Sex and Libido in America

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Why is there is an increase in older Americans getting divorced?

This week we look at the question of why more older Americans are getting divorced than ever before, even more frequently than younger Americans? It is an intriguing problem for us to encounter. People who become single in their sixties or seventies or older have always had to deal with the death of a spouse putting them out in the world alone. But now, just in the last few years, many of them are becoming single because of divorce. Why is this happening? How bad is it?

The statistical odds of getting a divorce are greater if you have been married multiple times and if you have had multiple sexual partners before you got married.  Is this a question of boredom? Is it empty nest syndrome? Is the loss of libido driving this? The data show that all of these contribute to the increasing level of divorce among the elderly.

Often marital quarrels focus on things like money and control of the money. If one partner uses sex as the lever to obtain what they want. Sex is messaged in all of our marketing and entertainment divisions and yet our religious focus in this country is on marital sex only and often only for the purpose of procreation. What do people do when they are propagandized to be sexual while at the same time, they are not supposed to have sex.

Many of the older men and women are products of a cultural messaging that taught them that women who were sexually aggressive and who enjoyed sex and particularly wanted to achieve multiple orgasms were in some way bad or not to be trusted. We are curious about how to reverse the messaging that produced this set of beliefs about the proper role of women in sexual behaviors. Also, the question of money has to include the reality that for so many years in America, women found it hard to get divorced and harder still to support themselves economically if they became divorced.

One of the focal points we want to make is our belief that much of the sexual loss in marriage is due to aging bodies and chemical changes in those bodies. Particularly the loss of testosterone contributes to the loss of sexual desire. It will also impact negatively the ability of women to have sex because sex becomes more painful and difficult.

Some of our cultural adaptations are leading us to having sex by ourselves watching porn on the internet or hand -held devices like a cell phone or computer. This allows them not to have to communicate with or negotiate with a partner and attempt to meet their needs. It allows us to be selfish and alone and still have sexual release even if we do not have sex with someone else.

Men can get a prescription to help with their erections, and they think that will solve their problems with having sex when they want to. But the data will show that many of these men quit taking ED pills after a little while because it does not solve the problem in its entirety. Part of the problem is the loss of testosterone. That will inhibit and reduce the desire to have sex even if you take an ED drug for better erections.

We believe that the main area where we can contribute is through fixing the chemical or hormonal imbalances that people have, and we can help fix the relational problem by helping couples to talk more openly and freely about things sexual. To be able to communicate what you want and how you want it and take the risk of asking for it without shame or power being involved.

How you address the communication issues in your relationships will directly and positively impact the feelings of intimacy and connectivity and will enable a more creative and trusting sexual life through connectedness and affection that includes the physical sexual contact.

84% of married women say that they use sex in order to get something they want outside of sex.  Having multiple marriages enables us to realize that we can get divorce and remarry. The more common and more acceptable divorce is, the easier it is to do it again.

Less than half of women want regular sex after they get married. Why would that be? What does it say about the way marriages balance themselves in our lives?

Communication capacity to say I am not happy here and this is not working can we fix it is really important. There are many things that help us fall into patterns of not communicating and of finding other adaptations for our sexual release must be identified and fought. How can we avoid falling into this negative and destructive pattern, how can we hold on to the feelings of attraction and desire, or can we  re-discover a desire to have sex with our partner.  These are critical components in our marriage and divorce rates. There are things we can do, but the main ones are… learn to communicate better and make sure that you have your hormones balanced so that you keep your libido or recover it.

This Health cast was written and presented by Dr. Kathy Maupin, M.D., Bio-identical Hormone Replacement Expert and Author, with Brett Newcomb, MA., LPC., Family Counselor, Presenter and Author.

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