A pal shared a story of his best friend, Mel, who had some recent health challenges which resulted in him having zero libido. Not just during the treatment of his health problem, but afterward. Prior to this circumstance, Mel’s sex drive had been high. He’s been married to his current wife for about 10 years so she knew him during the high-lust years.
I barely know Mel and have never met his wife, and my pal had no word on what Mel’s wife felt about this change in their relationship.
It made me wonder what midlife women would think about dating a no- or low-libido guy. Some women have shared that they would consider that a perfect scenario, as long as the man was affectionate and attentive. These women say they aren’t really interested in sex anymore, but if they found a suitable man who wanted more than companionship, they’d comply. They just wouldn’t be very enthusiastic about it.
People have different sexual needs. Some have high needs, even in midlife. Others have very low needs. This is often a challenge in relationships no matter how old the players — one would like sex more often than the other. Which can cause tension at the least, and often breakups. When I talk to men during the getting-to-know-you stage of dating, they often share that the primary reason they divorced was because their wives weren’t interested in a physical relationship anymore.
Mel, I was told, said that having no sex drive was actually a blessing to him. He said that prior to his current condition, he had no awareness of how much of his mental capacity was taken up thinking about sex. When he met a woman, — even when he was happily married — he’d assess if he wanted to have sex with her. He never acted on this with anyone besides his wife, but he thought about it. Or he’d think about what he needed to do to get his wife to have sex with him that night. Or he’d fantasize about different sex acts.
Now, Mel was much more present to other things that give him pleasure. Corny things, like a beautiful sunrise, the scent of his wife’s hair, the warm sun on his face. He says he’s now more creative and more thoughtful — especially with his wife, as he’s not making his acts of kindness manipulative to get sex. They are because he wants to make her happy.
If you’ve dated a man (or are a man) with low or no sexual appetite, tell us the pros and cons. Or share if you’d go out with a man long-term who you knew had low libido.
Want to understand more about the complexities of sex in midlife dating relationships? Get your copy of From Fear to Frolic: Get Naked Without Getting Embarrassed.