John Twahirwa (not his real name) testifies that, “When we were young married couples in our early 30s, I had no trouble getting sexually aroused whenever an occasion presented itself. When I turned 45, everything in life changed, including our sexual Life.
Later alone he become more and more distant, the conversation with his wife seemed to reduce and he started to think that perhaps they had come to the end of the road with their relationship.
At 45 Twahirwa began to experience a decrease in his ‘sexual ability’. It took him longer to get an erection again after making love, and his orgasms weren’t quite as powerful as before.
During mid-life crisis sometimes “sexual burnout” occurs. This is when sex with a long-term partner becomes boring, the relationship seems emotionally empty, and both may feel tired and sexually inadequate.
Dr. Charles Karara, who works with Clinique la Triade at Remera -Giporoso says most men notice these changes and adjust to them. But some wonder whether they are ‘abnormal’ in some way.
He adds that fears of losing their sexual ability have led many men to leave their wives for younger women to prove to others that they are still sexually capable and desirable.
Dr. Karara says that many men in midlife transition experience deep depression yet they demand to be strong. At the episode of life, many men fail to get help through this time of change. A man that has experienced such change is often radically transformed into being more of a man than he has ever been.
Again the Dr. asserts that there is some evidence that men most affected by the mid-life crisis are those who have given little thought to such inevitable upheavals as ageing and retirement.
Dr. Karara also notes that all men go through these changes at midlife, but it is only when we start to worry about them that they begin to experience sexual crisis.
In other words, “it is the reaction to the changes, rather than the changes themselves, which cause problems”.
Women and sex at midlife
There’s a general idea that women’s sexual desire declines at midlife. This is widely held by the general public but middle age is a developmental stage marked by changes at multiple levels.
Many women report changes in their intimate relationships, as well as in their sexual desire responsiveness and behavior.
Dr. Karara admits when a woman hits midlife, sex isn’t going to stay exactly the same as they age. He emphasizes that not all changes that take place are all negative.
He says that some women as they experience their midlife transition, they experience many changes in both their internal and external lives. Some decide that it is time to end a long term relationship that has become stagnant and failed to grow, or even become destructive.
This leads them to move on to new pastures of self-discovery and self-fulfillment and these new pastures may or may not include a new lover. But reports have it that sex after menopause may be an exciting adventure for some women, whereas for others, the focus becomes sensual and spiritual.
Jessica Nyirarukundo, 45 and a primary teacher by profession through her observation says that women at mid life tend to struggle at first, but eventually they find that they can relax and grow into a renewed physical, sensual being.
She also predicts that when women in midlife are lucky enough to be in a creative, healthy and growing relationship, they and their partners can find a new way of relating sexually and sensually. And often these ways are not only new and exciting, but much more satisfying for both partners than what they had before.