Dear Dr G,

I am hoping to put you on the spot to address the issues of my dwindling sex life.

I am 50-year old man, who is fit and healthy.

I have a younger wife in her late 30s, and we enjoy a wonderful sex life.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not really complaining. I get morning erection, good libido, I don’t suffer from erectile dysfunction and I ejaculate normally.

In the last two years, I have noticed something really strange in my sex life.

It’s really difficult to explain, but I noticed the intensity of my climax is getting less intense. In recent years, I noticed when I ejaculate; the feeling of climax is simply not how it used to be.

I have been to some doctors. Some of them told me it’s all in my mind. Others asked me to accept such phenomena as the unavoidable fact of getting old.

So, let me put you on the spot one week before Chinese New Year – Is sexual climax just like the excitement of festivity, will it dwindle off with age?

Can you tell me what is the reason for such decrease in the intensity of climax?

Can something be done to improve it?

Looking forward to your views.



Orgasm derived from the Greek word “orgasmos” referring to the response of “excitement and swelling”. Physiologically, sexual orgasm is characterised by the “point of no return” during sexual cycle, when the rhythmic muscular contraction is induced in the pelvic region, accompanied by sexual pleasure. In fact, at least 26 definitions of orgasm is listed in the Journal of Clinical Psychology Review, reflecting even the experts are also struggling to agree on what defines orgasm.

Sexual climax is the involuntary response to sex, controlled by autonomic nervous system “measured” by the level of euphoria in the brain, and the degree of muscular contractions in the overall bodily musculature and vocalisation.

In the clinical context, the degree of orgasm is measurable by the pattern of change in the heart rate, blood pressure and depth of respiration.

In reality, to study the changes of such parameters in men (and women) in real time is impractical and near impossible! Unless the participants really like to be wired up and monitored during sex!

The dwindling intensity of sexual climax is well described and widely reported, especially as men ages. Several theories had been proposed to outline the possible reasons behind the phenomena. Some clinicians suggest men’s excitement of sex dampens when they have the same partners for too long.

This is compounded with the distractions of other priorities in life such as jobs, money and family. As the brain, the biggest sex organ, is mainly responsible for achieving the climax, such dampening of intensity is hardly surprising! Besides, the brain also interprets the perception of orgasm; hence the quality of climax can certainly be influenced by external factors that influence the mind.

In a study in Archives of Sexual Behaviour, older men who sometimes or rarely engage in sexual touching were reported to have 2.4 times more trouble reaching orgasm then men who always hugged, kissed and caress their partners.

Clearly, in many relationships, couples take each other for granted and ignore such affections that can lead to the diminishing of sexual excitement.

In another study in Andrology, the natural decline in testosterone with age was thought to be responsible for lowering the intensity of climax.

Moreover, the decline in the male hormone may also lead to weight gain and negative self-bodily image leading to declining intensity of climax.

On the other hand, men who continue to exercise regularly into the advancing years are observed to produce endorphins in the brain that will enhance the intensity of orgasm!

In the weekend leading to Chinese New Year, many would consider the routine of yearly rituals may be a “same-old- same old” and has dampened the intensity of the spirit of the festivity!

The American writer and theologian, Thomas Merton once said: “Happiness is not a matter of intensity but of balance, order, rhythm and harmony.”

When Dr G is put on the spot to revive the intensity of orgasm despite advancing age; his advice is simply: “Sexual climax is not a matter of intensity. When one can focus on the balance of less distraction in life, order of regular exercise, rhythm of healthy diet and harmony of sexual affection, the intensity will definitely return to its formal glory.

On that note, I wish everyone an “intense and climactic” Chinese New Year!


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