Low sex drive in men more common than the stereotype suggests 9

Men are always thinking about sex and would have sex all the time if possible.

That’s the basic stereotype of a man, always ready to have sex as many times as possible, right?

And yet, it seems that low sex drive amongst men is a far greater issue than that stereotype would have us believe.

According to recent research from the US, one in five men suffer with a very low sex drive, meaning that they find it difficult or impossible to have sex without the aid of medication. The figure for females is thought to be around 33%.

The main causes are attributed to stress, depression, shame, and anger.

Often, if a man feels let down or angry towards his partner, he will either withhold physical sexual relations, or his mindset will be altered such that sex becomes difficult.

It places an incredible strain on a large number of couples, and yet the shame that men feel means that they often won’t seek help. Perceived nagging from a frustrated partner only makes the matter worse.

Of course, sometimes there are obvious physical or medical reasons why sex is difficult or impossible, such as obesity, or certain drugs used for the treatment of diabetes or high blood pressure.

Prescribing pills such as Viagra may help the physical problem around 65% of the time, but do nothing for increasing libido.

“If you’re putting a man down, it reduces his sense of confidence, and with waning confidence comes a drop in sex drive,” says Scott Haltzman, clinical assistant professor of psychiatry at Brown University and author of “The Secrets of Happily Married Women”

Shocked by a 2005 study she read in the British Journal of Urology that stated low desire is actually more common in men than in women — and more important, that it’s often misinterpreted as erectile dysfunction — Weiner Davis teamed up with Redbook magazine to poll 1,000 married women on the subject.

Sixty percent of the women surveyed said they want as much or more sex as their husbands. About 47 percent of high-desire women asked their husbands to get help, but only 19 percent of their husbands were willing to do so. (Of the 27 percent of high-desire men who asked their wives to seek help, 24 percent were willing.) Weiner Davis says she was most struck by how many couples in their 20s were struggling with the issue. Whatever the case, she found that the low-desire partner controls the frequency of sex in the relationship. Also, while performance issues and suspicions of infidelity made the list, the majority of women cited personal issues, stress and depression as reasons for their husbands’ lacking interest.

Sometimes, adding variety into a staid sex life can help men to regain sexual desire for their partners.

Communication – and sympathetic, understanding communication at that – is key to the whole issue.

Suggestions for working through these issues include:

  • Check any medications to see if a possible side effect is diminished sex drive. Antidepressants and high blood pressure treatments can affect libido.
  • See a doctor to rule out depression, vascular diseases and urological or neurological problems. They can all affect sexual performance.
  • There is evidence that male obesity and erectile dysfunction are linked. If you are overweight, change your lifestyle.
  • Consider counseling. If one partner refuses to go, the other should go alone. The relationship will still benefit.
  • Have realistic expectations about marital sex. Research proves it’s not going to be what it was in the first few years.
  • Broaden your definition of sex. Experiment.

From Inside Bay Area

9 thoughts on “Low sex drive in men more common than the stereotype suggests

  • Ben N.

    Kindly educate me on possible medical remedies because, although I can not associate with most of the suggested psychological causes, I have noticed a marked drop in mine for some time now. And even if I do, I can not easily sustain more than thrice in a week.

  • leanna

    My boyfriend has a low sex drive because of pregnancy scares in the past. I told him a million times that I cannot get pregnant even if we tried. But its no use. I know its not hard for him to get an erection but for him having sex is just something he doesn’t want to do and I can’t tell if its my fault. 🙁

  • Nic

    I really need help? I have only been married for 2 months, and we are trying for a child. Before we met, I had no problem with sex, but since I met my wife, my sex drive is gone. She is a bieutifull woman, but its just different? Everytime stress hit me, or now, with expectation to produce for making a baby, I am a total no go in the bedroom!

    I have tried sum pils, but only give uncumfortable pain in bladder, but no erection.

    My wife is getting erretated with this sutuation? My doctor fined no fisical fault????

    What else is there to do?

