This is the second post featuring Pat Love, an aptly-named expert on relationships and author of many books including “Hot Monogamy” with Jo, and “The Truth About Love.” In a recent interview, we talked about how sex changes for many women in their 40s.
PAT LOVE: Two-thirds of women don’t feel like having sex until orgasm is imminent. Right before orgasm, you think, “Oh this is so much fun, I’m going to do it again, why did I wait so long?” you know, you do that little mantra to yourself. And once you have an orgasm, you have lots of memories.
In fact, I was asked at the Lake Austin Spa, which is a wonderful world-class spa where I was speaking, and I was talking on the subject of sex over 40, and I got to thinking about it, and I thought, sex before 40, is not as relevant, as distinct as sex after 40. Because being with the same person has a lot more parameters and consequences than sex after 40, because whether you’re 40 or 50 or 70 or 20, you’ve been dealt this hand of hormones, and I was so it’s not like, “I was so sexy in my 20’s or 30’s and it’s going to go downhill.” It’s not like that at all. You’ve been dealt a hand of hormones. And whether you’re more estrogen-dominant or testosterone dominant, it’s going to determine your walking-around physical urge to engage in sex. I talked to six women. One high-testosterone woman was saying, “When my husband and I get really bitchy at each other, I realize, hey, we need to go to bed.” And the other says, “Well how can have sex with him when you’re mad at him?” and she says, “Well, honey, that’s what makes it better!” That’s a high testosterone woman; you can just see it too. They look different.
But you know most women they try to understand their sexuality in their 40’s, you have new relationships … because there are two types of people in the world. There are the autogenic and the psychogenic pathways to arousal. The autogenic is that person that walks around with a sex-ready body. It’s the more testosterone dominant hormone hand. These are the nice guys, the sensitive guys, the very emotional guys, the guys who like to talk about feelings, I’m not talking about gay, I’m talking heterosexual: they’re more estrogen dominant, and they have the psychogenic arousal pattern. They do need the contact. They want to talk, they want to be close, they have to have affection, and they have to have their stress lowered.
In your 40’s, you start to get more curious, a lot of tasks are already done, you have time for yourself, and you’re still young, and you might feel frisky and you want that romance, or you want sexual passion, and you start to be investigative. And you’re still menstruating, so maybe you have these little bumps in elevation around sex drive and you want that to be there all the time, and you’re wondering where the female Viagra is.
And so I think there’s a lot of sexual curiosity, and a lot of sexual unrest and sexual dissatisfaction in your 40’s. One because you have time to think about it, and two you’ve been with someone you’ve probably had 10 years of complaints by now, and that is a complaint by women in their 40’s. And most women when they get to gather, they talk about, “Ain’t it awful, why does he want sex?” if you’re in a heterosexual relationship, “Why does he want sex more than I do and it’s all he thinks about?” But then you have that girlfriend or two who says “Well, I’m the one who wants sex more, and I get my feelings hurt and I don’t feel attractive, because my partner doesn’t desire sex like I do.” Opposites attract, not just with sex drive, it’s personality characteristics. They go with the sex drive, with the hormones.
VANESSA: A tantra class probably has a lot more 40-year-old people in it than 20-year-old people.
PAT: Yes it does. I think part of it is that you’re more confident and you’re proactive, and you still feel young in your body, and you’re not ashamed of your body, gravity hasn’t taken over, and, age spots, and all those ugly things that you just get later. I think it’s a fantastic decade for women, and I think we could argue it’s one of the best decades, because 40 is still young. … What I would hope that women in their late 30’s would start buying this, so they can really see what the roadmap would be.