Clients 50 and older who come to me for sexuality counselingwith a chief complaint of decreased libido have often concluded before they arrive that their disinterest in sex is likely due to sexual ennui. This is especially the case if they’ve been in a long-term relationship. The assumption that the longer couples are together the more likely their sex life will be to lose its spark and appeal is a common misconception. In my way of thinking, when a person leads with: I have no interest in sex with my partner the first things I want to know are: Have you ever really enjoyed sex with him/her and, how have you changed as individuals and as a couple in the time you’ve been together?
A report of boring sex in the present is unlikely related to the longevity of the couple if great sex had been a part of their past. When I hear that someone is bored by their long-time mate it alerts me to look for signs and symptoms of stagnation in less obvious places, like the individuals themselves and/or the quality of their lives. Couples who have had good sexual chemistry from the get-go and maintain it over years are often individuals who embrace life’s challenges with more curiosity and resilience than fear and rigidity. When faced with disappointments and limitations they look for the lessons to be learned and are able to adapt by developing new and creative coping mechanisms. This is especially important as people age together. Those who still enjoy their sexual relationship tend to manage well with the duality of that was then and this is now. They don’t fall prey to melancholic revisiting of the past at the expense of experiencing joy in the present. And, when couples are sexually satisfied, occurrence rates are less likely to become an insurmountable sticking point.
The New Year is a great time for reflection. If there is no siren song emanating from your boudoir, read this eblast over a few times and ask yourself these questions: What else am I feeling bored with and how have we both managed with life’s challenges?
If you need help finding the answers remember, I do house calls, work by phone and on SKYPE.
E. Resh, copyright, 2016