As you get older, your sex life and sex drive change. The desire you used to have seems to have disappeared. Sometimes weeks or even months go by without sex. But when you do have sex, it is great and you realize that you would like to have sex more often. Recognizable? Many people of all genders experience this phenomenon with aging. No matter how sexually active you used to be, the fire of old times seems to have died down.
Spontaneity or responsiveness
Yet often it is not the desire for sex that has disappeared, but only the spontaneous desire. And that is quite another. In the past you might get spontaneously horny and now it takes more. Especially if you find yourself still enjoying sex (those few times you do it), it’s good to realize the difference between spontaneous desire and responsive desire.
Spontaneous desire is a hormone-driven desire for sex. You feel an impulsive urge. You want sex and you take action to satisfy that need. Because your hormone balance changes as you get older, the spontaneous desire will also decrease.
In responsive desire, desire comes as a response to physical arousal. Your body is first stimulated and in response your brain starts to get used to the idea and the need for sex grows.
Reasons to have sex
With spontaneous desire, there is only one reason to have sex: you are horny. You feel like having sex. You see someone you find attractive and you would like to ‘get it on’.
But as you get older there are more and more reasons not to have sex. Worries about money, the children, your work, stress, physical discomfort, you find yourself less attractive, your partner has just said or done something stupid … and all those reasons no longer outweigh just that one reason. Then it may seem like you only want sex when all the stars are right. There may also be other reasons, such as your physical condition, the influence of medication, or your health in general.
If that happens, there is nothing wrong with you. You don’t need sex any less, but your body just needs more than “I feel horny right now, so I want sex right now.” You are probably in a healthy long-term relationship. It just takes a little more to get ‘in the mood’.
How can you make responsive desire work for you?
How do you know if responsive desire can work for you? And is it something for you (and your partner)? In order to find out, you will have to consciously do (or find) things that stimulate your desire.
For example, try agreeing with your partner to schedule time for intimacy. Choose a time block in which you will not be disturbed and there is no time pressure.
Until the moment is there, you can put each other in the mood for a little while simmering. Touch each other casually, wink promisingly when you talk about your date, send each other messages, in short; turn on the pilot light.
Pay attention to each other. Switch off the TV and your smartphone so that you are not distracted. Create a favorable atmosphere with music and dim lighting, take a bath together, watch porn together, or do some role-play.
It is also important to avoid pressure to perform. Nothing is required. Everything is allowed. It’s all about having fun together.
Also make sure that your favorite sex toys are charged and that there is enough (stimulating) lubricant at hand.
Start the physical arousal now. Ask your partner to touch you or start stroking yourself. Watch each other while you masturbate.
If the desire has now been stirred up, then your desire has responded to the physical arousal (= responsive desire). If it didn’t work and you think your health might play a role, talk to your GP. Or, if you can’t work it out with your partner, relationship counseling may work.
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