What I mean by the performance-only mode is only having 12-minute intercourse on Friday night, period, without any eye contact. That may be over-stating it, but you get the picture. When you're in those patterns that don't change, it has a ripple effect all through the relationship, and the relationship becomes stuck. She always does the dishes; he always mows the lawn. She always takes care of the children; he always puts the money in the bank. When you get into that kind of rigid role-playing, what happens 10 years, 20 years, 30 years into your relationships is stagnancy. It's as if your body can't move anymore. You begin to get arthritis. You see people walking around who are bent over and stiff, and it's the same thing with couples. You see them in restaurants; they're not talking to each other. They order each other's meals, they become totally predictable, and ultimately either they end up hating each other and hating themselves, or they end up having affairs or getting divorced, or making alliances with their children against one another, their friends against one another.
The real juice of their lives is outside of their relationship. It's in their jobs, or it's in their friends, or their golf games, or they sit endlessly in front of the television and triangulate the relationship in that way. In good, long, healthy lives, people grow and change, and our sexuality needs to grow and change. In our 50s and 60s, we may not be able to perform intercourse they way we used to. He may not be getting big, hard erections. She may have entered menopause and her vaginal secretions aren't what they used to be. But there's more to sex than intercourse and performance. In my survey, the women and men who said they connected their sexuality and spirituality also said their sexual satisfaction gets greater with every decade. The 60-year-olds, the 70-year-olds, even the 80-year-olds, are more satisfied than the 30-year-olds. This flies in direct conflict with what medical people are telling us and what pharmaceutical companies are telling us, and that is that sex goes downhill after the age of 30 or so, and you'd better get medicated, you'd better get counseling—there's something wrong with you. I say there's nothing wrong with you if you're connecting on all cylinders—body, mind, heart and soul. There is no reason why you cannot grow sexually and happily into the sunset of your years.