Not interested in sex? If the reason isn’t medical (hormonal changes, or the side effect of a medication), then it’s almost certainly emotional. When someone doesn’t want sex, regardless of their age, there’s always very good reason why. It always makes perfect sense. You’re not broken. If the lack of desire is causing a problem for you, let’s talk and get to the bottom of it.
For the most part, this is a female affliction. But it can happen to men too. And it’s just as upsetting.
I see many women who have been married for twenty-plus years, have raised their kids, do not want to end their marriage, love their husbands sincerely, but still really do not want to have sex with them. Or anyone else for that matter. There’s nothing wrong with these women; they’re afflicted by low libido. Another woman may be in her sixties, in a wonderful new relationship, and still doesn’t want sex. It is a side effect of menopause that women’s libido often tanks, even with the novelty of new romance. Mother Nature is done with you. You’re not going to procreate, so it serves no evolutionary purpose for you to want sex. Done! Well, maybe not so fast. Whether or not you decide to take hormones, with all the controversy and calculated risks entailed, the middle-aged woman’s interest in sex can be resuscitated. Other factors that can help boost the menopausal woman’s interest in sex include the dynamics of her relationship, and how she and her partner communicate.
Low sexual desire in a younger woman, say in her mid-twenties, looks different. In a younger woman low desire usually has to do with not knowing herself or her body well enough to know what turns her on, not being assertive enough to tell her partner what that is, or not showing her lover how to pleasure her, or a combination thereof. Younger women with low desire often engage in intercourse before their body is sufficiently aroused and physically ready; this can cause chronic yeast infections.
Peri-menopause, with all its varied and humbling features, can start early for some women, sometimes as early as forty. The more common features include night sweats, a short fuse (you’d have a short fuse after a few wet nights!), headaches (dehydration from all that spontaneous sweating), discomfort with intercourse, weight gain, and foggy brain. Other less talked about peculiarities include no longer liking red wine, difficulty with orgasms, what I call ‘no-reason anxiety,’ which grips you upon awakening until you realize there’s nothing to be anxious about, increased vulnerability to altitude sickness, and many other vagaries such as less interest in sexual frolicking.
I offer sex therapy services to people in Marin County and the San Francisco Bay Area from my San Rafael office. I also work via Skype and phone.
Low libido does not mean you’re broken. Think you might want to work with me? Let’s set you up for success.