship therapist and director of The Intimacy Institute in Boulder, CO.
If you and your partner both seem to be a little awkward around the subject—but both want to bring more spice into the bedroom—sign up for a workshop at a local sex shop for your next date night, experts suggest. It can help get you both more comfortable talking what turns you on—and what doesn’t. Clothes are left on, but having an expert talking different techniques and tips may make it easier for you to open up after class as well as have fun doing something sexy together.