Low Sex Drive In Men

For 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?

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  1. 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. 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. 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?

    • 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. Back in the day I used to advise my friends to just say no. Not nice, but you might be surprised at how it inspires incredible performances from the ladies.

  5. Thanks for some very sound advice pomomama :)

  6. 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.

  7. Jersey Girl says:

    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.

    • Thrilled to see how helpful Aunt Becky's post has been to so many. It's always nice to know you're not the only one dealing with a certain problem.

  8. 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. :)

  9. Jersey Girl says:

    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.

    • Smart lady. Putting added pressure on him will only make the situation more stressful to him. You might end up with obligatory sex which is no fun for anyone.

  10. Thank Christ, I thought my husband had some kind of defect. Although its not so much that he's ever said no, but he NEVER EVER starts anything, or if he does he saunters around like he did me a favor, or he falls asleep. I think our sex drives got mixed up , my favorite opening line to him when he asks me something is " I can't hear you with your pants on". Yep, thats because I'm a lady. It pisses me off that all this good sex drive was wasted on high school starter girlfriends. It is true that as a whole we think of men as some perverted sex starved pions. Sometimes we just get comfortable and lazy in our relationships, and having kids and a full time job tire the hell out of you. But sometimes it would be nice if my husband would be a perv. Just sayin'

    • No, he's not defective – lol. And as hilarious as: " I can't hear you with your pants on" is I doubt this will solve the problem. Not to worry though. If there is nothing physically affecting your partner causing this lack of sex drive now is the time to get creative and rejuvenate those long lost days of teenage horniness. Here are some tips that might help – http://www.4-men.org/sex-drive/naturally-increase

  11. Try not to take it personally then talk about it with him. For most men, things happen and they don't know why or how to talk about it. Over the last year I've had 2 people close to me die. I felt weird telling the women I was with that I wasn't in the mood because of it. What was also weird is that they didn't take it into account until I said it. The man being the sex fiend that isn't affected by anything is a myth.

    • Women tend to be more open to communicating their feelings and sometimes just assume that if something is bothering their partner they will share with them. Unfortunately man seem to have a more difficult time in doing so. Although it may be awkward and uncomfortable helping your partner understand what you are going through will make it easier on both of you.

  12. I know how your friend feels, and there are consequences for not figuring it out. Don't protect his feelings, protect your own, and make him understand how his rejection is making you feel. It hurts like hell when the man you love won't touch you anymore. It's even worse when sex that used to be pretty damn good (and regular) dwindles to nothing.

    This was a recurring problem in my marriage, and every time I tried to address it with my husband, I would get something along the lines of 'yes, we should work on that, but…" insert excuse here. He didn't really get it and/or do anything about it until it got so bad for me that I asked for a divorce. THEN he freaked, went to the doctor and found out that he has low testosterone and started hormone replacement therapy. However, for me it was too late, the pain and resentment had festered so long that even with counseling I was done. We're in the process of a divorce now.

    Moral: Don't let it get that bad, and don't convince yourself that 'maybe you are just oversexed'. You're not, and you need to have your needs met too. If he won't talk about it, get to counseling and work on that communication too.

    • So sorry that help came to late. I appreciate you sharing and helping others realize how important it is to communicate your feelings before the lack of intimacy has a devastating affect on their marriage.

  13. I’ve had this problem, where my sex drive is often way past my boyfriend’s…and then he kids that I only want him for the sex!

    Man, role reversal.

  14. The only thing that puts me off my game is to be wiped out, exhausted, sick — like flu sick, or being really angry.

    Stress, OTOH, seems to make me hornier, perhaps because the sweet release helps to relax me.

    Auntie B, your friend needs to determine if her other half is just too wiped out after the day. If that's the case, there is always the "eye-opener" — truly a lovely way to start the day. Nothing like the morning wood…

  15. This is going to sound like silly advice, but here it is. And it has to do with taking the pressure off, doing something for fun, having a laugh.

    Zack and Miri Make a Porno. Seriously. Rent it. Rather than have forced sex one night, or on a night when the Mr or Mrs is not home, watch it. And then, if you didn't watch it with your partner, watch them watch it.

    I'm not saying it is going to bring back a snoozing sex life, but it is a fantastic way to spend the evening not having sex and watching your partner smile for no other reason than that this movie is really, really, really sex positive and yummy.

    I know this sounds disconnected, but it isn't.

    Now I'm going to show my guy this column for a new conversation about what is REALLY going on this year (I think we are overwhelmed and tired but … I'd like him to tell me what it is for him …) just like I showed him Chrissy's recent column about not wanting sex much at all with young children in da house …

    I'm sure we're going to get our mojo back, but until then … we're just going to look for the twinkles in the eyes and the smiles. I'd love other good movie suggestions for this purpose …

    • Sounds like you're on the right track to getting the mojo back in your relationship. Relaxing and having fun together is a great start. Good Luck :)

  16. After my husband had his first heart attack, at age 42, things were a little, uhm..slower to respond. Mostly due to the lack of circulation, not his sex drive. Then the wonderful Dr put him on medication to keep his heart at a stable rate. This killed his sex drive. Killed it, dug a hole, and buried it. He knows its important to me though, and about halfway, he gets all excited too.

    You have to be able to communicate. If not, you are not going to get anywhere. You cannot accuse, That causes hurt feelings, and who wants to confide in someone that is going to turn it back on them? Being able to confide in someone about something so intimate, can bring two people even closer.

  17. this is prob why I'm still single. I'm a sex crazed cow who can't find a bull who can keep up.

  18. i'm trying to comprehend this post. understand it. wrap my brain around it.

    i think i see the light, and then i realize i just don't. 😉

    i WILL say, though, that it must be even harder/more embarrassing for a woman to be rejected for sex by a man, because on the whole, that's a rare occurrence. at least more rare than the man being rejected by the woman. it's not supposed to happen! the men are supposed to be on offense!

    every once in a while i get it into my head that i'm going to turn down my wife when she propositions me, just because. it sounds like a great idea until i'm put on the spot, and then i'm like, "shyeah, right" and then i act like the whore i really am.

    i may joke about it, but i do know of two men, friends of mine, that have this issue. it's not as uncommon as i used to think.

  19. Fred Miller says: