I am 60 and my wife is 48. The problem is, she no longer wants to have sex. We have a great relationship in so many ways, we enjoy each others’ company and we have been married a long time. In the early days, we were f##king like rabbits. Now, she will give me a blow job once in a while and seems content to have this part of our lives die off, but I’m not. I masturbate frequently but it’s not fulfilling. I want to have sex with my wife, hot and heavy like we used to. What can I do?
I’m so glad you reached out for help. No one has to suffer a decreased or non-existent sex life if they are willing to open up and talk about what they want. Chances are, underneath your wife’s resistance is a desire for sex too. Who wants to win the battle for LESS fun? Bravo to you for being the one willing to bring this into the open. The first step to bringing sexual intimacy back into your relationship is communication. Instead of feeling defensive and taking her lack of interest personally, get curious. Why doesn’t she want sex? If you flat out ask her, with curiosity rather than defensiveness, you may get some clues as to how you can improve things. If you are living with a woman who has a hard time identifying and communicating her needs, you will have to do some guessing.
Is she finding her libido has dropped? This is very common in women in their forties, as we experience hormonal changes. Many women have symptoms of peri-menopause without even knowing it. Is your wife highly-sensitive and angry more frequently? Does she experience interrupted sleep, and/or hot flashes especially at night? Was she experiencing pain when you were still having sex? Her gynecologist can do a panel to see what’s going on and make recommendations. If you have a local compounding pharmacy, they can also suggest some natural remedies and supplements. I’ve found that an over-the-counter progesterone cream was extremely helpful.
Once you rule out hormones, there are other reasons women lose interest in sex. Is she mad at you? It’s not unusual for women to stuff anger. If your wife has unexpressed resentments or disappointments, it will be hard for her to feel sexual attraction to you. Seeing a coach together to provide a safe space for the expression of these resentments can help clear the air. Are you keeping up with your health and appearance? A common complaint I get from my female clients is that their husband has let himself go. If you want to get sex, be sexy. Channel some of your sexual frustration into the gym or a walking regimen. Put some attention on your wardrobe. Make sure your nails are well-groomed.
Body Image is another leading cause of women’s disinterest in sex. This affects women of all ages. When a woman sees herself as unattractive, she may be embarrassed for you to see her naked, or feel her new shape. I know a woman who won’t get on top for fear she will crush her boyfriend. Studies show 50% of women think they are too fat, while only 20% of men think their woman is too fat. We see ourselves more harshly and perhaps unrealistically than our partners do.
Is she bored? This is the dirty little secret of women with low libido. They actually want more sex, just better sex than they’ve been having. According to an article on American Psychology Today, Sexual Researcher Elisabeth Lloyd, PhD. of Indiana University found that only 8% of women have sex from unassisted penis in vagina sex. 69% of women admitted to faking orgasm some of the time, and a whopping 25% of women admitted to faking orgasm all of the time! The few women who come from intercourse alone have their physiology to thank, scientists have found that orgasm comes more easily to women whose clitorises are close to the vaginal opening. There is also a theory that the root of the clitoris, which extends down to the roof of the vaginal sheath is more accessible in certain women, and can be stimulated by intercourse if you angle just right. This will be in a different location for every woman.
Once women reach their forties and beyond, they are less likely to put up with bad sex, or fake orgasm. Unfortunately, society has upheld the stereotype that women of this age group lose interest in sex, so women who have not been gratified sometimes use this as an excuse to give up on having sex. Again, who really wants to win the right to turn down pleasure? The only reason to turn down sex is if you expect it to be boring, or painful.
How about adding some new skills to your toolkit? Learn some techniques for pleasuring a woman with your mouth and your fingers. Why not take a couples massage or tantra course together? Our Pillowtalk Course is a wonderful place to learn how to talk to each other about what you want in bed. In addition, a skilled sexual counselor can also help you with this in private sessions. Here’s some good news, in their early fifties, many women experience a surge of testosterone (you’ve heard of cougars?). Their desire for sex actually strengthens. In addition, the increased sensitivity of peri- and meno- pause can be put to good use, if you provide pleasurable sensation.
