I am a 52-year-old man in a loving relationship with my female partner, who is 49. While we have great intimacy and companionship, we don’t have sexual intimacy as my partner has gone through perimenopause and has no sex drive. This has been the case for two to three years, and though I have maintained my faithfulness (and masturbate for sexual relief), I miss sexual experiences with her. I haven’t put any pressure on my partner to have sex and I do not want to sleep with any other woman. However, I am bisexual and was thinking of having sex with another man as a friend with benefits. When I raised this with my partner, who knows about my bisexuality, she became extremely upset. I feel lost. I love her deeply but do not know what to do. Should I just give up on sex and celebrate the deep intimacy we have in our relationship?
Become a supporter and advocate for your partner in helping her to recover her sexual interest – assuming that is what she wants. You can start by encouraging her to seek a consultation with a sex therapist, or with a sexual medicine specialist who could assess the role that dwindling sex hormones might be playing in her loss of libido and offer treatment. There may well be other factors affecting her sexual response but most are treatable; you just have to investigate this. It is unnecessary for you both to be suffering in this way. The loss of a couple’s sex life can be devastating and can lead to great misery, so I recommend you take action immediately.
If you would like advice from Pamela on sexual matters, send us a brief description of your concerns to [email protected] (please don’t send attachments). Each week, Pamela chooses one problem to answer, which will be published online. She regrets that she cannot enter into personal correspondence. Submissions are subject to our terms and conditions.