Happily married women often face a paradox when it comes to sex because the very thing that makes them happy—closeness with their partner—is what gets in the way of desire. "[In a study I conducted], the couples were in each other's lives so much that they're almost the same person at some point," Dr. Meana says. "There's no sense of otherness, no mystery, no excitement."
Dr. Meana found that accessibility to sex can also be a barrier for happy couples. "It's no longer something special that you both snuck out to do. It had become a chore," she says. "Many of [the women I studied used this phrase, and it's terrible to think of it, but they called it 'one more thing on my to-do list.'"