The conventional wisdom says that when it comes to sex, men respond to visual stimulation, while women need an emotional connection.
Guys are shallow, they want it all the time — give ’em one flash of cleavage and boom, they’re ready to go! On the other hand, women are deeper; they insist on feeling connected, embraced, even loved before they can respond sexually.
You’ve heard stuff like that, right? The woman doesn’t want it, so it’s up to the man to seduce her.
Maybe you experienced that when dating back in your twenties. Perhaps it was even true during your marriage.
But how about now, as a Divorced Over 50? In our situation, does that old way of thinking hold up?
Let’s start with this article from Female First, which says that 80% of women who reach menopause feel more sexually liberated and become more active afterwards. (It also warns that half are not satisfied with their sex lives).
Health.com offers “8 Reasons Sex is Better After 50,” including factors like no kids at home and financial security. It also notes that older women are more comfortable about sex, knowing better what they want, and feeling freer to ask for it. Additionally, getting off birth control can make a woman’s hormones surge, contributing to more desire.
And then there’s an article from Goodmen Project entitled “One Secret That Will Unleash Your Wife’s Desire.” Hewing to that conventional wisdom, author Karen Brody says that a woman doesn’t get as turned on visually as men do. Rather, a woman’s desire is driven by “micro-events” that make her feel good in her partner’s presence. Brody says the woman needs to feel seen and appreciated by her man, that he’s taking care of her, and that he demonstrates trustworthiness by respecting and admiring her.
Let me jump in here to say I’d hope any man in a committed relationship would be making his partner feel this way — not because it’ll lead to sex, but because that’s how he should be treating her. If that turns out to be a turn on for her, and the man wants it, too, then it’s a win-win.
There’s a very detailed comment below Brody’s article that argues against the visual-versus-emotional distinction. “Mikael” says it’s all about stress levels. Since men could traditionally leave work behind when they got home, it was easy to always be hot-to-trot. Women, however, with continual issues like kids to care for and households to run, were afforded no such luxury, stunting their desires. Mikael suggests that rather than men learning techniques to get sex, it’d be better for both parties to work toward a balanced relationship. When each feels carefree, supported, respected, and admired, the sex will just follow naturally.
What do you think? What was your sex life like while dating and in your marriage, and what are you finding now?
Women, has your desire increased, and are you more easily excited than before? What do you think of the “conventional wisdom” that you need an emotional connection to be interested sexually? Is that an outdated concept? Or maybe it depends on who you’re with, and what you’re looking for?
And men, have things changed in your world? Is a flash of cleavage enough to get you going, or are you placing more value on a solid relationship, and feeling good about yourself and connected to your partner? Let’s discuss….