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Sex

The Talk That Can Jump-Start Your Love Life at Any Age

How long has it been since you and your partner made love? Six weeks? Six months? Six years? You may be surprised to know that many committed couples in seemingly happy relationships have not engaged in sex with each other in a very long time.

The reasons why couples stopping having sex are myriad. Medical issuesand mental issues such as depression are often the culprits. Sometimes it’s an issue of marital boredom and fatigue. Very often one partner or both partners are on prescription medications that have a detrimental effect on their libido, which may be deadened. Due to menopause, intercourse may have become painful and something to be avoided. Don’t laugh, but often the case is that it’s just been so long since you’ve “done it,” you’re not even sure you can.

Initiating a conversation about the future of your sex life is never the easiest exchange. It can be a tetchy, potentially explosive subject. It’s such a freighted topic that many couples will do almost anything to avoid discussing it. And yet if you ever want to have sex, any kind of sex, again, first you have to talk.

A direct approach is the most effective. Saying to your partner, “You know, it’s been awhile since we’ve made love,” is straightforward way to initiate a conversation. It’s a good idea to practice saying these words to yourself before you say them to your partner. Tone is very important. You want to sound calm and relaxed, not accusing.

Don’t be surprised that once you broach the subject, a lot of heat comes up. Your partner may become defensive and deny there is a problem. Or your partner may be dismissive and try to change subject. Should either one of these situations happen and you’re still motivated, the next thing to say to keep your partner safely on topic is to mildly suggest that if your sex life or the lack of it is something you can’t discuss, it may be time to meet with a counselor. This will relay to your partner that you’re serious about wanting to have a sexual relationship, and once that seriousness is conveyed, it often opens up the channels for couple communication.

Exactly what kind of sex life you want is important to discuss. Medications, health issues, and libido or the lack of must be taken into consideration. Declaring expectations and then managing them is something you will have to negotiate as a couple. For example, is Viagra or Cialis something you both want him to take? How do you feel about estrogen boosting hormone replacement therapy, or Osphena, the new estrogen free drug said to stop sex from hurting? Is full-on penetration your goal, or would you both feel satisfied with oral sex or just more deep kissing and cuddling? These are talking points.

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