When it comes to sex, women are more than twice as likely as men to feel a lack of interest, especially in long-term relationships — those that last over a year.
A study of sexual attitudes among British respondents found that while men and women lost passion as they got older, women were more often left colder, the BBC reports. Factors contributing to this include poor health and lack of emotional intimacy, although these affected both men and women’s desire for intercourse.
Nearly 5,000 men and 6,700 women answered questions regarding their own sexual experiences. Of the total number, 15% of men and 34% of women said that they had lost interest in having sex for three months or more in the previous year, while in relationships. The lack of desire for men peaked at the ages of 35-44, while it was highest for women at the ages of 55-64.
Poor mental and physical health, a lack of communication and a lack of emotional connection were said to be the main reasons why both sexes felt out of it. In addition, having young children at home was a specific turn-off for women, the results discovered. Women also felt that “not sharing the same level of sexual interest with a partner and not sharing the same sexual likes and dislikes” played a part in their disinterest.
The researchers said that when it comes to sexual desire, problems should be addressed by looking at the whole person or persons involved, rather than just taking medications.
Ammanda Major, relate sex therapy, said that losing interest in sex is not necessarily unusual or abnormal, as there are many different reasons that cause men and women’s needs to change. She said,
For some, it is a natural and normal place to be, but for others it causes pain and misery.
In the National Survey of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles in Britain, the people who said it was “always easy to talk about sex” with their partner were less likely to lack interest. Those who had difficulties in the bedroom, and those who were unhappy in their relationships were more likely to say that they had lost interest in sex, the researchers said.
Major said, “Sex is a very personal thing, and talking about it can be embarrassing. But talking is often the best thing you can do to improve your sex life.”
The study was published in BMJ Open.