Low Sex Drive In Men

ID-100112047For someone who lives in the Internet and writes a sex column, it’s pretty rare that someone actually asks me anything sex-related. Carrie Bradshaw from Sex in the City must have ruined that for any future sex columnists. Bitch.

But, Toy With Me-ers, I was actually asked something that I was specifically asked to bring to you and discuss! I pretty much peed all over myself when a friend of mine gave me permission to take a conversation we’d had onto my column, because normally people are all, ‘YOU’RE NOT GOING TO BLOG THIS, ARE YOU, AUNT BECKY?’ like I’m some useless jerk who only hangs out with my friends so that I can rifle through their brain cavity and steal their stories. Which is pretty much the truth, but let’s keep this between us, shall we?

Her Man Has Low Sex Drive
My friend mentioned that she’d been having some trouble in the bedroom with her husband. Not, perhaps, like you’d expect, with Mr. Happy performing, but because her husband wasn’t as interested in The Sex as she was. This was very troubling to my friend, who had always thought that men were supposed to be these virile creatures, chomping at the bit to have The Sex with Their Women anytime they could. When she was met with the “not tonight, honey,” from her husband, she was, at first, taken aback. When it happened again, she was hurt. When it continued to happen, she was baffled and more than a little bewildered. Was he having an affair? Why wouldn’t her husband have The Sex?

I did a little Dr. Googling for her, and it turns out that according to WebMD as many as one in five men reported having such low sexual desire that they would rather do almost anything else besides have sex. That’s one-fifth of all men! Men with low sex drive are one of the dirty secrets in America, according to another article.

Not All Men Are Horny Sex Creatures
Thanks to the stigma of the man as a potent sex god, what man wants to come forward and admit that hey, you know what? Sometimes, I’m just not in the mood. And that’s okay! Women, too, didn’t want to admit that they were being denied sex by their husbands for fear that it really had something to do with them. That being repeatedly turned away from sex meant that they were unattractive, ugly and really, the problem was not with their partner having a low sex drive, but something to do with them. And with a society that promotes men as such a horny creature, how could women like, my friend, not see it this way? My friend was constantly worried that she was bad in bed, that he was having an affair or worse, that he might be gay. She had no issue with gay men, of course, unless she was married to one. Talk about a slap in the face.

Maybe Men Actually Do Have Feelings
As a former nurse (stop shuddering, Toy With Me-ers, I no longer hang bags of vodka instead of bags of ringers lactate), I knew some of the reasons for a low sex drive in men were physical. The anti-depressant medications, like Prozac, Paxil, Lexapro and Zoloft, were a huge culprit in decreasing libido, as are some of the drugs taken to reduce chronic high blood pressure. Some of the other reasons are exhaustion, which, of course, was one of those stereotypical excuses women used, but my friend and I admitted was true. If we were tired, it was pretty hard to want to get in the mood. Stress is another libido-killer, although, I always found the endorphin rush to be the perfect stress BUSTER, but we all know that I am perhaps not the judge for normalcy for anything. The most surprising thing I found that probably shouldn’t have surprised me at all was this: one of the reasons men don’t want to have The Sex with their partners is because they are angry with them. The same reason that women often don’t want to have The Sex with their men. Hm. So maybe men have feelings too, ladies.

The first issue with dealing with a low-libido is this: realizing that there is no “national average” or “normal” for men. Once you get rid of that notion that men are sex-crazed bulls who will hump anything in a skirt that walks near them, you’re dealing with a real person who has real emotions, real desires and real turn-ons. Assuming a man will want to have The Sex simply because it’s offered isn’t always fair. Certainly, there are men like that, but there are women like that, too.

Figure It Out
Then, you must get to the root of the underlying cause for the low sex drive, if, like in the case with my good friend, it’s something that’s causing discord in your relationship. If sex isn’t a focus in your relationship for either of you, well then, there’s no issue. If the underlying cause is related to something hormonal or biological, like medication, talk to your doctor. If your male partner is refusing sex because he is angry with you, perhaps it’s time to speak with a marriage counselor. Or, at the very least, spend some quality time talking about your relationship in a non-threatening way. Accusing your partner of not wanting to have sex because (insert reason here) may only drive the wedge in further.

And after those issues have been treated, or if it’s none of those things, and your male partner is simply one of those people who just isn’t very interested in sex, and well, you are, perhaps he needs to look at it from a different angle. Perhaps your partner needs to think of sex as giving a gift to you. It’s something he can do for you, even if it’s not something that is as exciting for him. Like anything else in a relationship, it’s all about give and take, right? And who knows. Maybe once he’s actually in the middle of it, he’ll actually start to enjoy it.

