One of the most common sexual concerns that women complain of when it comes to sex is a lack of arousal or low desire. This does seem to be more common in women who are in their 20’s and often we may see these resolve themselves as women get older. It’s been said that women reach their sexual peak in their mid to late 30’s and yes, this can explain part of this phenomenon. According to the medical beliefs, women bloom later when it comes to sexuality. Physiology is one factor, but this is not always nor the only reason we see low desire or low arousal in females. Many other factors can contribute to low sexual desire in females, ranging from depression to anxiety to fear, anger, resentment, guilt, or shame.
The same is true of men. True, physiologically speaking men’s testosterone levels dip as they get older. It is suggested that men reach their sexual peak around 21. Although low sexual desire is not the most common of male sexual disorders, men do often present with erectile issues which, include early ejaculation or erectile dysfunction (ED) which often have the same contributing factors I mentioned above.
When low arousal or low desire presents itself in the relationship it is also very common that the individual taking on most of the blame is the person whose body is affected. If she is the one not producing natural lubrication then she must be the one at fault, and vice versa. If his erections are the one in question then he is the one who must be fixed. Unfortunately this thinking then too often leads one individual, the broken one to present for counseling or therapy, by him or herself, individually. In my opinion this is problematic two-fold. For one, the individual who is going to therapy, is the person that is getting better, the one more likely to be making positive changes in their life, and most often this is happening alone. The other person is not present and is not joining her on the journey. And two, this places blame, or fault and suggests that one person is sick, broken, or at “fault”, while the other is well, and “right.” One is good, the other bad. You get the idea. Ideally, if there are problems in the relationship, sexual or not, couples problems should never be placed on one individual. The couple should make it a point to attend together to see how each is influencing the other. The relationship is a dance and it takes two to tango.
Even in a situation where one partner is dealing with some personal issues, such as childhood trauma or abuse, which may not involve his/her partner directly, and may or may not be sexual in nature I still always strongly suggest having the partner at least minimally involved. Therapy involves sharing intimate parts of yourself, and this will likely have its effect on the individual, will facilitate change and growth and also may indirectly affect the relationship. I encourage couples to grow together, not apart.To Get More Satisfaction out of your Relationships and Sex Life Visit Moushumi Ghose, A Los Angeles Sex Therapist at Los Angeles Sex Therapy