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By Chandrama Anderson

E-mail Chandrama Anderson

About this blog: I am a LMFT specializing in couples counseling and have lived in and around Palo Alto since 1969. I worked in high-tech at Apple, Stanford University, and in Silicon Valley for 15 years before becoming a therapist. My background i...  (More)

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“Wanting Sex Again"

Uploaded: Jun 4, 2014
The question isn't IF we will ever have sexual issues, but when. Just as all relationships require work, so will our sex life. And at times, we may need outside help, such as books or counseling.

I am recommending this book because this is the best sex book for couples I've found so far.

While the focus is on women re-gaining their sex lives and women's libido, it is educational and filled with useful information for any couple. The case studies discuss men's and women's perspectives very well.

As you're reading, replace the gender as it makes sense for your situation. Plenty of men have low libido, too.

As with all books I recommend, take what's useful and ignore the rest.

I am in no way implying that many women have low-libido – it just happens to be the thrust of this useful book.

For example, did you know that for most women it takes 20 minutes for her to get aroused, and then another 20 minutes for her to orgasm with direct stimulation to the clitoris?

Watson's book covers everything from preparing to have intercourse for the first time, to pain issues, to menopause, to low libido in women and men. As I mentioned, the book is geared toward female libido issues, but men's issues are discussed too. Both men's and women's concerns and points-of-view are presented well.

I found that I got a lot more out of Wanting Sex Again when I read through from cover to cover (vs. picking and choosing to read sections) as Watson builds the education from chapter to chapter.

Keeping sex alive, passionate, and pleasurable over a long marriage is an important part of intimacy and bonding. Sex can be fun as well as good for us – physically, emotionally, mentally, and even spiritually.

A couple having a healthy sexual relationship also is good for their family; when parents are happy, kids are, too. I am not advocating that you discuss your sex life with your kids. I'm saying that kids' radar about their parents' state of mind and heart are always on and tracking. And age-appropriate conversations and education about sex are important for kids so they grow up with healthy attitudes and accurate information to be safe and healthy.

Happy reading. And happy sex life.

CON: Focus on women with low libido. (Of course this is also the intent of the book, so it's only a "con" from a couple's perspective.)

PROs: Educational, factual, informative, portrays couple interactions in case studies.

Comments

 +  Like this comment
Posted by pun intented?, a resident of Community Center,
on Jun 9, 2014 at 11:03 pm

"it just happens to be the thrust of this useful book"


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Susan, a resident of Fairmeadow,
on Jun 11, 2014 at 1:49 pm

A good vibrator, with my husband participating, always worked for me. Don't forget the K-Y, and a lot of nasty talk! Good sex is play and play acting, no need to make it serious. Hide the salami, then get a good night's sleep.

Why try to make it complicated?


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Susan, a resident of Fairmeadow,
on Jun 12, 2014 at 12:27 pm

Chandrama,

Please answer my question: Why try to make it complicated?

You seem to want it to be much less enjoyable than it can be. It is such a natural act, so why try to complicate it with demands, guilt and so forth?


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Chandrama Anderson, a Palo Alto Online blogger,
on Jun 12, 2014 at 12:51 pm

Chandrama Anderson is a registered user.

Hi Susan, Thanks for writing in.

When people are having happy uncomplicated sex, it is pleasurable, fun, lovely, hot, etc. I'm not sure where the demands and guilt come in . . . ?

It is my experience as a couples counselor, that:

- One's sexual relationship parallels one's emotional relationship. Meaning that if we are close and connected, sex is close and connected. But if we are fighting or distant, or have grown apart, then our sex life will be like that, too.

- Many people, even here in Silicon Valley, are not well-educated sexually, nor are they comfortable talking about their sex life. E.g., It's not uncommon to ONLY want to have sex in the dark, due to embarrassment or lack of information. Oral sex or masturbation is often not talked about.

- When sex and love hormones are running the brain, sex is literally a no-brainer. We want it often, are experimental, and happy.

- Menopause can interfere with libido. Pain can cause women to shy away from sex.

- A spouse who feels s/he's carrying too much of the load of the family/household/financial pressure, might not be that interested in sex.

- A spouse who is anxious, or gets yelled at, or is criticized by his or her spouse might not be that interested in sex.

- Everyone has differing libido, and libido changes over time and circumstantially -- many times over the life of a marriage.

- Health issues affect sex.

Susan, you sound very comfortable with your sexuality, and I am glad for you and your husband. If anything changes, "Wanting Sex Again" may be a good resource.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by CrescentParkAnon., a resident of Crescent Park,
on Jun 16, 2014 at 1:35 am

When will we get it through out heads that sex and monogamy/marriage are ... orthogonal, i.e. working at cross-purposes. Since it is such a big myth in our culture most people at least try to do what they think is expected of them, but the numbers says that does not work ... and probably it does not work because of the pressures of modern life now, not to mention how good people are at acting and politics ... I am amazed that the whole idea doesn't just blow up. When the world moves to fast people become just things to other people, and relationships become acting. There's just nothing acceptable that people will believe enough in to give up their comfortable misery yet. What we really ought to have in our society is accepted ways to talk about and suggest options for lifestyles ... maybe the closest we have to this is the reality show which is kind of serving the purpose of the laborites of democracies the states were envisioned as doing.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Chandrama Anderson, a Palo Alto Online blogger,
on Jun 17, 2014 at 1:20 pm

Chandrama Anderson is a registered user.

