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HEALTH

Women ‘more likely to lose interest in sex than men’

Women are more than twice as likely as men to lack interest in sex when living with a partner, a study of British sexual attitudes suggests.

It found that while men and women lost passion with age, women were often left cold by longer relationships.

Overall, poor health and a lack of emotional closeness affected both men’s and women’s desire for sex.

The findings are based on the experiences of nearly 5,000 men and 6,700 women, published in BMJ Open.

The UK researchers said problems of sexual desire should be treated by looking at the whole person, rather than simply resorting to drugs.

 

‘Pain and misery’

Relate sex therapist Ammanda Major said losing interest in sex wasn’t necessarily abnormal, and there were many different reasons why men’s and women’s needs changed.

“For some, it is a natural and normal place to be, but for others it causes pain and misery,” she said.

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In total, 15% of men and 34% of women surveyed said they had lost interest in sex for three months or more in the previous year.

For men, this lack of interest was highest at the ages of 35-44 while for women it peaked between 55 and 64.

But the researchers, from the University of Southampton and University College London, said there was no evidence that the menopause was a factor for women.

However, they did find that having young children at home was a particular turn-off for women.

Poor physical and mental health, poor communication and a lack of emotional connection during sex were the main reasons why men and women lost interest.

A line

Five tips to rekindling interest in sex

  • Start talking about the issue early on rather than leaving it to fester – ignoring it can lead to other problems and make you feel resentful. If that doesn’t work, confront the reason why you don’t want to talk about it
  • Explore other forms of intimacy such as holding hands, talking gently to each other, cuddling and stroking rather than full-on sex
  • Feeling as if you are not being heard is a barrier to sex – so make your partner feel respected and important
  • Get some additional support by going to see a sex therapist, relationship counsellor or your GP
  • Relax – many relationships work very well when they are non-sexual, if it’s an outcome that is reached jointly

Read more at bbc.co.uk

 

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