When people fall in love, initially, they can’t keep their hands off each other. But six months to a year later, the hot-and-heavy period subsides and sexual frequency declines. This is no problem if both people experience the exact same decrease in libido. But typically, one person wants sex more often than the other, and desire differences become a sore point in many relationships. In fact, today, desire differences are a leading reasons why couples consult sex therapists.
It takes just 10 seconds to demonstrate that sexual lubricants enhance lovemaking:
- Close your mouth and dry your lips.
- Run a finger lightly over them, paying attention to how this feels.
- Now, lick your lips.
- Run a finger lightly over your moistened lips.
- Notice any difference?
If what you know about erections in older men comes from television Viagra ads, you don’t know the whole story. Here it is:
ED means no erections from masturbation. According to the American Urological Association, erectile dysfunction (ED) is “the inability to achieve or maintain an erection sufficient for satisfactory sexual performance.” Huh? That’s absurdly vague. If you define “an erection” as what you see in porn, and “satisfactory sexual performance” as porn sex—instant, hard-as-rock erections that last forever with climaxes always on cue—then just about every guy has ED. What is it, really? For practical purposes, ED means that a man who’s sober (no alcohol or other erection-impairing drugs) cannot raise an erection during extended masturbation.
Just about everyone can enjoy orgasms by themselves, but many people encounter difficulty having them with others. A great deal of research shows that only 25 percent of women are consistently orgasmic during intercourse, and an estimated 5 to 10 percent of men have trouble ejaculating and/or experiencing orgasm. Meanwhile, many people consider it their responsibility to “give” their lovers fabulous orgasms—and wonder how to do that.
Many women complain that their vaginas are “too tight” or “too loose,” and many men raise the issue about lovers. Notions of vaginal tightness and looseness are fraught with mythology. Many people believe that (1) the virgin vagina is extremely tight, (2) that loss of virginity permanently loosens it, (3) that frequent sex loosens it further (so don’t be promiscuous, girls!), and (4) that childbirth loosens the vagina even more and possibly forever after. The truth is considerably different.
For most American lovers, anal play represents the sexual frontier, the line they’ve never crossed, or maybe once or twice, with results that may well have put them off to further explorations. That’s a shame. If you’re revolted by the idea of anal sex, don’t do it. But if you’re curious or hope for more fun next time, this anal primer may help.
Most sexual relationships follow a predictable pattern. You meet, you click, and suddenly you’re madly in love…but not forever. Depending on the relationship, the hot-and-heavy period typically lasts from six months to rarely more than a year. Then sexual frequency declines, and you become “an old married couple.” Some people accept this, while others become wistful wondering how the embers might be coaxed back into flame.
When people fall in love, the sex is incredible—at first. But the hot-and-heavy period lasts only six to 12 months, and when it’s over, even as love and commitment deepen in lasting relationships, ironically, the sex becomes routine, even boring. Want to reignite lost passion? You can—with a little help from biochemistry.
Why does erotic heat cool? Psychologists, poets, and lyricists have suggested a myriad of answers, but for couples interested in rekindling erotic passion, the key player is dopamine, the brain chemical (neurotransmitter) that both lights sexual fire and throws water on it.
There’s an old saying: Men have relationships to gain sex. Women have sex to gain relationships. This isn’t true for everyone, but it’s true often enough to become cliché—at least for people under about 50. But after 50, things change. At least that’s what researchers found in an analysis of data on 1,035 heterosexual adults, age 40 to 59, from the National Health and Social Life Survey, a representative national sample of Americans.