Look, Viagra – and other medications were not invented without reason. Contrary to the popular and quite sexist (no pun intended) belief that it is always women who shun sex and roll over pretending they are asleep, the culprit to lack of sex is often men. While men may get the reputation of always being macho sex machines who are in the mood, anytime anywhere – ask a million couples world-wide and you will likely get another take on the story. Today, it is quite often men that lose interest in sex making wives wonder what happened to their husbands sex drive?
Strangely, when it is men who are not interested in sex, people become tight lipped. Women automatically take this lack of interest as a blow to their self-esteem or a sign of infidelity and rarely talk about it in order to not risk embarrassing their husbands. For men, being able to maintain an erection and have a regular sex life are great sources of confidence that supports the male ego. When something in this department, whether it is lack of ability or lack of desire, goes wrong – the couple very often suffers silently and alone.
Luckily, Dr. Bob Berkowitz wrote a book on the problem. In He’s Just not Up For it Anymore: Why Men Stop Having Sex studied over 4,000 men who were ABLE to have sex but just lost interest. Initially, most interviewed blamed their lack of interest on the fact that their wife was “in-adventurous” in the bedroom. This seemingly translates to them saying that sex became routine and boring. However, upon further probing there was almost always an underlying issue that seemed to be the root source of the problem. Many were depressed, unhappy at their jobs or feeling a low sense of self-confidence. Some were angry with their wives for miscellaneous and unrelated issues, and some who felt the marriage was constantly focused on the negative had simply lost their desire for intimacy.
Dr. Berkowitz, a specialist when it comes to sexual disorders also says that the excuse of having an “in-adventurous” wife is simply a cover-up for the fact that a man doesn’t feel like he can satisfy his partner, or isn’t willing to do anything unselfish in the bedroom to make his spouse more interested. He goes on to say that sex is just as much an emotional experience for a man as it is for a woman. Essentially, the faked orgasm every now and again may be a great way to increase the male ego and jumpstart the libido. While it wouldn’t be “manly” for a man to admit that he actually needs admiration from his partner – the truth is that he does.
And while it always seems in the spotlight that women have cornered the market in the lack of desire department, research shows it’s simply not the case. If men suffer from erectile problems or a lack of desire, they often do not know how to open up and talk about it. Since puberty, men are programmed to outwardly take pride in their sexual prowess. Facing a stage in life when they just aren’t interested doesn’t always fit into that equation. And, understandably, many men feel that sex isn’t something that should be talked about, and should instead just happen. And women, on the other end of this lack of desire almost always take the lack as such a huge blow to their personal self-esteem that it can be difficult for them to open up and uncover the can of worms that would lead to sexual health and reconnection.
In other words, it isn’t YOU! Whereas women equate sexual intimacy with love, men do not and the reasons may be all of the above, or something completely different.
Plus, it has been proven that as relationships progress, different brain chemicals are released as it pertains to sexuality and sex drive. The longer two people are together, the less of the ‘passionate and crazy” hormones are released and sex drive remains balanced with other emotions in life. This isn’t necessarily a lack of desire, but instead a plateau of sexual energy.
Of course, many changes in the relationship such as the additions of children or stress can impact sexuality for both men and women. If the two of you are both working and running around the clock, chances are the sex life dwindles due to the simple lack of energy and time. While it can still be hurtful, it doesn’t necessarily mean that there is grave danger that the relationship is headed to an end. And if you have recently had a baby, or a few kids and are not using adequate birth control – his desire could be due to a fear of getting you pregnant. In fact, Dr. Berkowitz found that many husbands even are terrified that their wives will ‘trick’ them into more children when they do not have the desire to have more.
Another culprit, is the fact that around the age of 40, men experience something called andropause. This change in their life, similar to female menopause – can literally be a blow to sexual desire with plummeting testosterone levels.
The confusing part is that there is tons of advice available that will tell you to purchase sexy lingerie, be adventurous, and give you tips to reignite the passion in your relationship. Most of it seems to put the blame on you, the female – as the reason behind the lack of interest. Truth is, it likely isn’t. While it is normal to suspect infidelity (which could be an issue), this is likely not the case. Instead, try initiating a conversation about sex and seeing if you can figure out what is really going on with your husband. You may find that job stress or an underlying issue between the two of you is the real problem.
The good news is that Dr. Berkowitz found that in most happy couples who experience a male lack of desire, the end result is not ultimately divorce. In other words, time can help to heal the problem and perhaps bring about the real reasons for the problems to begin with. It is important in every relationship, whether you are a male or female to realize that sexual intimacy and desire will naturally ebb and flow like the tide.