Is too much sex a good thing?


By DR G

As we welcome the year of the monkey, we will also hope to usher in an abundance of health, wealth and good fortune. 

But how much exactly is enough? “Abundance”, is defined in the Oxford Dictionary as: “The state or condition of having copious quantity or plentiful of something”. Is it possible to achieve abundance of health, wealth and good fortune? Is there a limit? 

Franklin Roosevelt, the American Statesman and political hero, who won a record four presidential elections, once said: “The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much, it is whether we provide enough for those have little.” Again, this begged the question: “What is considered abundance and what defines enough?” 

On the eve of the Chinese New Year, we venture into a taboo subject of sexual health and try to delineate whether there is such a thing as an abundance of sex? Will too much of a good thing finally become an addiction?

 

Dear Dr. G,

I am a healthy sixty-seven-year old man.

I am blessed with a great marriage and an active sex life even into my late sixties.

I have no hypertension, no cholesterol issues nor diabetes. I exercise regularly and am not on any medication. I have a relaxed life and am even more relaxed after my recent retirement.

I have a very large appetite for sexual intimacy. My wife and I have been married for 35 years and we still have sexual encounters three or four times a week.

My wife is worried about me. Although we still enjoy the relationship, my wife thinks I should be slowing down now and what is happening to me is not normal.

She thinks I have a hormone over-supply or sexual addiction that will need medical attention.

I think she is getting a bit tired of the sex, since menopause and this is putting a strain on our relationship.

Is such active sex life at my age abnormal? Am I turning into Michael Douglas?

Do I have sex addiction? Is it treatable?

Please help.

Regards

M

 

Michael Douglas played sexually driven characters in two movies, namely Basic Instinct and Fatal Attraction. In a possible case of life imitating art, Douglas was hounded by the British Press for having sexual addiction, and reportedly entered sex rehab in 1993. In his biography, Douglas denied the addiction for sex and instead confessed checking in to Sierra Tucson clinic for alcohol addiction instead. 

Like all addictions, sexual addiction is a conceptual model that describes compulsive participation of an activity despite negative consequences, in this case sexual activity. Clinicians, psychiatrists, urologists and sexologists all have deferring opinions on the issues related to sex addiction and clinical diagnosis of such addictions. 

In reality, sexual addiction is a condition that involves sufferers becoming excessively preoccupied with thoughts or behavior that give a desired sexual effect. According to some statistics, apparently more than 30mil people are thought to suffer from sexual addiction. According to some clinicians, sexual addiction may be due to biological, psychological and social triggers. 

Many sufferers with sexual addiction (in fact most addictions) may benefit from the support and structure of a recovery group. Some clinicians may also recommend cognitive behavioral therapy. When sexual compulsion becomes severe, antidepressants, anti-seizure medicines and even hormone suppressions may be useful. 

In reality, although M’s wife is concerned about the undiminishing sexual appetite of her husband, there has been no evidence of compulsion in his sexual desire nor negative consequences from the relationship. Truthfully, I think M is just a healthy man who has healthy sexual ability, performance and appetite. 

The great Greek Philosopher and the founder of the school of philosopher, Epicurus, once said: “Not what we have, But what we enjoy, constitute abundance”. Dr G’s advice to M is, enjoy the abundance in your life! (You lucky sod!) And of course, may the Chinese New Year bring all of us abundance of health and wealth, inside or outside the bedroom!

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