Dr. Greg Cason
I gave a book to a partnered friend on her 50th birthday entitled Sex After 50. The inside of the book was blank. Everyone laughed, including my friend, who spit out her chocolate cake before turning to me and whispering blankly, “I haven’t had sex for two years.”
My friend, who has been in her relationship for more than 20 years, is not alone. According to the groundbreaking book American Couples, 67% of gay couples and 33% of lesbian couples report having sex three times a week or more during the first two years of their relationship. But things change as time marches on. For couples together 10 years or longer, only 11% of gay couples and one percent of lesbian couples report having it that often.
There’s an old saying: “If you put a penny in a jar for every time you have sex in the first year of marriage, and take one out every time you have sex thereafter, you will never empty the jar.” I’ve never seen a jar of pennies next to someone’s bed, but I suspect there is a tinge of truth to that.
So what’s the problem? Age? Lack of attraction? Boredom? Hostility? Kids? Yes to any and all of these things, but each case is different. Some even say we are biologically predetermined to move on from our conquests in an effort to “spread our seed.” But what’s a boy to do when he wants to keep planting in his home garden?
Assuming you’ve had all the appropriate medical tests, have cleared your head of psychological hurdles and are willing to take responsibility and not blame everything on your partner, there are many things you could do. Seek counseling, radically accept the situation, open the relationship—it’s an issue that likely grew over many years, and it can’t be cured with a few words. If you want to start working on it, here’s a place to start:
1. STOP COMPARING YOUR SEX LIFE TO OTHERS
Especially your single friends who are checking their OKCupid accounts as you read this. People who frequently compare their sex life to others feel less secure and less satisfied in their relationships.
2. CREATE MYSTERY
There’s a saying that familiarity breeds contempt. Roman poet Ovid said, “What makes men indifferent to their wives is that they can see them when they please.” It’s the same with gays, so shut your sassy mouth, develop outside interests and, for Gaga’s sake, close the bathroom door.
3. CURB YOUR ORGASMS
If your goal is to cum, you need to let it go. Pressure to perform is one of the biggest causes of sexual dysfunction and avoidance of sex. Rather, focus on pleasuring your partner through simple touch, massage, kissing, and exploring. Don’t make it an affection-starved relationship, too.
Doing these things can improve any romantic relationship, and if not, you can always take those pennies and buy yourself a slice of chocolate cake.