Why your wife may be experiencing a decrease in her sexual desire
S EXUAL desire speaks of interest in sex and in being sexual. According to various research works, this has three interrelated components. That is, sexual desire is determined by three factors which are:
- Beliefs, values, and expectations
Drive, a biological component of the human personality, comprises of sexual thoughts and fantasies, and erotic attraction to others for sexual activity, or genital tingling or sensitivity. Sex drive varies a lot from woman to woman and often varies from day-to-day based on a woman’s daily activities, stress, and health.
Personal beliefs, values and expectations about sexual activity are factors in sexual desire. These are shaped by one’s culture, religious beliefs, family, peers, and media influences. The more positive your attitudes are about sex, the greater your desire to be sexual.
Motivation: This component involves your willingness to behave sexually at a given time and with a given partner, and is driven by emotional and interpersonal factors. Motivation speaks of, a caring relationship, which is often required for most women to experience desire. This is what men must understand in their quest for more sex from their wives. The wives are motivated to have sex through the caring attitude of the husbands.
One key factor in sexual desire for women is menopause. During the menopause transition, the physical effects of falling estrogen levels—including hot flashes, night sweats, and vaginal dryness—can undermine sexual motivation and drive. There is no scientific basis to proof that testosterone affects sexual desire. Though, some women who undergo an abrupt menopause (caused by removal of both ovaries or by chemotherapy), which leads to an immediate drop in both estrogen and testosterone, suffer a greater reduction in desire than women who experience natural menopause, there are other women in the same situation who do not have a decrease in desire.
For many women in the menopause transition, a gradual decline in sexual desire does not have an important impact on overall sexuality and quality of life. For others, diminished desire and the rareness of sexual thoughts is a source of distress, undercutting their satisfaction with life and changing their sense of sexuality and self. If you are troubled by a persistent or recurrent lack of desire, you are likely to have what has been described as “hypoactive sexual desire disorder,” the most common sexual complaint among women.
Desire usually (but not always) wanes with age. In general, sex drive decreases gradually with age in both men and women, but women are two to three times more likely to be affected by a decline in sex drive as they age. Reduced sex drive becomes much more common in women starting in their late 40s and 50s. The effect of age also differs by individual: some women experience a big decrease in sexual desire beginning in their midlife years, others notice no change, and a few report increased interest in sex at midlife. Those women whose desire increases may feel liberated by their new freedom from contraception or by newly found privacy if their children have recently left home.
In some cases, a woman’s loss of desire is a problem for her primarily because it frustrates her partner and threatens to weaken their relationship. This may be the case if there is a pattern of avoiding or ignoring her partner when he/she is likely to initiate sex, or if even the most romantic and relaxing vacation or weekend away fails to spark any interest in being sexual.
This is a source of concern to many married people, especially the husbands, who are at the receiving end of the sexual decline in their wives. Every couple must therefore find solutions to the problem of sexual decline in marriage. We will examine possible solutions subsequently in this column.
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