Masters and Johnson estimated that at least 50% of marriages have sexual difficulties. One of the most common problems is the waning of sexual interest in the partners after many years of marriage.
THE LOSS OF SEXUAL INTEREST
Loss of physical attractiveness occurs with age. Men depend upon physical attraction for sexual arousal. Sex interest decreases when a partner is overweight, balding, sagging or simply unkept.
Marriages generally become somewhat less intimate as time passes. Many relationship changes occur. The husband often becomes intensely involved in work related activities, striving for financial and professional success. The wife, at the same time, becomes focused the children. The decrease in interdependency results in a decrease feeling of emotional and sexual closeness.
A common complaint is that sex is boring. In early marriage, sex is a highlight. Novelty, excitement and discovering one another through exploration all fuel the important role sex plays in the early years of marriage
As years pass, many couples feel they have explored all the sexual alternatives acceptable to them. Others are bored with the mundane techniques and the same partner year after year.
Many people engage in extramarital affairs.
The double standard of youth and beauty in our society encourages these extramarital relationships. People are often searching for variety, excitement or self-assurance. Affairs often have very little to do with any behavior or lack of behavior of their partner.
Men frequently become more attractive to younger women as they age because the man acquires more power, wealth, and confidence as he matures. Women however become less attractive in the eyes of younger men and men near their age as they grow older.
This occurs because women are seen as more matronly, less mysterious, and more motherly as they age. These qualities are not commonly thought as sexy.
Lowered sex drive in one of the partners results in a loss of sex interest. This is especially true of the male. Psychological causes include boredom, business concerns, and financial worries,
Physical reasons include age related reasons. Male sex drive peaks in young adulthood and declines gradually and steadily thereafter. Female sex drive however peaks in the thirties and remains stable until after 60.
A change in self perception occurs with men and women seeing themselves as being less attractive physically as they age. They do not want to force themselves on their partners.
Others see themselves as sexual non-beings as they age. Surgery and chronic illnesses may produce emotions incompatible with sexual excitement.
Family problems with a child, loss of a job, financial worries, or dissatisfaction with one’s occupation may all lead to a decrease in sexual interest. Anxiety, worry, guilt, and other
negative emotions block the transmission of sexual stimuli.
Acupuncture may release these blocks. Persons preoccupied with issues related to general well being will use up an enormous amount of energy and this decreases the amount of energy needed for sex. These crises result in depression, which decreases the sex drive.
There are also some partners who literally don’t like one another or feel hostility, anger, bitterness, and resentment toward ones partner much to the time. They are unlikely to want to share sexual feeling s as they did before these hostile feelings developed.
Sexual failure is emotionally painful. Pain with sex, lack of orgasm, erectile problems, and premature ejaculation result in such emotional pain. When a person associates failure with sexual activity he is likely to avoid sex. Sexual activity results in increases punishment and a decrease in reward.