Hi CrescentParkAnon, I appreciate you bringing another viewpoint to monogamy. It is true that people live much longer, and that we don't need to ensure enough helpers to work our farm. Many young people have been through the divorce of their parents, and it is painful at any age. I believe that the important thing about sex and monogamy is to be explicit with our partner(s) about what we do commit to -- and to keep those commitments. At times, people, especially women, agree to things they don't actually want (e.g., sharing their partner). So please, tell the truth about what you want and need and find acceptable, even if it means losing someone you love. Of course, safe sex is critical to all of us, no matter what arrangement we have.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by CrescentParkAnon., a resident of Crescent Park,
on Jun 17, 2014 at 10:49 pm

> At times, people, especially women, agree to things they don't actually want (e.g., sharing their partner).

Well, to hear you tell it, it's men who are pushing women to do things that they do not really agree to. So just to be fair I will mention acase of a friend of mine who told every one of his girlfriends going way back that he did not wish to have children, due to his family life as a child he did not feel he would make a good parent. Yet, the women who knew him and both who married him eventually broke up because they did want to have children.

So, I just made this effort to point out that people do not always know what they want or what they can live forever with. It's not really their fault if they really did not know themselves well enough, and since you cannot ever tell whether someone does know themselves or whether you know yourself well enough to play adult, there are a heck of a lot of people out in the world playing at something they have no idea of what they doing.

Especially these days, we are programmed by the media to respond like Pavlov's dogs to all the stimuli we receive, we absorb fairy tales and myths, movies, commercial and at the other ends Internet porn and all kinds of ideas that are usually someone else's agenda that we try to make sense of, when all the greatest scientists of the world have never made much headway. And that just gets us to the point where we produce more kids for the greater glory of whatever country or tribe we belong to.

It's no big wonder why people after a certain point when the reality starts to seep in might have some confusion about what they want, or that the other person wants, or what should be wanted or not wanted at all. We live in a crazy time, and some people are great at just going with whatever they want and leaving the problems with everyone else, and some people want to take responsibility for everyone else, and between those poles are everyone else in between.

So, great idea to tell the truth about who we are, but I think we live in a world where most people feel they have to lie ... i.e. to misrepresent themselves in some way, to act, to play a part to get a chance at love, and even then it's just a chance ... in this new "marketplace" of capitalistic shopping mall love. Maybe that's why so many people just fantasize or create the illusion that whoever they are with knows them instinctually well enough that they do not have to say anything. And then there's the fact that most people really do not know themselves at all, and it doesn't seem to matter that much.

Good luck to all! ;-)


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Chandrama Anderson, a Palo Alto Online blogger,
on Jun 18, 2014 at 7:27 am

Chandrama Anderson is a registered user.

I apologize if I made it sound like men are pushing women -- I did not mean that.

More to my point, in the example you gave, the man was explicit from the get-go that he didn't want to have children. I was trying to say that girls may be brought up not to be explicit, and then hope (challenge) that she will get what she wants.

As I write this, I see we are going deeper into a hole of miscommunication that comes from lack of face-to-face conversation with eye contact, body language, etc.

Believe me, I have seen both men's and women's behavior that is difficult for those around them. However, for most, it is difficult inside, too.

Many of us wear masks or personas in the fervent wish to be loved. I urge you to be a genuine and authentic 'adult' so whomever you are in relationship with can love the authentic you.

I was told by another therapist that when she did counseling for refugees, they wanted to talk about whether s/he was loved by so-and-so.

Love IS our primal need.

As humans, we do get distracted by shiny objects (and there are more and more to choose from).

It's truly hard work to know oneself. It's probably a life-long process. Oh well; at least we have our whole life to do so.

Your efforts at your own definition of genuine love is dropping a pebble in a pond . . . It's worth it, you're worth it.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by CrescentParkAnon., a resident of Crescent Park,
on Jun 18, 2014 at 3:45 pm

> I apologize if I made it sound like men are pushing women -- I did not mean that.

I know you did not, but I felt like maybe the other side needed some mention. I didn't mean to accuse or anything. My own experience as a single older male is that women can push men just as hard. When I have begun to date women almost immediately the "M" word comes up ... long before the "S" word does! ;-)

It's really tough to date, but it's even tougher to be friends so that one might get a chance to get to know someone because when or if people do pair off they often forget or drop their single friends, understandably I suppose. I am not even sure this is a communication thing. Maybe you just get a feeling for what something is thinking and try to talk about it is to overthink stuff you cannot really know or control anyway. And in a long-term relationship it's not really easier because of sticky patterns.

> I urge you to be a genuine and authentic 'adult' so whomever you are in relationship with can love the authentic you.

Good point, sounds good, or at least act like you think one should act. ;-)


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Chandrama Anderson, a Palo Alto Online blogger,
on Jun 18, 2014 at 4:09 pm

Chandrama Anderson is a registered user.

If you're interested in reading about neuroscience and couples, talking, patterns, etc., check out 'Books Recommended by Connect2' (http://chandramaanderson.com/books/books-recommended-by-connect2/), and start with any of the top four.

I agree that dating is tough. I hear the particulars in my office. And we all want and need love.



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