Q: I am a 46 yr old male going on 11 yrs of marriage. I do not have a good sexual drive. What should I look into to help pick up my desire and drive? I have a great wife who has way more drive then I do.
A: Allow me to do something that I rarely do in this blog. Rather than answering the question myself, I direct you to two books.
First, I strongly suggest you get a copy of Men’s Sexual Health by McCarthy and Metz because it will answer your question, and many of the other questions that come with it, in much greater detail than I can in this column. I know both these clinician/researchers and have become friends with Barry McCarthy. Though our views aren’t always the same — mine fit within my Christian world view — I deeply respect what Barry and Michael have to share. Order a copy online or pick one up at your bookstore. If you find a statement that doesn’t jibe with your world view (for example, if you are Christian and something they suggest contradicts your value system), dismiss it for your situation and move on to thier next point.
Just the other day I consulted with Barry McCarthy before submitting an article about pornography to a Christian web site. These men have good sense, tons of research, and pull no punches in sharing with me what we men need to know about sexuality throughout our lives.
Second, you may wish to look in your library for The Science of Orgasm, by Komisaruk, Beyer-Flores, and Whipple. They explore the medical and scientific research about orgasm for both men and women. I have talked with Beverly Whipple and honor her for being listed as one of the fifty most influential scientists in the world. The world view of these three authors isn’t that of mine as a Christian, but their work is definitely a valid contribution to the knowledge we need about sex.
In chapter fifteen, Herbal Therapies, they discuss a few herbal products that have been tested in humans in double-blind, placebo-controlled studies. Obviously, I will not replicate their chapter here, but I will share a few points you may find interesting.
(You MUST not try any of the following products without first consulting your medical professional. Each has side effects and if you have certain conditions these side effects could be disastrous. Got it? Don’t use any of these without medical advice from the physician or pharamcist who knows your conditions and meds you take.)
Of gingkgo biloba they write, “While more comprehensive and well-controlled studies are required, it seems that gingko may be one of the few herbs that have aphrodisiac properties.” However, it does not always have that affect and not do so for you. If your medical professional agrees and you try gingko biloba to enhance your sexual desire, you may wish to use Gingkoba because it is a German brand and in Germany this is a prescription drug. That likely makes it of very good quality. Also remember that the herb’s effect may not come until you’ve taken it for several weeks.
The authors refer to a study of the men’s version of ArginMax over a four-week period in which a sexual function questionnaire demonstrated an 89 percent increase in the ability to maintain an erection, a 75 percent increase in satisfaction with overall sex live, and a 20 percent increase in number of orgasms. For a study of the women’s version of ArginMax they wrote, “Significant improvements in the ArginMax treatement group were also reported in sexual desire, reduction of vaginal dryness, frequency of sexual intercourse, and orgasm.”
That means that ArginMax may be more valid for women who wish to increase their sexual desire than for men.
Remember that various medicines one takes may affect his sexual desire. Ask your physician about how each of the meds you are on affects sex drive and ask if their are others he may transfer you to that have less effect. Similarly, be aware that your own physical condition, especially being overweight, will definitely negatively affect your sexual desire. Change to the right meds and get the exercise you need and you may not need anything else to make your sexual desire increase.
Finally, there is good indication that an active and fulfilling sex life leads to stronger sexual desire. Initiate sexual activity even when you are “not in the mood” and it may well be that your desire increases in a few weeks just by increasing your sexual activity.