“Dear Dr. Kim,
I’ve been happily married for nearly forty years, and I love my wife dearly. However, I find that I seldom feel much sexual desire for her these days. It’s not that she’s ‘let herself go’ or anything like that; in fact, she’s quite a looker. And it’s not erectile dysfunction, either. On those rare occasions when we do have sex, I have no problem ‘rising to the occasion,’ as it were. I’m not looking for sex outside our marriage, either – but the fact is that I just couldn’t be bothered to have sex with anyone. What’s the matter with me?”
– Uninterested, London.
Nothing. Unless you have a health issue – and you may have, so get a doctor (a real doctor, not a shrink) to check you out – it’s quite normal for men’s sex drives to diminish as they get older, but sometimes a health issue like high blood pressure is at fault.
I suspect you’ve fallen prey to feelings of sexual inadequacy after reading one of those tiresome surveys which remind us that the “average” married couple has sex 7.5 times a week or some such bullshit. You need to know two things: people lie like dogs on those surveys, because no man wants to admit to a stranger that he’s not bursting with sexual energy – even if that researcher is seventy years old and looks like Hillary Clinton. So he lies and brags, and now we have to live with those fantasies. The other thing you need to know about those surveys is that the only people who are comfortable talking to researchers about their sex lives are either old braggarts or young people – and young people, as we all know, have the sex drive of rabbits.
Let’s face facts, here: the Duke of Wellington once remarked about sex that “the pleasure is momentary, the position ridiculous, and the expense damnable.” Note that he said this at age 65 and not at 25, when his comment would likely have been quite different.
Finally, don’t listen to the supposed “experts” or any kind of therapists, who have a vested interest in keeping you feeling insecure. Ask your wife if your decreased sex drive bothers her. My bet is that it won’t, especially if you’ve been a faithful and loving husband in all other regards. If it does bother her, then ask her to be more aggressive about asking you for it, non-verbally. If I may be indelicate about this for a moment: few men are going to say “no” when they wake up in the middle of the night to find their wives’ mouths buried in their groin playing “find the weasel.” And please feel free to ignore absolutely everything you’ve ever read about this issue, including what I just said, and go with your gut instinct.