When your lover is not in the mood...

What you need to know:

  • Couples need to continually renegotiate intimacy levels that satisfy them both. Because intimacy isn’t only about feeling good — it also benefits your bones and muscles

Love and passion are all in your mind. That rush of instant attraction. The longing for an absent lover.

They’re all due to hormones like testosterone, adrenaline and phenylethylamine that make you feel desire.

But men and women produce them under different circumstances. So is it any wonder that lovers fall out so often?

Both men and women are also hugely affected by their separate lives.

If she hates her job, or he has money worries. If the children won’t stop misbehaving, or he’s just had a bad day.

Worse still, men and women’s time scales are different. So his feelings about his partner centre around what she did or said today. While hers reflect their interactions over several months.

Desire also varies enormously over our lifetimes. His peaks in his late teens, and slowly falls thereafter.

Hers is surprisingly low in her teens. She’s hugely interested in romance, that’s for sure, but with little real desire.

But her libido slowly rises to a peak somewhere around her fortieth birthday, when it’s often greater than a man’s of the same age.

So right through into their thirties, most women complain that their men want way too much sex. But soon after that the roles are reversed.

Now she wants more than him, and she’s also likely to be at her most assertive. So now he feels used and complains that she’s become far too demanding!

On top of all that, men’s and women’s interests vary all the time for lots of other reasons. Stress, tiredness, even the time of day. No wonder intimacy is such a minefield!

But it is important. So couples need to continually re-negotiate intimacy levels that satisfy them both. Because intimacy isn’t only about feeling good. It benefits your bones and muscles, protects your cardiovascular system, and relieves headaches and anxieties. Making love doesn’t just feel nice, it leads to a longer and less stressful life!

But the negotiation isn’t easy. Because men and women have different needs. He wants sex to unwind and relax.

So a woman who wants an intelligent conversation with her man is better starting it after they’ve been intimate. When his brain’s clearer and he’s less assertive, more caring and tuned in to her.

Women need just the reverse. Her enjoyment is hugely increased by a slow build-up of tension. Lots of attention, affection, compliments, touching and talk.

It’s hard for men to understand how much time women need to get into the mood. Afterwards she’s still on a hormonal high and wants to go on touching and cuddling.

While his hormone levels are falling and he wants to settle down. But getting these differences right is worth all the effort. Because when a loving couple enjoy real intimacy, everything about the whole relationship goes well.

No problem is too great to solve. Their commitment increases and stress levels fall. It may only be chemistry, but it’s worth it’s weight in gold!