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Still satisfied with sex? Your questions answered Add to ...

According to Statistics Canada, the older a single person is, the less likely he or she is to use a condom when having sex. What’s more, between 1997 and 2007, sexually transmitted infection rates rose faster for middle-aged Canadians than for their younger peers.

Dr. Robin Milhausen, associate professor of family relations and human sexuality at the University of Guelph in Ontario, studies these, and other, issues.

Dr. Milhausen completed her PhD in Applied Health Science at Indiana University. Her dissertation research focused on factors that inhibit and enhance sexual arousal in men and women. Her current research interests include gender and sexuality, sexual problems and the experience of sexual pleasure, sexual and relationship satisfaction in couples, and condom use errors and problems. She edits the newsletter Sexual Science and was a co-host on the Life Network’s Sex, Toys & Chocolate show. The following is a transcript of our live chat with her.

12:51

Niamh O'Doherty - Hi, my name is Niamh O'Doherty and I'll be hosting the chat today with Dr. Robin Milhausen. We'll be starting in ten minutes. Please feel free to submit your questions now.

12:53

[Comment From Robin Milhausen ]

Hi Niamh! And welcome to the discussion, everyone!

12:58

Niamh O'Doherty - Come on readers, don't be shy!

1:00

Niamh O'Doherty - Okay Robin, I'll start the ball rolling. Do you think mature adults get embarrassed buying condoms?

1:00

[Comment From Robin Milhausen]

I think people of all ages get a little embarrassed buying condoms. I had to buy 10 packages at once for a study I was doing and I was a little mortified in the lineup at the drugstore!

1:01

[Comment From Robin Milhausen]

Buying condoms is an admission that you are sexually active and planning to have sex, and that's not an admission that many of us make publicly.

1:01

[Comment From Robin Milhausen]

It can be harder for older, and younger (adolescent), persons because our society doesn't like to think of these groups as sexually active.

1:03

Niamh O'Doherty - While we're waiting for live questions, here's one from the comments: reader private1117 says: "My wife and I are in our early 40s, fit with two children under 10. We are still in love and good friends and live a happy but busy life. My wife feels that sexual intimacy once per month is normal and enough for us, however I would prefer a higher frequency of intimacy (even if it did not always lead to intercourse) - am I way off base? any suggestions?"

1:04

[Comment From Robin Milhausen]

This issue is actually the one that is raised with me the most often, and it's a hard one.

1:04

[Comment From Robin Milhausen]

It's hard to imagine two people having the same appetite for anything (say, food for example) at the same time, in the same amount. Yet we assume that our sex drives should be perfectly in sync with our partners'.

1:04

[Comment From Robin Milhausen]

Often this isn't the case.

1:05

[Comment From Robin Milhausen]

I look at sexuality from a holistic perspective, so I ask couples and individuals to think about the factors which are negatively impacting their desire. Are they physical (e.g., illness, health status)?

1:05

[Comment From Robin Milhausen]

Are they emotional (e.g., mood issues, depression)?

1:06

[Comment From Robin Milhausen]

Are they relational (e.g., conflict or misunderstandings with partner)?

1:06

[Comment From Robin Milhausen]

Are they situational (e.g., young kids at home, caring for aging parents, tough times at work, financial issues)? 1:40

[Comment From Robin Milhausen]

Or even are they structural/social - perhaps one member of the couple has ideas about sex or gender that they grew up with which are getting in the way of having desire. Or they didn't receive adequate sex education.

1:07 [Comment From Robin Milhausen]

The task is to answer these questions for yourself to see where your roadblocks to desire lie, and then to discuss them with your partner to find a way to over come them.

1:08 Niamh O'Doherty - Thanks Robin. Readers, please feel free to submit any questions or comments you might have.



1:08 [Comment From Robin Milhausen]

Often people hope for a magic pill or other medical solution - but very often, the desire problem is not medical in nature. The real solution is likely to be harder work, relying on communication, compromise, self-analysis.

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