Editor’s note: We asked readers to submit their sex and relationship questions. Below are a few we received and Lindsay Novak’s answers.
Question: My wife went through menopause and is now only interested in sex once or twice a quarter. Is this normal?
It is normal to experience a fluctuating sex drive throughout life. However, it’s not always linked to biological changes but also relationship ebbs and flows, body image changes, overall health, certain medications and much more.
And post-menopause is not always synonymous with sexual problems. Some women experience an increase in sex drive and a renewed sense of womanhood whereas others face a decrease in desire, sensation problems or pain with intercourse.
If your wife’s low desire is related to hormonal changes in menopause, she can inquire about hormone replacement therapy with her physician or a more natural path with an herbalist. Also, over the counter vaginal lubricants may be helpful for dryness and pain, which can often lead to decreased desire.
Question: Is it normal for my husband to be attracted to other members of the same sex?
According to a 2011 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services report, 5.8 percent of men ages 25-44 report having same-sex contact at least once in their lifetime compared to 12 percent of women. To summarize some more detailed statistics, the group of men and women who admitted to same sex contact, identified themselves as heterosexual, homosexual or bisexual.
There was also a small percentage of people who didn’t know how they categorized themselves. This is a growing trend in which people identify their sexuality as non-categorical, or fluid, on a sexual spectrum.
The research also stated that “sexual attraction and identity correlates closely, but not completely, with reports of sexual behavior.” In other words, not all sexual attraction corresponds with identity or behavior. Your husband might just be exploring the fantasy, or he may want to pursue a sexual relationship with another man.
I’ve seen couples in similar situations attend sex therapy to further discuss this attraction. Talking to a third party could help both of you openly discuss how this attraction might disrupt your relationship.
Question: Is it normal for men to have difficulty achieving orgasm as they age?
It is normal to experience orgasm changes throughout life; however, age is not directly correlated to orgasm difficulty. Problems can include anything from diminished sensation to inability to orgasm.
The no. 1 cause for problematic male orgasm is performance anxiety. Other psychological factors can include stress, relationship problems, boredom in the bedroom as well as a history of sexual abuse/incest. Physical causes can include drugs, alcohol, certain medications, pain (pelvic floor or back problems) and chronic illness.
I would first recommend an appointment with your physician to rule out biological problems, then I’d suggest seeing a certified sex therapist.
Stay tuned for more opportunities to submit your questions for Lindsay Novak to answer in her Tuesday blog.