Have you ever sat down with your partner and had “that chat”? The chat that starts with the text message at work or the gym: “We need to talk.” Your heart sinks to the pit of your stomach and you know at some point you are going to hear the phrase: “It’s not you, it’s me.” Or, you will feel yourself saying: “We just don’t have the same desire for each other anymore.”
When you have been together with someone for a while there is a chance that you fall into a sedentary routine. You do the same thing each week, at the same time, and it feels comfortable. Your sex becomes irregular because one or the other of you is just not that bothered, or too tired, or maybe, you worry, they just don’t fancy you anymore. You love your partner so deep inside you can’t imagine life without them.
But. All this routine and lack of intimacy makes you feel older than your years; or your years are starting to oppress you with too much meaning.
You fear that your life partner has become your friend and not your lover. So, you consider breaking up, staying friends but seeking passion with another. It will be new; it will make you feel younger and more vital. The initial pain and grief felt at the loss of your lifetime love will soon be replaced with a bond with another and you believe the risk is worth the potential reward.
Stop a moment. Stop before you risk everything that you do have for the things that you do not. There may be such a simple reason for your feelings, and so there will be a solution.
First, testosterone levels will mean men will always have more sex drive than women. Women create testosterone in their ovaries and adrenal glands but in much smaller amounts. Estrogen is a natural enemy of testosterone – therefore, women’s greater allocation of estrogen means that they do not have the same level of sexual desire as men. Ovaries excrete testosterone at the time when women are most fertile – life is clever that way – sex is ultimately a means of reproduction.
Second, testosterone levels in men begin to drop after the age of thirty. Your body, to regulate urges with physical capabilities, slows men up a little. No-one wants a dislocated hip mid-coitus. Thus, the body goes through a process called aromatise. This is when men produce more estrogen and this destroys some of the testosterone. This not only lowers men’s sex drive but it causes a build of fat in the breast area and around the belly region. Moobs and middle aged spread, along with baldness, are all a result of aromatise.
Third, women go through the menopause, which is widely accepted as a cause of women’s loss of sex drive as they grow older. It also causes a drying of the vaginal wall. However, men go through the andropause. This is a reduction in the production of testosterone in the brain and in the Leydig cells, which causes a loss of libido, erectile dysfunction and premature ejaculation. Age is no fun and no friend of an active sex life!
Finally, with comfort and routine comes a natural lack of spark – even without the intervention of the body and age. But, even this is something that we can do something about. It is not an inevitability that you will head towards your comfy pants and slippers on a Friday night.
So, before your send that “We need to chat” text message, consider some alternatives first. Consider if you need to do something to address your sex life and whether this is turn will help you gain back some of the intimacy, some of the excitement, which drew you to your life partner in the first place. There are a lot of options and a lot of these options will help with your health at the same time!
To begin with you need to eat well and exercise lots. This will give you more energy and in the end, give you more time. It is poor logic that says the hour at the gym stops you from being with your partner. If you go home early is it possible that you end up on the games console and she ends up on the phone to her mum? Or, she ends up sitting in one room watching TV, whilst you work in your office. The hour in the gym could be enough to revitalise you to spend the evening together in the bedroom.
There are certain foods that are going to help with your energy levels and sex drive. Watermelon offers a massive boost to your sexual health because it contains phytonutrients – watch Dirty Dancing again – they knew what they were doing! Spices like ginger and cinnamon can literally heat things up. Then, there are foods filled with protein that will help your recovery rates – like eggs.
Then there is supplementation. There are lots of natural herbs promoted by ancient Chinese and Indian medics, which have an impact in your sexual and all round health. Selecting supplements like Ginseng can help as a natural aphrodisiac, as can Tongkat Ali. Tongkat Ali is also a testosterone booster – so can battle the processes of ageing. There is also Horny Goat Weed – a particular favourite – and yes, purely because the name is funny. But, imagine starting the evening with your partner by placing a bottle of Horny Goat Weed on the counter – intentions clear and some humour to the situation too!
Your sex life might not be the problem in your relationship. This might all be too simple and reduces the emotional struggles you are facing. But, stop a moment and consider if it might be the oppression of age and the sense of youth leaving – and it is this that is beginning to create a small gulf between you and the person you love to the pit of your stomach. Surely, it is better to have the conversation about your sex life, then it is to have the conversation about the end of your time together.