A new study suggests ‘mothering’ your partner really affects your sex drive

If you’re experiencing a lower sex drive in your relationship—this could be why

woman sitting in bed - stock photo
(Image credit: Getty Images / JGI/Jamie Grill)

We all know that dating comes with its challenges, like avoiding the pitfalls of toxic dating trends like situationships and cookie jarring. But things aren’t always plain sailing once you’re actually in a relationship—especially if you feel like a mom to your other half. In fact, a new study has found that women who ‘mother’ their partner can experience a lower sex drive.

While sex isn’t the only important thing to a relationship, boy is it key to keeping that spark alive. Life, in general, can bring our sex drives down and mean we don’t have sex as much as we’d like,  but according to new research, ‘mothering’ your partner can also really lower your libido.

The study, which looks at relationships between men and women, from academics at numerous universities in Canada and published by Springer Nature 2021 (opens in new tab), has some pretty interesting findings on the matter.

A messy bed with comforter and pillows - stock photo

(Image credit: Getty Images / Karl Tapales)


The researchers explored: “the heteronormativity theory of low sexual desire in women partnered with men." Which is the theory that the male and female gender roles can play a part in reduced sex drives, not just biology or emotions.

The study explained the meaning and importance of desire and how a women’s sex drive can be negatively impacted. The four main reasons explored were: having an unequal share of household chores, objectification of women, gender norms surrounding the initiation of sex, and the blurring of partner and mother roles.

It seems pretty obvious, right? How are you meant to feel sexy or desire your partner when you feel like you’re cleaning up after them, and being treated and viewed like their mother?

Though the researchers explain it won’t be the case for all women and relationships, and that a low sex drive can have many causes, they said: “Heteronormativity’s inequitable casting of women into a caregiver-mother role to men partners contributes to the women’s lower desire.”

Hands try to reach each other.


(Image credit: Getty Images / Christoph Hetzmannseder)

“Nurturance—warm, loving, and caring treatment—is a critical aspect of long-term and/or successful relationships, but one inequitably shared between women and men in relationships with each other.”

The main takeaway from the study is that a women’s sex drive can take a real hit if they feel unsupported, and like they’re expected to play the parent.

So if you’ve been feeling a lack of lust for your partner recently because of their laziness or reliance on you—you’re not alone. And, should gently remind them that you’re their lover, not their mom!

Naomi Jamieson
Lifestyle News Writer

Naomi is a Lifestyle News Writer with the Women's Lifestyle team and has recently earned her Gold Standard diploma in Journalism with the NCTJ. She has a background in design, having studied Illustration at Plymouth University but has taken a leap into the world of journalism after always having a passion for writing. She currently writes pieces on beauty, trends, fashion, and entertainment for GoodTo and My Imperfect Life. She also tests and reviews beauty and skincare products and tries out the latest TikTok hacks for My Imperfect Life.


Before working for Future Publishing’s Lifestyle News team, she worked in the Ad production team. Here she wrote and designed adverts on all sorts of things, which then went into print magazines across all genres. Now, when she isn’t writing articles on celebs, fashion trends, or the newest shows on Netflix, you can find her drinking copious cups of coffee, drawing and probably online shopping.