Is It Just Me, Or Does Cohabitation Kind of Kill Your Sex Life?

How to keep having sex even though you're living together.
Publish date:
March 27, 2014
cohabitation, sex life

In every cohabby situation I've ever had, the frequency of sex has taken a dive shortly after the move-in. It's a weird formula; now that you see each other more, you have sex less. It could have something to do with the “newness” fading away, or the ever-growing presence of sweatpants, but for me I think it's more about the scarcity mindset.

If I order a pizza at home, I know I can eat three slices now and have the rest later. It's chillin' in my fridge, available at any moment. But if I'm at a party, and see a couple steaming pizza boxes, well I better eat all I want RIGHT NOW because it will look squirrelly if I stuff slices in my purse for later.

Before you move in together, and you're only seeing your SigO a couple nights a week, sex is always on the menu because you know tomorrow night it's back to spooning your Hitachi while you watch reruns of "Glee."

But once your partner has a permanent place to store their toothbrush and there's a spot on the couch in the shape of their ass, well there's no real rush. Sex can happen -- or not happen -- anytime.

Be mindful that going a week or two without sliding in and out of each other is different from a gaping hole in your sex life. When you just aren't interested in sex with your partner, period, it's often due to an issue larger than the monotony of deciding whose turn it is to scrub the toilet. A friend of mine currently going through a separation from her husband confided that they hadn't had sex in nearly 2 years. I repeat: Two. Years. So, I guess the separation didn't come as much of a surprise to either of them; a missing sex life is often a symptom that something in the relationship needs mending. Pay close attention to your libido. It could be speaking to you.

While I've never had a two-year lapse, I can still commiserate. Below are some ways to try and keep sex a regular thing, even when you know your Laundromat-loathing boyfriend has been wearing the same briefs for three days now.

Make a sex date.

While I'm a fan of spontaneous sex, I'm also a creature of habit. I know if I've had a long day, when 10 pm rolls around, the last thing I want to do is wriggle out of my panties and use them as a gag or whatever. While I hate to turn sex into some sort of chore, if putting it on your to-do list is the only way it happens, then set forth and schedule, fellow Type As. Set specific dates with your partner to get down like you're in the back bedroom of a Freshman year house party. The bonus of a longstanding Tuesday-night f*ck fest is the Pavlovian response one will start to build. Mmmm, Tuesday.

If you don't want to go that far, simply make a mental resolution that sex will happen tonight. Put the good lacy stuff on under your office attire, kick the dog out of the room, initiate a back massage -- whatever your method of fore-foreplay is.

Don't wait until bedtime.

If you want to talk about a mood-basher, let's stew on the time an ex of mine fell asleep mid-fingerbang. If you're the type to fall asleep 45 seconds after your head hits the pillow, then make an effort to initiate sex before your witching hour hits. Sex before dinner is fun. Or sex while dinner simmers on the stove? Don't burn the house down.

Stop with the screen-time.

Nearly every night, after dinner has been done and the dishes have been washed, my manfriend and I plop on the couch and move through our Netflix Instant queue. While it's a nice way to unwind, we rarely ever have sex afterward, because we watch until one or both of us is half-asleep. (See above tip.)

However, I have found if we power down all of our screens and vow to have a stimulating conversation instead, sex will be had, because there's really only so much conversing about the pros and cons of Google Glass that you can do before someone's hand will end up in the other's pants.

OK, so those are the things that work for me. Things I've tried that haven't worked?

Sex pacts.

Making a sex pact, a la “We will have sex every day for a year." I once said “Let's have sex every day this week.” I made it exactly one day and then immediately forgot until right now. I just don't have that kind of stamina or mental attention, I guess.

Stranger danger role play.

Minor role play is fun, but the whole meeting at a bar and pretending you're strangers feels -- to me -- forced and weird. Not weird in a good “Wow that's a new orifice!” way, but weird in an “I'm uncomfy and don't know what to do with my hands!” way. Has anyone had good success with this type of trickery? Hannah tried it on this season of "Girls" and it didn't work out so hot for her, either. I was happy about that, actually, because normally when media portrays the stranger danger scenario, there is sheet-tearing headboard-banging sex had while everyone screams out whatever faux French name they've given each other for the night, and I'm left to sit on my couch alone munching popcorn going, “Really?”

OK, so tell me how you keep sex going strong in your live-in relationships. Also tell me all of your stranger danger role play stories. Or any role play stories, really.

When not trying to seduce her live-in boyfriend, Zoe can be found on Twitter, Instagram, and her blog,