19 Sep Do I Have to Have Sex Tonight?
We spend our early marital years having lots of sex and our later ones often wishing we didn’t have to. Our thoughts often go from, “I can’t wait to get home and have passionate sex with my spouse” to “Maybe if I pretend I’m asleep he won’t ask me tonight.” Or, for you guys, those thoughts may sound like, “I could really use some sex tonight, I hope I can last long enough this time.”
So what gives?
Here are FOUR reasons you dread sex and what you can do about it:
- You’re too tired.
- You don’t really feel connected to your partner.
- It hurts too much.
- You worry your erection might not be hard enough.
You’re too tired
You’ve got so much on your mind and you just didn’t sleep that well last night. What’s new, right? Between work and family and volunteering and kids and friends and…well, a million other things, the responsibilities seem endless and the expectations seem countless. And frankly, when you exhaust yourself and run ragged, sex often becomes last on your list of to-dos. Regardless of how much you love your spouse, if you do not take time for rest and recovery from the busyness of life, you will surely be too exhausted for sex.
But what if you do make time, and you’re still too tired? Hormonal changes that come with aging can lead to fatigue in spite of rest. In your late 30s and into your 40s, testosterone (in men and women) and progesterone (in women) start to noticeably decline for many. The number one sign that this could be a problem for you is generalized fatigue. If you just don’t feel as rested as you once did, or you can’t muster the energy you could just a few short years ago, you are likely feeling this change in hormones. Disturbed sleep is often the earliest sign of hormonal change.
A thorough laboratory evaluation for hormone levels alongside a symptom discussion with your doctor can identify if hormones are a cause of your fatigue. If needed, replacing progesterone and testosterone with bioidentical equivalents can have you resting again in no time.
You don’t really feel connected to your partner
God designed sex for procreation, but He also, in His majesty, designed it to join us closer to our partner and connect us. Women are relational beings. Most women need to feel an emotional connection with their partner to want to have sex AND feel satisfied with their sex-life. But men need connection too and often connect with their wives on a more physical level. They are drawn to your beauty and grace. Too often aging causes men and women to lose interest in taking care of themselves and forming deep love connections with their spouse. Honoring one another by honoring the emotional and physical attractions that brought you together in the beginning can reignite a passion that may have seemed to fizzle.
And, having sex can lead to having more and better sex. Oxytocin, a bonding hormone, is released after orgasm and it causes us to feel a strong, ongoing attachment to our spouse. So men, take the time today to ask your wife (and then, without distraction, listen to) how she feels about the things that are important to her. If household duties are overwhelming her, graciously offer a helping hand. It’s true, better sex often starts in the kitchen! And ladies, if you’re feeling down about your body image or you’ve stopped getting gussied up for your guy, remember how men connect—physically. Your husband loves you just the way you are, but God made him a physical being who notices when you take the time to look nice for him.
It hurts too much
When sex is painful it’s not enjoyable. It really is that simple. And for so many women, sex is painful. But it’s not just women. Men who suffer from Peyronie’s disease, a curvature of the penis, struggle with painful intercourse as well.
If your spouse has had the courage to tell you that sex is painful, it will help you to understand the likely reasons. It is also important to note that this is not an excuse. Your partner likely carries much guilt and shame over not being able to perform like they’d like. Painful sex can destroy a marriage.
But sex doesn’t have to be painful. This is not a permanent curse and there are likely treatable conditions leading to the discomfort. Vaginal spasm (vaginismus), old episiotomy scars, Lichen Sclerosus, vaginal atrophy, vaginal dryness and Peyronie’s disease are all conditions that can be treated with either regenerative treatments or hormone management. You are not stuck with the pain.
You worry your erection might not be hard enough
Performance anxiety is a real thing, especially in the bedroom. Men who may have endured a less than stellar erection may have an ongoing fear that it could happen again. This fear can actually lead to poorer performance. A man’s mindset and thoughts will have a direct impact on the quality of his erections. Does this mean you can think yourself into better erections? Well, not exactly. Erectile dysfunction has many causes. Your medicines, your health, your lifestyle, your relationship and even your thinking can play a part.
Erectile dysfunction is a broad term which can be used to describe a myriad of sexual changes a man might notice as he ages. The majority of men notice a decline in erectile firmness and stamina and a sense that things aren’t quite like they used to be. This natural change, however, doesn’t have to be your normal. Aging blood vessels and nerves take away blood flow and feeling to the penis which limits successful erections. Declining hormone levels can squash libido.
The good news is technology is keeping up with a man’s desire for better erections. This means drugs don’t have to be the go-to any longer for sexual decline. If your performance is suffering, regenerative treatments (which get to the root cause of erectile changes) can make a world of difference. VibeMD is extracorporeal shock wave therapy (ESWT) which is a painless procedure done in-office to improve the blood flow and nerve supply to the penis. Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy with testosterone can help improve libido. The Priapus Shot® uses your body’s own growth factors to recruit your stem cells to improve erections. AgeWell offers each of these procedures in a confidential, private environment helping you get back to the sex you once had.
You are not alone and, more importantly, it’s not your fault. You are not broken. I want you to understand that the biology of aging plays a significant role in your desire for sex. Hormonal declines, body changes, stressful jobs and even a lack of frequent sex all lead to less sex—and less passionate sex. This “normal” decline of desire doesn’t have to be YOUR normal. Finding the courage to have the necessary conversation with your spouse or your doctor can be hard. Shame, embarrassment and guilt can all influence your thoughts. It doesn’t have to be this way. I confidentially talk to couples all day long about what goes on behind their closed doors and I understand this private matter is a difficult one. At AgeWell we know that life is too short not to enjoy great sex with your spouse. You can reignite your passion and have unbelievable sex again.