I have in the past been asked about loss of libido by the sexual partners of readers. Over the years I have tried to help and in doing so have accumulated a lot of knowledge about the issues surrounding loss of libido, erectile dysfunction and other conditions and circumstances that affect the sexual and emotional aspects of relationships.
A recent email from a reader prompted me to write the following in response. It was from a woman about her (male) partner’s problems but it seems logical to cover the issues that couples suffer, male or female, because anything which affects a couple affects both halves of it directly and indirectly.
There’s a lot of talk at the moment about sex being the way to survive the recession. It is after all a cheap way to amuse yourselves of an evening and even we at AlexSuze have advocated that couples should indulge themselves in the bedroom if they can’t afford to get out. It keeps you fit and relaxes you. The NHS in the UK is apparently advocating that we should all sexercise ourselves to better health now.
But what happens when you can’t sex it all better?
Stress can cause loss of libido in both sexes, cause erectile dysfunction in men and be the cause of secondary vaginismus in women. Sex under these circumstances can be frustrating and ultimately make the problems of stress worse. Even with the most understanding partner a constant inability to maintain an erection on the part of the male or a woman whose vagina is always in spasm will create tension and erode any sort of intimacy a couple has.
Stress is a part of modern daily life, an aspect of our existence that will affect us all in one way or another. It can change our mood, making intimacy more difficult to achieve and creating tensions in relationships that have never before experienced them. If it does start to interfere with your sex life couples can feel that they have lost one of the best and cheapest ways of relieving tension.
The best advice that I can give is to be patient, whichever partner is perceived to have the “problem”.
Take for example vaginismus. Vaginismus with a psychological cause, can be the result of negative sexual experiences. This can be because of a bad relationship or an incident during sex that the woman’s subconscious reacts to whenever she attempts to get intimate with her partner.
If you have a demanding partner who has or still does not seems to be receptive to your needs then this might be a cause of the problem. All women, like men, have a range of sexual appetites. Sometimes they want to be gently loved, other times they might want to take the lead and then there are times where they might simply want to be fucked senseless.
That’s all fine, but your partner should be receptive to the signals that you transmit. If you are in need of gentle love making, being screwed frantically is not going to make you feel better and might make you feel worse.
Similarly, if a woman finds herself with a massive increase in sex drive this can present a problem for the man. Men and women do peak sexually at different points in their life, their age, pregnancy and other factors means that you may not always be in sync. It’s a young guy’s dream to have a woman wanting him every hour of every day, but even at 18 you will not always be able to deliver. As you get older and the recovery time between erection/ejaculation gets longer. Because your woman may find her sexual peak later in life you may find she demands more of you than you can deliver.
What starts off as a simple mismatch of expectancy on her part and supply of sex in the form of a raging hard-on from the guy can easily lead to tension within a relationship. He feels like his virility is in question and threatened because he can’t satisfy her in the way he did previously. She feels unloved and that they are growing apart. This in turn can make the situation worse because pressure like this directly affects erectile function.
Drugs can be one answer, but there are simpler ways you might investigate first and ways that can help you and your partner overcome the problems while simultaneously bringing you together.
I’ll explore some of those techniques tomorrow.