As a men’s health specialist, I get to hear a lot of things that men wouldn’t tell their best friends. And a very common occurrence is their confession that they have lost some of their sex drive. “My partner is great and I used to want sex ALL the time, now it barely enters my mind” is what I hear most.
The first thing to realize is that if you do not have the sex drive that you had when you were 18 years old, maybe its because you aren’t 18 anymore. Maybe the 10 to 20 years of aging that has occurred since then has taken a small toll. You are now older and wiser, having survived wars, financial distress and maybe even children, and you could be a bit less frisky as a result.
That reminds me of two memorable patients who represent different ends of this spectrum. Both in their late 30’s, one answered my survey question about how often they have sex by writing “twice daily, every day” and the other wrote “by appointment only.” This just goes to show that we are all built differently and we all age differently. Neither is really clinically out of the normal range. Blame comments in the locker room, Hollywood films, or Internet porn, but men often feel like their sex drive should not change with age. Tough for men to talk about and therefore tough for them to gauge. However, it is well understood by sex therapists that men aren’t always in the mood. Sometimes the History Channel looks way better.
It may not be for any lack of love or Barry White records. However, if it has been several weeks since you last took your wristwatch off, so to speak, then the real issue behind your lack of sex drive may be your level of sleeplessness and stress. If you aren’t well rested, you probably aren’t feeling too frisky. You’re probably cranky. Believe it or not, this is a very common reason why sex lives are compromised. Being anxious puts your nervous system, once part of the animal kingdom, into a primitive “fight-or-flight” response, and buries the sex drive. Relaxation though, stimulate several appetites, including degustory and sexual.
For a robust sex life, both of you need energy, relaxation, and time. The mind is the largest sexual organ, and turning off the amygdala, the portion of your brain that handles fear and worry, will allow that quiet, sensitive part of your brain that handles sex drive to kick into gear. Think seriously about turning off the TV or computer earlier in the evening, and swap out dozing in front of the TV for more restful sleep in bed. Think hard about improving how much quality rest you actually get, not necessarily to have more sex, but simply to sleep; the sex will follow. Make dates with your partner so you can focus solely on each other and forget the usual distractions. Take her to a funny movie, and laugh (or cry) together. But make the time, make it important, and catch some zzzs. Revving up your sex life can be as simple as that.