Sex is an integral part of a relationship for many people and problems in the bedroom can certainly lead to all kinds of problems in every other part of the relationship. It’s one of those things that must be addressed before something more drastic than some hurt feelings happens. And in the end, it doesn’t matter how much sex anyone else is having, so long as what you and your partner has is good enough for you both.

So, my friend, I wish you luck, and I’m glad you gave me a chance to talk about this. I only hope that you’ll still take my calls. What are your experiences with this, Toy With Me-ers? What advice can you give my friend about this incredibly tough situation?

Photo by marin.



  1. Mik

    Usually when the my wife wants sex and I say I'm not in the mood it is because I may be too tired. I pride myself on making sure my wife has a thoroughly good time and it takes some energy and jaw numbing action which takes it out of me.

    But we make up for it when we both have the energy, after 12 years of marriage we still have people ask if we're recently married because we get so amorous. But we both know sometimes we are just to wiped out to do anything, although we have started fooling around and then fallen asleep entangled with each other.

    Now to get woken up an hour early by the wife for some fooling around is awesome.

  2. FastJoe

    The sad truth is women go to great lengths every day to make themselves appealing. When a man isn't interested his equipment wont make the kick off let alone the field goal line. This keeps guys from even bring it up and discussing it. Then as said before, medications and heart issues can keep it from working even when the man wants it to. 40 is when those things start happening, and the stats show it gets worse every 10 years after. in 2010 there are options. They have engineered penile extensions that are designed to fit onto a flacid penis and stay on without straps or any of the old methods. Merely by vacuum. Dr Loves Dynamic Extension is the very best, and comes in 7, 8.5 and I think 9.5 Inch. They are designed to be used without an erection and stay on for hours. So yes you can do the nasty all night long if you want and never even get hard if that's your medical condition. Of course just having 8.5 inches is worth the effort.

  3. MagicMan

    I'm a "normal", fairly healthy male in his early 50's. I still feel as though I have a normal sex drive and WISH my wife did as well. I want The Sex NOW before I develop any of this age appropriate lack of libido that you refer to. I read all these comments and it only acts to piss me off MORE, because all the female responses make me feel as though I SHOULD be getting it more than once every three effing weeks. Once every three days would suit me perfectly fine. And no, she's not on medications that would kill her libido. She's just not interested unless its on HER terms. Frankly, it pisses me off, but I'm ever the loving husband and anytime we attempt to discuss this issue, it seems that the average 3 week Sex turns into the 5 week sex, or does it just to get it over with. Arrggh! I enjoy making love to her and give great head and just want her to want ME a bit more. Is that too much to ask?

    • ken

      eliciting lust is a tricky thing indeed. not something that can be forced per se.

      however i believe in the "stop looking for reasons not to have sex and just do it" method.

      we make time to exercise. why can't we exercise with a partner? people who get laid often live longer, are more productive at work, are more confident and more fun to be around–plain and simple.

      good luck magicman,

  4. it's a lot more common than the media leads us to believe!

    as a wife, this is a sad and lonely place to be. when your man won't make any effort to discuss or act on or improve the situation, or open any lines of dialogue it's very easy to fall into blaming yourself (too fat, too thin, not adventurous enough, too nagging, too tired, not attractive, too busy with parenting, not exotic enough after spending all day home with the kid, and so on). it develops a vicious cycle in the relationship.

    realise that a. you have to look after yourself (!) and b. if there's going to be any change in the relationship it will come from you, the woman. dwelling on believing that your husband will make the changes, either on his own or in conjunction with you, is downright depressing and will destroy you. once you develop your own sense of self worth and don't require his approval/validation you have a chance to either make your relationship work or to survive on your own.

    brutal but honest. don't expect him to work on his own sexuality.

  5. Jersey Girl

    WOW! Great to read all of this. This is obviously something I don't discuss with my friends and when I do they all immediately assume my husband is cheating…which he is not. Thanks Ladies for your affirmations.

  6. I can understand it. My husband works a grueling, physical job and by day's end (and we're talking anywhere between 10 to 16 hours depending on the season) all he wants is a shower, a hot meal and a comfortable bed. When he is up for it it is worth the wait, but the times when I am wanting and he isn't capable are very frustrating. I am thinking about writing my own porn to occupy my… umm … time. 🙂

  7. Jersey Girl

    I sort of agree with Karen. My husband is not as…wanting for sex as i am lately. We have had talks and battles and if nothing else this has opened lines of communication and we have done some experimenting which I LOVE!

    I find that if I pressure him or act expecting on his days off he rebels. I hate having to walk on eggshells but I get a much better response if I play it cool.

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