Saturday, May 10, 2008

If It Doesn't Feel Good, Don't Do It

Again via 2 Blowhards, a report in the Telegraph noting an increase in the number of men not interested in sex. Excerpts:

The main sufferers who call its helpline with the problem are generally aged between 30 and 50 and are married.

Peter Bell, Relate’s head of practice, said: “Men used to come to us with impotence – now known as erectile insufficiency – but Viagra has sorted some of that problem. What we have is a lot of men who say, as women did in the 1950s: 'I can have sex but I do not want to. It’s not rewarding’.

“It is a serious issue. It counts as a pychosexual dysfunction rather than just a relationship problem, because these men haven’t simply gone off their partner but off sex altogether.”

Dysfunction? The listed age range does complicate this: the differences between a 30yo and a 50yo are many and varied. But I recall a time when loss of libido was considered a natural result of aging. It's only relatively recently in human history that a man could expect to be alive at 50, much less interested in sex.

The mention of Viagra is notable. That type of medication, and the hype behind it, has created a "since you can, you should" expectation that may not jibe with some men's (and women's) natural feelings. Sex drive is a function of hormones designed to encourage reproduction. Once the hormones begin to decline and reproduction is no longer involved, sex becomes a function of pleasure and intimacy. The intimacy issue with the partner would need to be addressed, but otherwise, if sex isn't enjoyable,why bother? Despite what popular culture depicts, there is more to life.

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