Not all men are always “up for sex” and their lack of interest is not because they no longer desire you, according to Andrew G Marshall, a marital therapist. Loss of libido in men is more common than most people realise. Statistics from Relate show that 50% of all couples attending sex therapy state that loss of libido is the problem.
Contrary to popular belief, libido does not always decrease with age: some men continue to have a normal libido as they get older.
What causes libido to decline?
The causes can be either physical and psychological, or a combination of both, some of which can be treated very simply, others requiring more in depth therapy.
It is important to seek help because there could be a more serious underlying health problem which requires immediate treatment.
Testosterone levels fall by 1-2% each year as men age. Low levels of testosterone can cause low energy, poor concentration and reduced libido. Men with low levels of testosterone can be prescribed testosterone replacement therapy in the form of gel, tablet, capsule or injection. Increasing testosterone levels can increase libido but does not always improve erection function.
Eatign a healthier diet can boost yuor testosterone levels naturally.
Conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, under active thyroid gland, depression or hormonal imbalance can decrease the blood flow to the genital area which may affect sex drive and erection. Seeking medical advice is really important as all of the above can be treated with medication which can help to alleviate the problem.
Diet, exercise and health
Obesity, drinking, smoking and lack of exercise can also have an impact upon a man’s sexual function. Being physically fit will improve your sex drive and health by promoting circulation, strengthening bones and building muscle. Smoking can impede blood flow throughout the body including the penis.
Overeating and drinking can lead to high cholesterol and obesity, both major risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Being overweight can lead to poor body image, lethargy and low libido. Many people mistakenly believe that alcohol is an aphrodisiac. However, over time, too much alcohol can actually put a dampener on your sex drive. Drinking heavily over prolonged periods of time can make a temporary condition like Brewer’s Droop turn into Erectile Dysfunction, impacting upon your sex life in a more permanent way.
For most men, the occasional loss of erection is a minor irritation and is commonly caused by stress, fatigue, distraction, over indulging on alcohol or just not in the mood. These normally resolve themselves and aren’t anything to be worried about.
If your erection problems occur suddenly and only happen with your sexual partner, it is probably psychological.
Common psychological problems include:
- Stress and anxiety from work or home
- Problems within your relationship
- Sexual boredom
- Performance anxiety
- Worrying about pleasing a partner
How to reclaim your sex life
1. Acknowledge the problem
Talking about the problem can be difficult and many couples are unsure how to broach the subject without upsetting or offending their partner. Avoid apportioning blame or getting angry, instead broach the subject by saying “I miss having sex with you and I wondered how you feel about it?” This can open up the discussion by making your partner feel that you still want him and not make him feel like he has failed you.
2. Don’t make it personal
Your partner still loves you and finds you desirable, he just has a low libido. A declining sex life may expose underlying problems which can be easily remedied.
3. Seek medical advice
This can be hard for some men to do but point out to him that his problem may be physical and should be looked into. If it is physical, it may be resolved quickly with medication or further investigations.
4. Redress the balance
Has your relationship changed in any way? Do you take responsibility for the finances, care of children, household management? Your partner may feel he has no say in how your lives are run. If you are the main earner, allow him to maintain the household finances and decide how things are managed together.
5. Great sex without sex
Sex just doesn’t mean sexual intercourse, it involves many aspects of being intimate with each other. Some men believe that if they cuddle you, you will expect full sexual intercourse and they may not be able to perform. Reassure them that any physical affection is welcome from cuddling and kissing, to slow dancing and sexting.
He could use a sex toy on you if he isn’t in the mood or watch you masturbate with your hand or a toy. Try silky ties or blindfolds to heighten your senses such as smell, taste or touch. Feed tiny morsels of food to each other. Massage each other sensually to make you feel closer.
Having intercourse without sex can bring you together and make you feel more intimate. Getting in the mood this way may arouse sexual desire and lead to full sexual intercourse.
6. Make time
As much as spontaneous sex can be amazing, don’t rely upon it happening frequently. Instead, make time for sex by having a regular lie-in at the weekend, come home for lunch once a week or just have an early night. You don’t have to have full intercourse but just spend time together exploring each others’ bodies.
7. If all else fails, seek professional help
Many couples seek help from marriage and relationship counsellors. Sex therapists can offer practical help and advice which could be just the springboard to bounce your sex life back onto the right track.
Whatever you do, don’t put up with your symptoms, seek help. It may be something simple that can be resolved to help you reclaim your sex life.