Whatever you find is the cause, commit to getting your focus off “how it used to be.” Those days are done. Your life situation, your energy levels, and your bodies are all different. Start to focus on how to make it great right now. Win your woman back into your arms with the same things that made her love you in the first place. Attention. Compliments. A touch as you pass her in the hall, a whisper in her ear as she washes the dishes. How about offering gifts of service, like bringing her coffee in bed in the morning? Depending on your woman’s love language, she may be won over by quality time, i.e. doing something with her that she enjoys. Or she may be lit up by actual surprise presents. Is this sounding like a campaign? It is. Try having fun with it. The man-woman game is one worth winning. Consider this, how much is it worth to you to have a vivid and delicious sex life? That isn’t going to happen by default. You can only coast in one direction. . . down. So if you want your life to improve, you have to invest.
I do hear from many of my male clients that they are tired of working so hard. They feel like they have been making a lot of offers and are sick of being rejected. I understand that that can be discouraging. It’s possible that you have been making the wrong kinds of offers. Surely the best you could think of, but she wants something else, or she would have said yes. If you have cleared away the hormone imbalance and the residual anger, you have a shot.
Beginning right now, get your attention off what you want, and onto her. It may seem counter intuitive, but if you make her pleasure your pleasure, you will start to feel fulfilled. As she starts to feel seen and safe, her natural desire for sex will emerge. If her idea of intimacy for now is a foot rub, give it gladly and enjoy the feeling of your hands sliding along her skin. Celebrate the intimacy that you are creating. Make love to her feet. Next time, ask her if you can do her whole leg. Be patient, and make offers. Gladly do what she asks for in and out of bed.
One client of mine had not been sexual with his wife for many years. Then one day he offered her a full body massage with coconut oil. He had no agenda that this would lead to sex. He wanted to make her feel good. It turned out to be such a gratifying and bonding experience for both of them that they bought a massage table. More sexual intimacy is emerging over time.
Keep in mind that when you do get to the bedroom, arousal may take longer, and need more artificial lubricant, or perhaps the assistance of toys; from a sleeve to keep the man erect, to a vibrator to stimulate the clitoris when hands won’t reach.
If you have tried all the suggestions in this article and she still doesn’t want to have sex, it’s time to come to terms with the situation. Like the serenity prayer says, we must have the courage to change the things we can, the serenity to accept the things we can’t, and the wisdom to know the difference. With the help of sexual counseling, you may be able to negotiate a solution that takes into account your need for sex, and her desire not to engage. This can be challenging alone, and you must find a therapist who has an answer other than “suffer for the sake of the relationship.” Both people’s needs are valid. Meeting your needs outside of the relationship, without communication, comes with it’s own set of issues, and can be very damaging to your other intimate connection, but it is a choice each individual must make for himself. Scary as it may be, leaving the relationship is always an option. Perhaps she needs to hear how important this is to you in order to be willing to change.
The most important thing to remember is that you are both on the same side. You are committed to working with her to make your sex life better. Let her know that you want sexual intimacy because she is important to you and you are still so attracted to her. Let her know that you miss that connection, and want it back with her. Not just sex for the sake of sex, but to feel her. Let her know the things that turn you on about her, what she looks like when she has an orgasm, what it feels like to hold her quivering body in your arms. These are the words women long to hear, that they are attractive and wanted for themselves, not just as an object. Be the kind of man who a woman can surrender herself to, and you have a chance that she will want to have sex with you some time soon.
Great article, Rebekah! Beautifully written and expressed.
I am finding out that being post menopausal, even though I want to have sex, I physically cannot. The burning pain and bleeding make it so uncomfortable that I no longer enjoy intercourse. Then on top of that, the psychological affect on me make me feel bad that I cannot give full pleasure to my partner.
I have talked to my doctor and I have decided that the ERT method is not for me. Only being able to take the medication for 1 year do not make it worth the possible side effects.
The only other option I have found is Mona Lisa Touch. This is a procedure that lasers the vaginal wall removing all the hardened tissue. Thie is not covered by any insurance and can be costly ($2100 +) but this seems to be the only option without major side effects. I have yet to do this, but will as soon as I financially can. Please do a Google search if anyone is interested.
Have you looked into natural methods such as pelvic massage, yoni eggs and vaginal steaming? There are ways to increase the elasticity of the vaginal walls to reduce or eradicate the symptoms you are describing. In addition, I recommend you try every lube out there until you find one that works best with your unique body chemistry. I have also heard good things about Tami Kent, and her book Wild Feminine.
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