Why your sex drive might be sagging

American sex symbol Mae West once said: “Good sex is like good bridge. If you don’t have a good partner, you’d better have a good hand.” 

Funny as that is, there’s a sad ounce of truth in it. How many of you have heard blokes half jokingly talk about their sex lives having dried up, or women admitting that sex simply isn’t important to them any more?

Some may accept it as a given that sex in our 60s isn’t going to be what it once was, or not being able to do in the morning what you did the night before, but it doesn’t mean your sex life should go into retirement with the rest of you.

If your sex drive is dwindling and you’d like to get it back, there are plenty of things you can do.  The first is to perhaps understand why it went missing in the first place, and before you blame your partner, look at yourself.

Have you put on weight? If you have, this may not only make you less attractive to your partner, it may also reduce your own feelings of self-worth and self-confidence, and adversely affect your own sex drive.

Perhaps you’ve stopped thinking about what you wear or the fact that those Crocs on your feet aren’t exactly chick magnets?

When was the last time you gave your partner a massage, without the assumption that it will lead to sex? When was the last time you held your partner’s hand on a walk? When was the last time your complimented him or her on how they looked?

In isolation, these things may be small, but put together, they can result in a breakdown in feelings of affection. Working on such things, such as more attractive footwear or holding hands, doesn’t really guarantee anything. There may be issues that run deeper that affect your confidence in bed.

Many older men, for example, may suffer from erectile dysfunction, which can be caused by a number of things. Talk to your doctor, because such problems can be treated. If you haven’t tried Viagra, or something similar, don’t feel embarrassed to give it a try. Ask your doctor for a prescription. Tablets are cheap. Just nibble off a third of one tablet and see if that helps things along.

As for women, the most common issues may relate to menopause. Hot flushes and vaginal dryness, combined with other things, can result in depression and loss of libido.

Women may experience these life-changing feelings from about 50 years of age onwards, and about 60 per cent may only have mild symptoms for four to eight years. About 20 per cent will have no symptoms, while the remaining 20 per cent will be severely affected, perhaps into their 60s and later.

Understanding and accepting menopause is always a good thing and can help reduce the affects. Again, talk to your health professional. And grandmothers, talk to your daughters. The more they know and understand, the better they’ll cope when the time comes.

There are other things that may be having an impact on your libido. Stress at work never helps, and stress sometimes results in too much alcohol, which, while making you think sex is a great idea, it doesn’t always make you more desirable.

Stress can also result in unbalanced sleep patterns and this doesn’t help love-making. Nor does medication, whether it’s something to help you sleep or something to deal with high blood pressure, depression or other medical conditions.

Talk to your doctor. Your diminished libido may be caused by something as simple as the medication you’re taking.

And if all else fails, well, there’s always bridge.

Do you have any suggestions for maintaining a healthy libido? Or have you decided you don’t care any more?

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Sex and older Australians
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Disclaimer: This article contains general information about health issues and is not advice. For health advice, consult your medical practitioner.

Written by Janelle Ward


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