We all know that sex matters in the lives of married couples. There is nothing that has been discovered to be capable of taking the place of sex or that can be substituted for it. It is a significant part of marriage and careful attention must be given to anything that may challenge growth in the union.
Sex must always take its proper place and be paid attention to in order to make the marriage a worthwhile venture. However, what happens when it is being challenged by some natural law of life? How can it be handled without the challenge causing a major havoc to the marriage? These and some other things are what we shall be examining this weekend and the next one.
Age; many couples start experiencing a form of major shift sexually as age tells on them. They are worried, discouraged and even depressed when what they could easily boast of in terms of sexual performance before now becomes a big challenge as they advance in age.
The question is: can sexuality still be better even when sexual act itself is failing? The answer is yes.
By the age of 40, for most men, sex sometimes becomes a bit of a challenge. Between age 40 and 47, there may be a drop in the production of some sex hormones such as androgen, testosterone and estrogen and this invariably makes some men to lose interest in sex.
Some major surgical operations can also make one of the partners to totally abandon sex.
As men advance in age, they may experience a slower erection process. The muscle contractions during orgasm may not be as intense but sex is still pleasurable. Although it generally takes longer to ejaculate, ejaculation does not need to occur every time. But the benefit of this is that it helps the man to have a better ‘staying power,’ which allows for more prolonged lovemaking.
Also, after menopause, many women sometimes find it more difficult to become lubricated. The vaginal tissue may become thin. This is caused by loss of estrogen, and intercourse may be painful. Despite that, many women find that they are more sensitive to touch as they grow older and more easily aroused.
Most people who have had good sex continue to have it until they’re hit by a troublesome ailment. Age-related health problems such as arthritis, backaches and muscle pain may make them give up sex.
However, I have personally discovered that giving up sex in such cases is a big mistake when all you have to do is discuss any debilitating disorders with your family doctor and a sex therapist to learn how to work around them.
For instance, if a wife suffers from thinning skin in the vagina due to menopause and old age, she and her husband should make sure that she inserts the penis herself; this will prevent her from getting hurt by her husband unintentionally.
Also, the husband’s saliva [which is ever present, ever warmth and comes with no coat at all] is a very good lubricant if used lavishly and given unhindered while he is performing oral sex on his wife. I usually encourage couples by saying, “If your body, or energy level and interests change, don’t always cling to the usual established sexual patterns you both are used to, rather both of you should experiment with new ways of satisfying each other, including new positions.”
Sexual problems that occur with ageing are more often psychological than physical.
People think getting older isn’t ‘sexy’ or that ‘nobody has sex at my age.’ Once you start thinking it’s inappropriate to be sexually active, you stop taking responsibility for your sex life, and you cut yourself off from the enjoyment of sex.
Many couples recall their sexuality at puberty and (unwisely) use this as their sexual norm.
Important: The only ‘norm’ is whatever is right for you at a particular time in your life.
Don’t allow one disappointing day to mean that you’re ‘too old to do it anymore’ and make you panic. The greater the panic, the worse it gets. Men become impotent, and women are unable to reach orgasm. Result: They avoid sex altogether.
Sexual satisfaction depends on your overall relationship with your spouse and this is much more important than most couples think. You both can still have sex at age 100 if you so desire, but your mindset should be positive always.
For instance, if you’re bored with your spouse, it’s unlikely that they will excite you. If your sex life begins to falter, ask yourself why you are turning yourself off. People are rarely turned off by outside factors; they usually do it to themselves.
A good way to be turned on again: make a list. Using age as an excuse to avoid facing problems will get you nowhere.
Men usually associate sexuality with strength and power; they wrongly think the more powerful they can thrust in and out vigorously, unending and until the lady yells and screams and asks for more or for them to stop, the better they are doing sexually. Well, 50 per cent of time, this might be a wrong notion.
And many husbands later discover that as much as it is not a bad idea, as a man ages, this may not always be the case.
And by then, many of these men wrongfully perceive or imagine themselves losing their strength, which they see as a threat to their virility. (Note: Physical strength has nothing to do with sexuality.) I have had the opportunity to hear the wives of men seeming to be weak, saying their men are like a gorilla or Dracula in bed. The reason is that during sex, the whole body system functions to aid the man in having good erection and to ejaculate. And when all bodily forces join together to assist, then the level of sexual empowerment is always very high.
Also, as a man grows older, even if he is terrific in bed, he may not see himself that way. Rather, he may feel that he is losing his power and control, and begin to worry that his wife will see him that way too. He may respond accordingly in bed.
Do you know that mere sensual contact during the day could be helpful? Yes, one spouse can just lie down and then, they are touched by the other, but the breasts or genitals should not be touched for about 15 minutes to an hour. The partner being touched should state what’s wanted in a non-verbal way.
If you would like your spouse to touch you more slowly, put your hand over your partner’s and just take the lead. You can slow it down, switch places and take your time. Prolonged sensual touching without genital contact removes anxieties. Sexual anxiety helps you to become relaxed, sensitised and responsive. From feedbacks, this type of sensual contact has not only boosted the sexual confidence of many older lovers but also revived their sexual confidence and performance in the face of terrible sexual challenges. Many of these couples develop wonderful feelings about each other. Resentments and recriminations usually evaporate.
Many women face a paradox as they start to age. On the one hand, they’ve finally come to grips with their sexuality and desirability. They have had children, they no longer need to worry about contraception, and they experience a great ‘freeing-up’ of sexual feeling.
On the other hand, the ageing process attacks this new confidence. Many women have complained to me that with the way they look, they do not think they will be attractive to their husbands anymore. But the plain truth is that a lot of things make a woman to be beautiful to her husband.
