Sexual Development. Individuals continue to develop sexual identity and orientation. Some individuals continue to struggle with their homosexuality or bisexuality. People learn their sexual likes/ dislikes through experience. Some people seek out more sex with more new partners.

Two issues about achieving sexual maturity:

1) Become responsible about sex (i.e contraception, STIs)

2) Develop the capacity for intimacy (i.e develop deep emotional sharing between two people)

Many tv shows depict sexual representation of the sexual life of a single person (i.e Seinfeld, Friends, Sex in the city) etc.

Never married. Adults who are never been legally married. People who want to marry or remain single or common-law relationships. People are waiting longer to get married. Most adults in Canada get married (up to 95%), Men: 30.6 Women: 28.5. Many are in serial monogamy, before they settle into a permanent relationship. Many unmarried people are still in romantic relationships.

Long-distance relationships. Geographic separation can be stressful, but will survive: trust each other, look forward to relationship’s future, people see it in the idealized fashion; better if they don’t see each other as often and usually end when the couple actually starts living together. ]

After 30. Less places to meet people and many people are already married. Virgins: not sex, often haven’t dated much, lack transition into successful maturity Singles have had sex, but often not satisfied, can’t seem to maintain long-term loving relationship Partnered but sexless: often use to have sex but declined gradually.

Being single. Speed dating, Single Bars, Single ads, Cybersex. Increase exposure of individuals, levels of sexual activity can vary.


Living together, important level of commitment. Becoming an increasing alternative to marriage. Common-law relationship- 12 continuous months are living together but not being legally married.. Most common 20-24yrs. 51-55% will marry. End on average 4 yrs. People who live together have lower commitment and negative interactions than those who didn’t live together. Doesn’t= poor marriage, just poor commitment. Have the most sex, greater than married or singles.


All Canadians can get married (2005) regardless of orientation. Little data on homosexual marriage. Common-law relationships have many of the same rights as marriage. Why do marry? Important psychological turning point. A decision; done if couple: want to solidify their commitment, it matches their morals/ beliefs, and they believe that children should have parents.

Social pressure; people see their friends getting married, urge to start their own family. Many marriages are dual-career earners, love changes, and sex declines (caused by decline with age and habituation to sexual partner). Verbal communication and Spontaneous initiation. Men initiate sex twice as much as women. Men are equally likely to decline though, however it is contrary to male gender role.

Masturbation. Many people continue to masturbate when married (often privately), even with access to martial sex

Satisfaction with Marital Sex. People have different sexual desires/ drives. Many problems are not non-interest but lack of communication or non satisfying sex. Sexual satisfaction is an importance component of martial success. Sexual satisfaction is higher in people who: are calm/accepting of the sexuality, happy, listen to their partner, and aware of their partner’s sexual quirks, likes/ dislikes. Many people speculate that sex becomes less satisfying as a marriage continues, but it’s not necessarily true. After childbirth, sexual dynamics continue to change. Sexual activity after pregnancy is often lower. Better jobs= better sex.

Maintaining long-term relationship.

1) Good listening/ communication 2) Effective problem solving 3) positive interactions 4) realistic expectations 5) interpret their partner’s behaviour 6) common views on roles and responsibilities

Infidelity is more likely to be for sexual reasons in men and emotional reasons in women. Mate retentions tactics. Behaviours designed to preserve the relationship. Caused by our fear of partner losing interest or cues of infidelity. This are a quick fix, often don’t solve underlying problems.

Extradyadic Sex. Sexual activity between person in a committed relationship with partner of another committed relationship. Can be accidental, romantic infidelity, open relationship. Can be due to boredom, desire or relationship problems. Extramartial sex. Set outside of the confines of your marriage. Not very common. Most people disapprove of it, People state that such behaviour would mean define end to relationship; People who approve in extramarital sex aren’t more likely to do so.

Swinging. Form of extradyadic sex. Married couples exchange partners with other couple and have consensual sexual activity. Many organization and groups that do this. Is legal, must be private. Closed swinging; couples meet and exchange sexual partner, have sex in private. Open swinging; pair has sex in same room. Can come from a variety of ethnical and socioeconomic classes, 1-2% of population.

Internet Infidelity. Cyberaffair. Romantic or sexual relationship initiated by online contact and maintained primarily via online communication.

Equity Theory. Social exchange theory that states people do benefits vs. Cost in their relationships. If they feel there is inequity, they will act to restore equity. Ex. Someone who is putting more than they are getting out of relationship, might let themselves go or not work as hard at job. More likely to engage in extramarital sex.

Evolution and Extradyadic Sex. Extradyadic Sex occurs in all societies. Men are evolutionarily predisposed to want to pass their genetic material on to as many female partners as possible to ensure he contributes to the next generation’s genetic pool. For women, more sexual partners could allow them to access more resources, insurance, “upgrade genetic line” with more dominate, stronger male.

Polyamory. Non-possessive, honest, responsible and ethical philosophy/ practice of loving multiple people simultaneously. Have group marriage and family, with triad of more of sexually intimate and committed partners. Most people do not approve of this. Often rejected by family. Women have high bisexual sex drives and higher testosterone.


Often not regulated or ridiculed. Widows are less likely to partake in postmarital sex than divorced people; because they are often older and loyality to dead partner. Widows tend to be more financially secure, but face many problems with adjusting. Divorced men= more sexually active than divorced women. No difference in acquiring new sexual partners in divorced or ex-cohabitating people. But they acquire a new partner at a higher rate than single or never-married people.


Changes in women. Physical changes. Climacteric: period lasting 15-20 years by which women makes transition from being able to reproduce to non reproductive. Menopause. The cessation of menstruation in middle age. Decline in estrogen/ flashes, headaches, osteoporosis. Hormone-replacement therapy (HRT). Can be helpful in many menopausal women to relief discomfort of physical discomfort. (i.e inject estrogens). Lubrication/ vaginal elasticity decreases. Hysterectomy/ Oophorectomy can greatly decrease sexual desire/ function in women. Menopause can include depression, irritability, anxiety, cognitive symptoms. Menopause does not increase depression. In men, gradual decline in manufacture of testosterone/ sperm. Andropause. Declining androgen levels in middle-aged men. The male version of menopause; slower, less hard erection, greater refractory period, less ejaculate volume. Change in testosterone is not a major contributed to psychological changes in men.

Aging and sex. Perfectly possible to remain sexually active into 80s/90s. Problems with sex is are physical, Lower androgens and belief that old people aren’t sexually active. Good physical health and regularity of sexual expression. Most older people who are healthy engaging in sexual activity with a partner consider it an important part of their relationship.

author avatar
William Anderson (Schoolworkhelper Editorial Team)
William completed his Bachelor of Science and Master of Arts in 2013. He current serves as a lecturer, tutor and freelance writer. In his spare time, he enjoys reading, walking his dog and parasailing. Article last reviewed: 2022 | St. Rosemary Institution © 2010-2024 | Creative Commons 4.0

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