Don’t Give Up on Sex

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs was first published in 1943. He based his research on observations of rhesus monkeys at the University of Wisconsin. He established that the most basic physiological needs are the solid platform from which one can reach higher goals. Without satisfying basic needs of food, drink, sex, air and sleep, we are unable to move towards self actualization. This does not change as we age. 

As a psychiatrist, I have noted that while we take care of eating and drinking pretty well, sex is often given up, relegated to the young. Relationships are in mayhem because of it. One partner may need it to feel safe and secure, while the other feels like if it never happens for the rest of life, that would be just fine. 

I would like to make a case for the fact that giving up on a sex life- in whatever form you see it- is not a wise option, especially as we age. I’m focusing on the medicine side of Love + Medicine in this post. Putting on my white coat.

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Why We Need To talk About Sex

Love+Medicine Pillows

recently gave a lecture to a group of physicians about the importance of talking about sex with patients. I believe it should be an integral part of an evaluation of an individuals’ overall health and well-being. We receive so little training about this in medical school. An article was recently published in the New York Times (3/20/2016) entitled “When Did Porn Become Sex Ed?” People are not talking to their parents, their children, or their doctors, so they turn to the Internet.

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