Erectile Dysfunction Expert Forum
no sexual desire
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Questions in the Erection Concerns Forum are being answered by Janice M Epp, PhD, a Clinical Sexologist from The Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality. This forum is for questions and discussions about the psychological aspects of Erection problems or erectile dysfunction.

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no sexual desire

I'm a 60 year male.For the last few months i have no sex drive, and that's not me.Ihad open heart surgery two years ago. I had five bypasses.I take bystolic 5mg a day.Enalapril 10mg twicedaily,and lipitor 10mg once a day.I also take some herbs,plus flaxseed oil,fish oil and a multi-vitamin.My bloodwork is always good and my blood pressure is also good, plus i try to exercise ever other day.I also dream alot and sometimes feel down the dumps when i wake up.Do you think the medication might be causing this problem,or is it because i'm getting older? Thank you
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Hi there.

I can't answer your questions about medication. For answers about medication, I suggest you try one of the other expert forums, such as "Ask a Pharmacist":

http://www.medhelp.org/forum_disclaimers/show/296

Here's a few words about the concept of "sex drive":

I’m not sure what you mean by “sex drive,” since there really is no such thing. Sex isn’t like a car; we don’t drive it. You’re either referring to not being interested in sex in general, or not WANTING sex—either with yourself or with a partner. First, you need to figure out which of these is true for you.

Since you're taking so many medications, it's possible that some of them are interfering with your energy level—especially for the first few months of taking it. And, of course, low energy can affect your emotional state, which, in turn, can affect sexual desire.
If you’re interested in sex in general (think about it daily, etc.), but feel no desire to actually BE sexual with others—then perhaps nothing turns you on at this point in your life. That’s understandable. We often go through periods where our desires may take a break—especially when we’re dealing with the aftermath of serious illness.

Another possibility is that your partner doesn’t currently turn you on. It may be helpful for you to take an inventory of characteristics about your partner(s) you’ve found attractive or interesting in the past. Are these still the case, or have things changed? Are you feeling like you SHOULD be turned on regardless?

And, of course, many other factors can influence desire. You might also examine what else has been happening in your life that may have affected you. Are you content with yourself, with your life, with your relationships? Are there any family or work crises?

In addition, be aware that anxiety is the enemy of good sex. If you’re feeling anxious or unsure of yourself, your desire for sex will be affected. Or you may have conflicting feelings about being sexual, based on earlier issues in your life. Or you may actually FEEL desire, but suppress it, due to feeling conflicted. Are you aware of any reasons you may have for avoiding sex?

There could be other reasons you’re not turned on: Men receive so many messages that sex is about “performance” and pleasing a partner, rather than just enjoying the pleasure of it. Everything is goal-oriented—like a football game. The other message that many men receive is that sex is somehow dirty and wrong, unless you’re doing it for reproductive purposes. Sometimes this can creep into our unconscious thoughts and sabotage any pleasure.

So, to recap: you may have negative attitudes about sex in general, or you may have performance issues or be bored or frustrated. Think about the issues I’ve raised and see if any are true for you. Remember not to put pressure on yourself. Maybe it’s good for you to take a break. Give yourself permission to go slow in deciding when you want to jump back into the deep end of the pool.

I’m wondering what YOU think is contributing to your lack of desire and whether you’ve taken any actions to try to change it. You noted mentioned getting older. Sometimes we feel less sexy when we hit our 60s because the media portray people as being desirable only when they're younger. This can create a subconscious feeling of unattractiveness and even hopelessness. Watching movies with older men like Harrison Ford or Pierce Brosnan can help remind you that 60 is the new--whatever. You can be sexy at 60, or 80. Just look at Sean Connery. Remember: attitude is everything

You’ve probably got more insight than you realize. Desire is a very ephemeral quality, and only you can discover what’s inhibiting it for you and whether you want to do anything to change the situation. Best of luck to you. Dr. J
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