“Don’t men want sex, like, all the time?” I have been asked this question on multiple occasions. The simple answer is no, this is a myth that continues to be perpetuated in society by both men and women. While, statistically, men tend to have a higher sex drive there are many reasons why a man might not want to have sex. Stress can play a role in the occasional lack of desire; however, there are often far larger reasons for a consistent lack of desire or low sex drive.
- Physical issues and/or medication. There are several medical reasons that can lead to inability to achieve or maintain an erection from diabetes to prostate issues to heart conditions to name a few. Furthermore, many medications used to treat these issues and several others have a side effect of decrease in desire and/or performance. Be sure to discuss any medications you are on with your physician.
- Depression. Depression can play a huge role in sexual drive. Men often display depression differently than women, first example feeling sick to the stomach rather than extreme lethargy. A lack of desire to do things that were once pleasurable and being quick to irritation or anger are a few symptoms to look for. Again, many medications used to treat depression also have a side effect of decrease sexual appetite.
- Erectile Dysfunction. Men often tie their masculinity in with their sexual performance and when erectile dysfunction occurs, it can be a huge blow. Emotions that accompany erectile dysfunction are shame, embarrassment, confusion, and frustration or anger. Sometimes rather than admit there is a problem, some will instead avoid sex.
- Boredom. Some may use this as an excuse; however, others may truly not be interested because sex has become routine and boring. Variety is the spice of life, they say. While no one is suggesting one should do something out of their comfort zone, having open discussions regarding fantasies and being able to change things up a bit can do a lot to help keep things new and exciting.
- Madonna vs the whore complex. This happens when a man no longer views his partner as a sexual object for whatever reason. Some examples of when this might occur: when he has fallen in love, shortly after marriage and shortly after his partner has become pregnant or given birth. In each of these instances he no longer views his partner as a sexual being but someone that should be valued, respected or the mother of his children.
- Fear of getting significant other pregnant. This fear can be a very powerful deterrent. Even if the couple already has children, if he does not want anymore, he might be avoiding sex to prevent pregnancy.
- Anger or resentment. Many times when a couple comes through my door with sexual issues there is often something else going on behind the scenes. One of the most common problems in a relationship is built up anger and resentment, often on both ends. And in a study, for both men and women, being angry towards their spouse was in the top three reasons sexual intercourse ceased. When this is the case, it becomes important to work through the anger in order to heal and reestablish the emotional connection.
- Affair. There is a myth that goes something like, “If he isn’t sleeping with you, he must be sleeping with someone.” This is not actually the most common scenario to why a man stops having sex with his partner; however, in some cases an affair might be happening.
- Porn Addiction. Pornography addiction has been on the rise in the last several years, with the invention of the internet making pornographic material readily available. Sometimes the addiction can cause a man to not find the vagina to feel as good as his own hand. He knows the right amount of pressure and speed to use. Furthermore, it often becomes more and more difficult to reach orgasm due to “looking for the perfect scene”.
- Not wanting to put in the effort. A common complaint that I hear is that the man feels rejected too often or that trying to have sex with their partner is just too much work. It is easier to masterbate quickly and be done with it.
While there are multiple reasons for why a man would not want to have sex with this partner, the truth is that many of these appear in conjunction with one another. A man who is feeling angry and resentful, may turn to porn temporarily; however, this temporary resort may eventually become an addiction or even lead to an affair. Telling their significant other that sex with them is boring may be a ruse to avoid sex due to erectile dysfunction or boredom. Whatever the reason, being able to discuss sexual concerns in an open and safe way can aid in building a better, more satisfying sexual relationship.