When the Problem Is a Husband’s Lack of Desire


When the Problem Is a Husband’s Lack of Desire

A lot of people assume that a sex therapist's practice is filled with women who aren't interested in sex.  Perhaps that was once the case, but things have changed over the past decade.  Women have become more comfortable with sex and aren't afraid to ask their partner for what they want.  Today, it's just as often a man who has low desire, and there are several reasons for this.

One is that some men are uncomfortable when a woman is in charge of her own sexual needs.  They may feel intimated by a perceived need to perform up to their partner's standards.  If they are stressed, unhappy, or bothered in some way, they may not feel quite up to task.  They begin to feel inadequate and avoid have sex altogether.


Stress is another factor that kills libido.  The economic crisis of the past few years hasn't helped most men in their careers.  Some men are still the primary breadwinner but have either seen their income shrink, remain flat, or threatened in some way.  A lot of men (and women) are having to do more with fewer resources on the job.  Both the physical and mental stress of today's workplace can disturb a man's natural desire for sex.

Being overweight and out of shape doesn't help, either.  Average weight has gone up for both sexes.  When a man is overweight, he may not have the energy required to perform intercourse.  Men have body image issues, too.  A man who looks in the mirror after his shower and doesn't like what he sees isn't as likely to get nude and get down to sex as often.  Even if a man is of average weight, he may not cope well with changes in his body as he ages, including his ability to get and maintain a solid erection.

Then there are deeper psychological issues.  For example, a man may not communicate to his partner what he really needs, both in and out of the bedroom.  He may fear her response to him, avoiding hurting her feelings or starting conflict.  He may also have sexual interests that embarrass him, such as discovering he enjoys prostate massage, that he is unwilling to share with his partner.  Sometimes issues related to past sexual abuse become a problem when other stress arises, such as an illness or death of a parent.

The sex therapist's approach to helping a man and his partner understand low sexual desire in males is to conduct a thorough assessment, which may require separate meetings with the male partner so that he is free to reflect and communicate privately what may really be bothering him.  Devising a solution-focused treatment plan is usually the most effective way to help a man reconnect with his lost drive and desire for his partner.  The great thing about sex therapy is that not only does the male partner learn what helps increase his drive, he will also learn things about human sexuality that he hasn't known before, as will his partner.  Sex therapy is a journey of sexual discovery and celebration that can help undo the confusion and hurt caused by low male sexual desire.

This article was originally published at . Reprinted with permission.
Article contributed by
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Dr. Stephanie Buehler


Are you curious about how a more fulfilling sex life?  In addition to  in-person sex therapy at The Buehler Institute in Newport Beach, CA, Dr. Buehler has written books for both general and professional readers.  The Buehler Institute is also approved by the APA, California BBS, and AASECT as a provider of continuing education.  Visit The Buehler Institute site or www.LearnSexTherapy.com to find out more.

Location: Newport Beach, CA
Credentials: CST, Other, PsyD
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