|Attention researchers: If you’re interested in Synergy concepts, please consider contributing to this special Healthcare issue of “Strengthening Couple Relationships: Innovations in Practice”. Special Issue Information|
Research tells us that humans are tribal pair bonders. Most of us long to “fall in love,” and will make efforts to repair a pair bond when it frays. Our brains reward us with feelings of wellbeing when connecting with trusted companions and engaging in affectionate touch with a mate.
We also experience sexual arousal and orgasm (the behaviours that push us toward reproduction) as strongly self-reinforcing. That is, subconscious neuroendocrine programmes drive us to repeat these behaviours. They feel good (and increased the odds of fertilisation as we evolved). This is especially true during the so-called “honeymoon period” early in a relationship.
Yet when couples have unrestricted access to sex with a mate, research shows their attraction typically wanes. Is this because they sometimes have sex when they are partially sated, causing them to doubt their erotic attraction to each other? Does satiety cause them to find novel mates and artificial sexual stimuli more compelling? If so, this implies that sexual satiety may have drawbacks. In this section of the website you can browse formal evidence we have collected. It sheds light on the scenario described above, as well as related concepts.
Is this satiety-scenario inevitable?
The hypothesis of Synergy Explorers is that lovers who wish to sustain the harmony in their relationships can intervene in the familiar biologically-driven scenario. They can steer their behaviour to strengthen their bonds. And they can maintain optimum sensitivity to sexual pleasure and soothing satisfaction by not seeking to exhaust their sexual desire with satiety.
Researchers have barely begun to investigate this alternative. Given the benefits of harmonious unions, it may be wise to focus more resources on investigating ways to sustain them.