In fact, both men and women must learn to accept and like their bodies as they change. Look at your body, examine it, and grow comfortable with it. Not looking at your body can allow your imagination, driven by insecurity, create an unjustifiably and unflattering picture of it.
Most couples, who maintain their sexuality as they age, don’t see their partners as old, wrinkled and ugly. As they mature, they accept older models of attractiveness.
Most importantly, for people who love each other, the essence of the feelings that started decades ago still exists. There is still excitement between them – an attraction. In a strong, loving relationship, partners continue to see in each other that special person to whom they were first attracted.
Couples in their 60s and 70s and older often ask me what to do about more sexual fulfilment, erectile problems and other issues that interfere with intercourse. I tell them to slow down, expand their sexual horizons, develop new sexual habits and start all over.
The goal is simply not to give up too soon. Instead of going right for sex, you should start to tease your wife. What you should do is go slowly and start to have sex, then stop. Keep doing this until she goes crazy and practically pulls you inside her. Now, once you have started thrusting in and out, it is important to change paces (and positions). Many wives moan because of pain and not pleasure because they are kept in one position for too long. Again, your focus as the husband is to concentrate on her pleasure and make sure she is really enjoying herself.
What really works is to build up speed, then pull back to a slow and sensual pace. Keep doing this pattern until both of you cannot take it anymore. Another big challenge is when couples take their sex life for granted. The way and manner some couples go about it is as if it is the least important thing to them. But I want to emphatically say that this is one area that couples often ignore at their peril.
Though we are often caught up in the several activities that define our daily lives, we can’t afford to ignore our bed. Couples must always remember that ‘beds’ are not only made for sleeping, but also for keeping up the spark in sexual relationships.
How can couples have the best sex and still have it regularly? Although married couples struggle to agree on a variety of issues, it seems that regular sex is one area in which many often give up, trying to find solution to. Nearly always, one partner wants sex more than the other. And contrary to conventional wisdom, it is not always the men who ask for more.
If you and your partner are struggling in this area, try this to improve sexual satisfaction for both of you. First, make sure you are both observing the same mutual ‘sex view rules.’ Then approach the sexual aspect of your marriage in the context of your entire relationship.
The mutual sex view rules recognise a few overarching truths about sexual intimacy. Settle the fact that God is the creator of sex and all its pleasures; that orgasm is not some evil addition to the process of procreation; and that it was God who decided that sex should be extraordinarily, incredibly, unbelievably and exceptionally enjoyable and that He established certain parameters (namely, marriage) to protect and maximise the experience.
Then, couples must agree to keep talking about it. Great sex begins with and is enhanced by talking to each other, even in an open environment. And do not assume anything about your mate. Many factors lie behind each person’s desire for more or less sex.
Do not assume that it is simply a male versus female inconsistency in desire or that you know what your spouse’s ‘problem’ is.
And do not insist that your spouse must conform to your libido and timetable, instead give them so much sexual pleasure that they will agree to any of your terms unconsciously. On the flip side, do not assume your partner knows why you feel the way you do. You have to express your own feelings, preferences and concerns in a selfless manner.
My wife wants a marriage without sex
My wife doesn‘t want sex as often as I do, she is never in the mood. The other time, she went as far as rubbing balm on her face just to give her excuses a good backing. I understand that this is typical of some women but if my need seems great and she’s never in the mood, is it okay for me to try to warm things up? I‘m wondering if there‘s any way I can be considerate and self-sacrificing, and still get enough sex. I love my wife.
The avenue towards sexual satisfaction for women is definitely relational. When you are trying to ‘warm things up’, try and do the things that your wife needs and you will be more likely to succeed. Those things include listening to her (sometimes to what seems to you as very trivial and irrelevant but are very important to her), sharing your own feelings (even when they seem trivial to you), giving her lots of attention (eye contact), and not pressurising her for sex (give her plenty of non-sexual touching and attention).
When you‘re sharing your feelings, you can make what you have in mind clear to your wife. But make sure you stress that you want your time together to be pleasurable for her also. It might be a good idea to try this approach when you are not feeling desperate for sex.
I have found out that there are times when I‘m not really in the mood for sex, but I‘m still willing to be available to my spouse. It’s helpful if he understands this and is able to lower his expectations for how much time I can offer. Discuss that possibility with your wife and strive for openness and honesty with each other. Talking is a wonderful way to connect emotionally before you try to connect sexually.
Understanding female sexuality can be a real challenge, but it‘s essential if you want to connect with your wife. This could help you understand your wife, and it could be a springboard for telling her about your differences. She needs to understand the intensity of your feelings and drive just as much as you must discover what increases her responsiveness.
Am I out of place?
My husband and I have wonderful, incredible sex. My problem is that I am somehow addicted. It doesn‘t seem right for me to be so consumed with sexual thoughts and desires, or to want sex as much as I do, which is constantly. I feel like I’m out of control; my urge is directed towards my husband mostly, but sometimes at other men. How can I control this?
Hello Ekkaite, it’s fairly unusual for a woman to find herself consumed by sexual thoughts and desires, but it‘s not pathological or even necessarily ‘out of place.’ Sexual drive and pleasure are part of God‘s creative design. The problem comes when a person‘s sexual feelings and fantasies go outside the marital boundaries. It’s important for you and your husband to keep on talking in order to protect your faithfulness in marriage.
It’s also problematic when sexual thoughts or behaviour begins to interfere with other responsibilities. For instance, if you withdraw from other relationships, become negligent in caring for your children or abandon your own spiritual life, some measure of control would become necessary. The good news is that compulsive behaviour can be controlled.
First, try a spiritual approach. For instance, when negative sexual thoughts get into your mind, you can substitute it with devotional reading to change the obsessive thought patterns. Or you can try to focus your mind on a noble and worthy event. You’ll discover that the frequency of your sexual thoughts will decrease.