An older Tibetan man recently asked me what I thought about increasing divorces in Tibetan marriages, especially among couples fifty and over. The basic basic problem, he observed, is that women seem to want to stop having sex at some point in the marriage but the man wants to keep going. His friend was in exactly this situation, which he tried to solve by having an affair with a younger woman. Unfortunately, the affair wasn’t great for the marriage either. His question was whether women always lose interest in sex at a certain age and what men can do to hold their attention.
I’m too shy to go around asking women fifty and over, but I don’t think the issue is about age. The real issue comes when women don’t have a history of enjoying sex over the course of a relationship. If sex is something that happens between a couple when the man wants, anytime the man wants, and the focus is on the man having a good time, it shouldn’t be a surprise if the woman eventually decides she’s had enough. The attitude that sex is for men, and the women’s job is to let men take care of their business, has to change. Some men think women don’t even like sex no matter what. That is totally not true. If men pay attention to a woman’s feelings, women can be just as interested in sex as men are.
The first part of the solution for this problem is that men need to recognize when it’s a good time for the woman or not. If it’s not, that needs to be respected every time. Work for it, show her a little romance. A good time will come for sure if the man makes an effort. Next, the couple should communicate. If two people can have sex, they should be able to talk too. If you want to know what the other person in the relationship likes, trying asking. Finally, Tibetan men need to learn to respect their partner’s privacy about what happens in privacy. When the woman knows her boyfriend or husband is going to go out and describe every detail of their sex life to his friends she isn’t going to feel comfortable.