Sexual happiness beyond Valentine’s Day
“I felt embarrassed and uncomfortable with what my husband and I were doing,” confided Mrs. P., a college professor, expressing her sexual unhappiness during the early phase of her marriage.
Is Mrs. P. one among the six out of 10 couples “unhappy in their relationship,” which a current survey seems to suggest?
Sexual happiness is a natural state, according to Dr. D.R. Butler, an obscure doctor-author this author read a decade or so ago. It is part of our birthright and not something achievable, or attained by superhuman efforts. Sexual happiness just is; it is part of our inner nature to honor and enjoy.
The irony is that a great majority of people seems to be searching for sexual happiness. This is often the case regardless of how “together” couples seem to be in their heads; sexual happiness somehow inexplicably eludes them.
One thing is certain: sexual happiness is elusive when we try to search for it. A truism that seems not easy to understand; this simply means that when we are searching for something, we obviously think we do not have it.
We are reminded that happiness, even sexual happiness, does not exist “out there” in the world somewhere. It does not come from others, not even from the one we love. Happiness exists within us, only waiting for its discovery.
Happiness is an outgrowth of bliss.
Napoleon Hill and W. Clement Stone in their book Success Through a Positive Mental Attitude write, “One of the surest ways to find happiness for yourself is to devote your energies toward making someone else happy.”
“Happiness is an elusive, a transitory thing, and if you set out to search for it, you will find it evasive. But if you try to bring happiness to someone else, then it comes to you,” added these authors. The halo of reciprocity brings a miracle when two individuals meet in this criteria.
Experts from time to time claim that the main reason happiness is so rare is because people are too accustomed to their unhappiness. Studies show that making others happy will draw one’s own happiness from within, and it will increase and expand the more one shares it with another.
Still, in reality, we are hounded by sexual worries.
As people grow older, they are liable to develop unnecessary worries about their sex lives. In fact, it is common for many marriages to be disrupted for sexual reasons in all walks of life.
However, the Sex Information Education Council of the United States and the National Institute of Aging, report that most people continue to enjoy sex throughout their life. The exceptions are usually found in those with some sort of physical disabilities, those who think they should not (for example, because of a previous medical issue), those who simply cannot and those who choose to remain celibate.
Generally, the major spoilers of sex for both among young and older people are alcohol, drugs, stress, strain and ignorance; the latter, often based on wrong information or mere ideation.
Below is a composite of excerpted ways from various studies to avoid such worries:
Every individual has his own biorhythm. Everyone is unique. Every sexual relationship has its vicissitudes; we must not judge it by its lowest moments. We must instead focus on the experiential state itself. There are occasions when environmental factors take their toll on us as we shall glean later.
Comparing has a price. We must not engross ourselves with information that frequently specifies an “average” sex life. There is no “pattern” to live up to. In other words, we should not compare ourselves with others that may only deflate our own ego because there will always be greater “statistical numbers” distinguishing us from the rest.
Never rely on “common knowledge” or accept everything as fact. These refer especially to ideas or “suggestions” conveyed by our neighbors, friends or colleague after hearing from “a-friend-of-a-friend,” or online. When in doubt, confirm such information or data with authoritative books or experts.
Lead a well-balanced life and keep in the best physical condition you can. Worries often develop because of a too idle or narrow lifestyle. The more active and varied the activities in our life, the less chances of us being beset by worries. Physical prowess is best explored when fit; surely men know what this means.
It should be noted that while most healthy men continue to be sexually active all their lives, some do lose interest due to lack of practice. The dictum “use it or lose it” applies. Note also that male fertility can continue into extreme old age. Men in their nineties have fathered children, studies reveal.
Studies also show that sex is not everything in a relationship. A marriage is not going to fall if it is not always at peak level. Sexual activity may wax and wane at certain times due sometimes to apparent or to inexplicable reasons. Our desire may occasionally dim due to stress or strain, but passion per se need not die.
When our sexual relationship loses some of its early zest, experts advise us not to worry that we are not satisfying our mate. Note that as we have matured, so has our mate — his or her sexual “caliber” is likely to be the same as ours. Nature constantly calibrates the thrill and joy among long-lasting relationships.
There are changes in our lives genetically defined as part of the aging process; some of which we cannot naturally prevent, delay or reverse. To understand their cause-effect, we must learn to identify whether what is affecting our zest is biological, mere ignorance, or simply imaginary.
There are times when no matter how unwarranted they are, sexual worries can persist and build up in our minds. Talk them over with your mate and clear them up. There are times when an expectation simply remains because it is perhaps taken for granted.
There is one salient caveat: we are cautioned never to discuss our own sexual worries with just anybody — they may make our problems seem greater than they are. In exceptional cases, it may be wise to consult a professional regarding our problem.
Many times our sex worries have nothing to do with sex at all.
Oftentimes these are mere growing concerns about our overall relationship with our mate. The children are just too rowdy. Perhaps the neighbor’s dog is straying too often too long in our front yard and we hate it; maybe we have a too-routinized-lifestyle, or perhaps the visit of our parents-in-law has lengthened.
In such instances, the best way to prevent sexual worries is by keeping up a warm, “total” relationship. We have the option to simply close our eyes, breathe deeply and count the bliss rather than the blues. Or console ourselves by this current survey: 57 percent of those in (even) unhappy relationships still find their partners extremely attractive.
Sex is a birthright we can enjoy for the rest of our life. How can we refute that?
Honor and enjoy Valentine’s Day.
Dr. Aggie Carson-Arenas is a specialist in Clinical Psychology and a Behavior Analyst Specialist in Nevada. He’s an educator, a researcher, clinician, consultant and published author. Please e-mail author at: [email protected].