The study found that, 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.”
“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.”
Sex therapist Ammanda Major said losing interest in sex wasn’t necessarily abnormal.
“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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“For men, this lack of interest was highest at the ages of 35-44 while for women it peaked between 55 and 64.”
Researchers from the University of Southampton and University College London note that there was no evidence that menopause was a factor for women. However, they did find that having young children at home was a major turn-off for women.
According to the reports, “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.”
Is your sex life suffering?
Here are 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