In love, African American couple hugging and kissing.

Kevin here. . .

As we men age, we lose our sex drive. There, I said it! We lose the urgency and incredible need we’ve felt ever since early adolescence.

Remember the astounding, persistent urge that drove you to masturbate 4x a day when you were 12 or 14? Recall when all you could think about was sex? Most of us stopped the constant masturbation, but the need of that sex drive stayed with us for decades. It drove us as we learned to navigate our relationships with women.

That sex drive is the power source that supplies the masculine adoration that men focus on their lovers. Men, ask your women what it feels like to have that adoring, desirous energy shined on them. They know how being cherished and wanted stokes their sexual desire.

The decline of sexual desire

Well, unfortunately for many of us that sex drive diminishes somewhere in middle age. Work, careers, and the stress of raising a family devours our energy and attention. For some, illness and medical treatment destroy their sex drive. And for others who are disappointed in love, the drive just slowly withers away.

When treating my leukemia required stronger and stronger drugs, my desire and sex drive quickly disappeared.  I wasn’t with anyone at the time, and not having a sex drive was something of a relief because there was no one to share it with. My aloneness seemed less large and less painful when I didn’t feel the need as much.

Most often, however, the loss of sex drive is more subtle. Over time, that amazing, powerful life force gradually lessens. You may not notice it at first, but one day you realize the urgency is gone, and you inwardly wonder why.

You question everything—your partner, your work, and most of all yourself. Something must be wrong because I feel different. . .I am not the man I used to be. And we men are not prepared for this.

This decline in sexual drive accounts for the enormous sales of testosterone gels and creams. Originally designed for men with abnormally low testosterone levels, these drugs are now used by millions of men with relatively normal levels, despite the fact that there’s no solid research to support it.

I believe this occurs because the lessening of sexual desire is a common, middle-age phenomenon, and men are trying to medicate it back. They are desperate to reclaim it, often going to great lengths to boost their dwindling masculinity. But testosterone gel cannot do the job. Oh, it can help, but there is no way to reclaim the lost urgency and energy of young adulthood.

The sexual challenge of aging men

The sexual challenge of aging men is how to deal with their declining sex drive. Will our sex lives disappear as our sex drive diminishes? Or, is there another way?

Men have something to learn from women about this. Women have naturally low testosterone levels, and as a gross generalization, their sex drive is less than a man’s. As much as women enjoy sex and seek it out, their main motivation is the desire for emotional connection—to love and be loved by their partner. When this is missing, their sex drive disappears as well.

I  want to emphasize that even without the testosterone-driven sex drive that men have, women still long for sexual connection, desiring it even in old age. Their desire for intimacy, emotional closeness, and love generates as strong a sexual desire as the testosterone-induced drive of our masculine youth.

The solution

When an aging man relies on a diminishing sex drive to sustain his sex life, he utilizes an ever-diminishing resource. Kind of like fossil fuels!

When he uses his desire for intimacy and emotional connection to ignite the fire of desire, he uses an alternative, sustainable resource that actually increases with age. It’s becoming clear that as men age, their desire and capacity for emotional intimacy increases, often wanting cuddling and kissing more than their female partners.

So, therein lies the solution for aging men. Through love, connection, and emotional intimacy, we can rekindle our sexual desire and forge a new path to having satisfying sex as we age.

And, I believe using that desire as motivation will make women very, very happy indeed! They will finally be getting the intimacy they thought was promised in the past by all that adoring, masculine energy.

Vicki here. . .

I completely agree that when men come to their lover and put intimacy first and physical sex second, they will receive a warm welcome. Yes, we women have waited years for men to be present and intimate during sex. In short, we want men to make love to each part of us and to be present throughout the entire intimate connection.

And, I also agree that women lose their desire for sex when the intimacy isn’t there. As Kevin said, the adoration and desire men first have for us seem to promise intimacy, but the execution too often lacks the emotional connection we hope for. He wants sex, you have sex, then he falls asleep, and you’re still waiting for the intimate connection.  

Or you have sex, but he has no intimate, conscious connection with your body—things are done to arouse you, but there is no sensitivity to what you’re actually feeling. Then the expectation of love and intimacy originally promised by his desirous, adoring energy is gone. When that happens, women eventually become bitter and shut down sexually.

Making the shift from testosterone to intimacy-driven sex

1. The first step is to stop worrying about your declining sexual drive. You are not less of a man because it’s reduced or gone, and your sex life is far from over. This is a natural occurrence, a phase of life, and there are ways to remedy it.

2. Redefine having sex as making love. Understand that solely satisfying you or your partner’s sexual needs is not making love. Think of sex as intimate, reciprocal sensual play with your lover.

3. Ask your lover what pleases her, and listen. Ask her what she wants you to do more of and less of during your sexual time together. Don’t take it as criticism. Thank her for her honest communication and willingly do what she asks.

4. Talk honestly about your own sexual needs and challenges as an aging man. Let go of the shame because it benefits no one. Share your concerns and desires with your lover, and together, plan how to have the satisfying sex you both want. This is what Kevin calls being “co-conspirators.”

5. Understand that the physical act of sex is only one part of making love, and there are 1000s of ways to orgasm–and you can’t keep doing the same old moves and expect better results. Explore and experiment with the many ways of being sexual: appreciation and compliments, intimate “pillow talk,” frequent touching, hugging and kissing, staying connected throughout the day, sensual massage, tantric breathing, eye gazing, toys, oral and anal sex, kink, and BDSM (although some of these activities may sound weird, they can be surprisingly romantic).

One last thing

There is no faster or more pleasurable way to shift from having sex to making love than giving your partner a Loving Massage. All alone in the house, in a warm room with lights dimmed, perhaps lit by candles, music playing softly in the background, your lover’s naked body spread out before you, the feel of her silky skin under your hands, and her trust in your love all combine to transport you to a kinder, more intimate way of loving each other.

So, do yourselves a favor and buy a massage table. Dedicate a place in your home to you as a couple. Honor your love for each other by creating a ritual. Talk honestly about what you enjoy sexually. Make time to explore your intimacy and begin by one of you making a date to give the other a loving massage for the pure pleasure of it.

Aging is a natural part of life, and adjusting to the changing times by learning new ways to be sexual is essential to keeping your relationship thriving emotionally and sexually. Use this time to rekindle your sexual desire by focusing less on having sex and more on making love!

Have you reclaimed your sex drive? If so, let us know in the comments below or send us your story.