  • Gem

    i have been dating my partner for several years now and eventhough in all other aspects of our relationship we are extremely happy when it comes to having sex he just doesnt feel the need.
    I feel like i am begging most of the time and crying myself to sleep as i feel undisired and unwanted and ugly. I feel that I feel guilty when confronting him and feel guilty for even mentioning it. When talking about the subject all he can say is that hes sorry and doesnt now why and that it has happened before with other partners. I feel that it it a never ending vicious circle. I love him so much and he loves me. I just dont know what to do. I dont want to give up something as good as what we have got just because of the sex. Its so frustrating.
    Im unable to talk to friends about the issue as it is embarrassing and i hate feeling like im the only one who wants a physical relationship it makes me feel disgusting.
    I dont know whether to just give up.

  • Robin

    I honestly feel like the poster named Gem above. I can almost quote word for word. I sometimes feel like I am overly sexual or have an overdrive sex drive. He never wants it, no matter how hard I try. Recently it has gotten much worse. I am worried because I don’t know how much longer I can go like this. I want to go see a counselor with him but he is too embarrassed. He thinks this is some problem that no other man has. He thinks he is less of a man.
    I love him so much and we do get along great in all other aspects. He gets so embarrassed every time I bring it up and he gets really upset. We have nearly broken up over the issue because he just gets so angry. I have asked him to go to the doctor, told him I would go with him. He still won’t go. He makes up fake illnesses just to avoid sex now. A stomach ache…probably nerves because he knows I am going to ask for it. He is moving in 6 months from now and I hoped to get this fixed by then.
    How do I get him to trust me that we can get through this together. How do I help him get the confidence to get help? What do I do? I don’t want to lose him because of this, and know there are more things to a relationship than sex…but at the same time it has to be a big part too. Otherwise what are we but just good friends who kiss and love each other? I know he loves me and he wishes he could change it himself. I wonder if there is anything I could do myself to help him out too? Are there things I can do to help his arousal or libido? Someone please help.

  • Andy

    It’s going to depend whether the issue is primarily is physical “disorder” or some emotional issue. I’m definitely no expert, but whatever the cause it’s worth him going to see his doctor to ensure there’s nothing wrong. It may be embarrassing, and may involve some kinds of more intimate tests, but it’s definitely worth looking in to.

    He may find some kind of herbal supplements may help – but please note that I am not saying they are right for everyone and it’s worth doing your research.

    One that springs to mind is colloquially known as “horny goat weed” — I think that name speaks for its self! Taken twice daily it is supposed to increase sexual desire / libido, but of course it does depend on what the underlying cause it.

    Of course, if he does go for this option, please make sure he gets it from a reliable source — it should be readily available at health food/natural remedy stores. Other natural remedies are also available.

  • Jo

    I have been married for over ten years to a man who has no interest in sex. We love each other very much and are extremely happy in every other way – but the lack of passion / fulfillment / excitement nearly drives me mad!!
    I’ve had other relationships in the past, with great sex, and I’m pretty uninhibited, but I hate upsettting my husband by mentioning that I’d like him to make love to me once in a while. We both end up crying, he says he’s sorry, and the next day it’s all forgotten and nothing ever gets done about it. It’s a vicious circle!
    I just don’t have any answers – does ANYONE??
    Please don’t bother to suggest he goes to the doctor; he won’t, and anyway there’s nothing wrong with him physically. He can get an erection OK, but just has no desire for sex. It is SO frustrating, and unfair. Possibly even selfish to deprive someone of their needs, someone you’re supposed to love? I’m often at my wits’ end over this.

  • Andy

    No, it definitely sounds non-physical in nature. I really don’t know what to suggest. If you can begin to talk it through (rather than simply aplogising to one another) then maybe that’s a start, though it may not be enough in itself.

    There does have to be some compromise here – as you say, if he loves you then he should give something to you.

    Does he actually enjoy sex? Perhaps it’s the “build up” / foreplay that’s problematic in some way (I know that’s all part of a sexual relationship, but stereotypically for guys it can be quite separate)

    Going to see a counsellor together might help, but if your husband is reluctant to see anyone about it, that might cause more problems in itself.

    Anyone else have any suggestions?

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