Desire for or interest in sexual activity as well as frequency can decline progressively with age. Hormonal changes, medical problems and stress are also factors. With some creativity, imagination and planning, both passion and excitement can be sustained in sexual intimacy regardless of age.
Some facts about one’s sexual desire:
- There is no “normal”, because we are all unique individuals. The more important question to discuss has to be, what do you believe is “normal”?
- There is often (not always) a sexual desire discrepancy between the male and female.
- Men and women are built differently. Testosterone is believed to be the biggest attributor to the biological desire for sex and its level is 20-40% higher in men than women.
- We may have other priorities, such as juggling work, family and friends. When something has to give, it is usually the romantic relationship. What support do you need to get your mojo back?
- Sex is not the most important thing in a relationship. The lack of sex is only an issue if one partner feels it is an issue.
So what can you do about your out-of-sync libidos?
There is a saying that the brain is the biggest sex organ. The eyes see, the brain process and the body responds physiologically.
- Have you done a hormonal check? Do you notice that you are getting distracted or tired easily? Are you finding yourself having symptoms of perimenopause? When was the last time you had a thorough medical check-up? Perhaps you’d like to check your hormones to rule out any physiological possibility.
- What is going on in the relationship? Besides dissatisfaction about the sexual frequency, what else is going on in the relationship? Are you able to communicate well outside of the bedroom? Are there issues of contention which you fight about, and which cannot be resolved? The way you feel about your partner may be affecting your sexual drive – and desire to be intimate.
- What is your sexual attitude? Your beliefs about sex as to what ‘normal’, ‘proper’, ‘expected’ or even ‘age-appropriate’ can alter your sex drive. How comfortable are you with sex? Are there certain sexual acts you would never perform? If yes, which are they? And why? How open are you to talking about sex, and asking for what you want in the bedroom?
- Are you bored with sex? Has sex become a chore or too routine for your liking? Do you feel you are just going through the motions for his or her benefit? Do you wish that he took more time to romance you, or made sure that you attain your orgasm? If yes, it may be the lack of authentic emotional connection and pleasure that is short-circuiting your feelings. What would make sex better for you?
- What else is going on in your life? Are you been feeling stressed or tired from work? Have you been working under a tyrant boss, uncooperative colleagues, or an abusive work environment for too long? Could you be depressed? You may wish to work with what you can immediately – eating healthy foods, getting the required amount of exercise, and having sufficient rest.
- Are you ready to get honest? – May be good to have a honest discussion about what is going on. Explore more ways to arousing each other e.g. not just touching each other in the same ways, but perhaps exploring their fantasies or sexual bucket list.
- Are you putting off seeing a specialist? – A trained sexologist may be able to better evaluate emotional and relationship factors that is causing low sex drive. Do not wait too late. What is too late is when your partner has already voiced that it is an issue for years and already threatened divorce (great emotional hurt) – this is when you could have gone to a specialist earlier.
Dr Martha Lee is Founder and Clinical Sexologist of Eros Coaching in Singapore. She is a certified sexuality educator with AASECT (American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists), as well as certified sexologist with ACS (American College of Sexologists). She holds a Doctorate in Human Sexuality from Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality as well as certificates in practical counselling, life coaching and sex therapy. She is available to provide sexuality and intimacy coaching for individuals and couples, conduct sexual education workshops and speak at public events in Asia. For more, visit www.eroscoaching.com.
Martha Tara Lee, Clinical Sexologist