Age is often blamed for a lessening of the sex drive in both men and women. Women may find sex uncomfortable due to a loss of muscular elasticity and a lessening of natural lubrication, while men struggle with erectile dysfunction. However, other factors can occur in the life of an aging person that can do even more damage to their previous enjoyment of sex.

What’s Normal?

Many married couples fall into a “calendar” pattern of sexual contact. In and of itself, this is not uncommon or abnormal; life is busy and it can be difficult to connect. However, if the stresses of life are getting in the way of communication in your marriage, your sex life may suffer.

Once a couple is beyond their childbearing years, sex is all about pleasure and connection. If you find your regularly scheduled sex sessions dropping off and it bothers you, better communication with your partner, sometimes with the help of a counselor, can help. If, however, your regular Tuesday night session passes for several weeks and you barely notice, other factors may be in play.


Life itself can be very stressful. Menopausal women are often burning several candles at both ends; growing children, aging parents, intense career expansion and community commitments. Older men may also be struggling with intense career expansion, family commitments and financial worries. If you’re having a hard time relaxing enough to sleep well, sex may not appeal to you.

Sexual Attractiveness

While women may struggle with hot flashes, acne breakouts and wrinkles, men might notice a loss of muscle tone, hair loss and performance anxiety. Medications to control blood pressure and alleviate anxiety can also impact blood flow to the sex organs, making sex more of a worry than a joy. If a person doesn’t feel like they look good, it’s difficult to get excited for a partner to see them without clothes.

Hormonal Changes

It’s important to carefully review the reasons for loss of interest in sexual pleasure. For example, some people lose interest in sex altogether, even self-stimulation. Others may still enjoy self-stimulation, but find intercourse to be uncomfortable or less satisfying than previously.

If your interest in sex is still high but you find intercourse uncomfortable or unsatisfying, topical hormonal creams or vaginal suppositories can help women enjoy more comfortable sex. For men, there are multiple medications available that can successfully treat ED.

Do A Little Planning

It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that sex is simply a function of your sexual organs, but this is not accurate or fair. Motivation for sex starts in your mind. If it takes more time and stimulation to help get you in the mood, it can be helpful to clearly communicate that to your partner. In addition, you may need to start a brain pre-session before sex. You may be able to self-stimulate mentally before engaging physically with your partner and find your interest in sex is higher than you thought.


Sex can be a connection of joy or a chore. Each person in the exchange needs to feel relaxed and welcome enough to share their pleasure and give pleasure to another. Finding time to relax and connect may take a bit of scheduling and might even require a change of scenery, but even if you and your partner can’t recapture the old magic, you may be able reach new levels of sexual enjoyment.