Dear WholeFamily Counselor,
I am in my sixties. So is my husband. I feel deeply connected to him. But I feel flat sexually. I just don't have the energy for it anymore. What should I do?
Concerned About Sex at Sixty
Dear Concerned About Sex at Sixty,
Throughout the life of a normal, healthy person there are ups and
downs in our sexual desires. People who are harried, worried or under extreme emotional stress often feel flat about sex. As we grow older we can still enjoy sex but sometimes the drive is somewhat muted. This can be due to physical factors, or the reasons mentioned above. There are specialists in the field who can be consulted -- guidance counselors, sexologists and neurologists and they have means of assisting those concerned about the problem.
However it is important to note that sex is not the only way to demonstrate love and as couples mature they may often achieve intimacy through other physical contact such as hugging, holding hands or massaging each other's back.
Because you are deeply connected to your husband, as you state in your letter, you can show him in many and sundry ways how you feel about him without engaging in the sex act. Open communications about the situation is very important, because your lack of enthusiasm in bed can easily be misinterpreted by your partner.
In previous generations it was thought that sex was no longer "suitable" for the older age group. We all remember the poor jokes and negative publicity that were given to "dirty old men" who showed an unseemly interest in copulation.
Today it is understood that the sex drive remains with us almost throughout our lives and is a part of the human makeup at all stages. Nevertheless there are good physiological reasons why women after menopause may be less turned on than their male partners and it is well that both husbands and wives understand these reasons. Then if there is still a great desire to rejuvenate the fountain of youth, there are experts who can give assistance. Age need not rule out a satisfying sex life.