Saturday 3 December 2016

Pat Henry: 'For many couples in their 30s, 40s, 50s or 60s sex is just a memory'

Pat Henry offers advice to get some pep back into your sex life

Pat Henry

Published 29/03/2016 | 02:30

As we get older, we leave many things behind, but intimacy doesn't need to be one of them, says Pat Henry. Something as simple as some attention from a loved one can make all the difference
As we get older, we leave many things behind, but intimacy doesn't need to be one of them, says Pat Henry. Something as simple as some attention from a loved one can make all the difference

When we mention the word 'sex', we can sometimes feel the tension in the air or instantly think 50 Shades of Grey. But enough of the fantasy, there are many couples in their 30s, 40s, 50s or 60s where sex is just a memory.

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This is really a pity, as in a lot of cases there is no physical or mental reason why this should be so. For example, the more intimate sex we have, the more happy hormones we produce. Oxytocin is one of the main hormones produced during passionate love-making. It has been proposed as a treatment for anxiety and depression and synthetic oxytocin is used to induce labour.

Rather than looking for the medical route to solve your sexual problems, try to concentrate on the old-fashioned way, because the more sex you have, the more oxytocin you produce. It's that simple and those without partners can go solo!

There are so many couples who simply get out of the habit of love-making, whether it's because of fatigue due to bringing up children, job pressures,or financial worries. What couples miss is the closeness or intimacy of someone holding them and giving them a hug or a kiss, even without taking it any further. Simply the feeling of being wanted or feeling attractive can make you feel so well.

I think, as a nation, we react badly to rejection, especially in relationships. You can be together but still feel very lonely if there is no loving contact made by either party.

Rejection can bring about depression, until you avoid being in that position, and you withdraw into yourself and suffer in silence and accept your fate. You feel like life is over; it's like having a Ferrari but you can't get it out of first gear. But life really is too short.

Whether we like it or not, intimacy, sex and closeness is really a big part of growing older disgracefully! If this is your life, do something about it.

Many years ago a study was done in an orphanage where one group of children was constantly held and the other group was ignored and denied close contact. Many of the latter had emotional problems in later life, were unable to maintain relationships and ended up alone. This is why it's not just sex, but the intimacy of being with someone who loves you and wants to hold your hand or give you a hug, that is so important to your overall well-being.

In some families the dog gets more attention than the partner. If you get the opportunity, read the book The Sex Diaries, written by therapist Bettina Arndt, which is a remarkable book that every couple should be given before embarking upon a long-term relationship.

It could help solve many relationship problems. It has been discovered that the more meaningful orgasms we have, the real positive effects they can have and it can be scientifically measured. They can reduce inflammation and a study last year found that an orgasm a day could significantly reduce a man's chance of developing prostate cancer.

If you can let go the feeling of guilt and encourage the wonderful good feelings of sex with someone you love, like in tantra and raja yoga, it can be a truly spiritual journey. It is said that when couples reach this state of awareness in the process of pro-creating, their children born will be special.

So go for it!

As we get older, we leave many things behind, but intimacy doesn't need to be one of them, says Pat Henry. Something as simple as some attention from a loved one can make all the difference

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