Couldn't find what you looking for?

TRY OUR SEARCH!

When men lose interest in sex, psychologists often tell them that the solution is to talk. If men just talk out their unresolved feelings toward their wives, one stream of psychological thinking tells us, they will realize that they are truly in love.

Just lie back and think of England

Another stream of psychological thought tells men who aren't interested in monogamous sex to "just do it." This the man's equivalent of the advice Britain's Queen Victoria allegedly gave her daughter-in-law who loathed the idea of having sexual intercourse with her husband to produce a royal heir, "Just lie back and think of England." Men's interest in sexuality doesn't matter, these therapists say. If they physically can perform the sex act, they should just do it amend ignore the quality of their sex lives.

These therapists aver that men in sexually monogamous relationships who suffer loss of libido, this line of therapy claims, may have issues with their mothers. Or maybe they suffer the Peter Pan Complex, they just won't grow up. Or they're addicted to porn, or the idea of porn, if they do not actually view porn. It's doesn't matter. They just be glad to have sex when they can.

A third stream of psychological though tells me that it's natural for men to crave variety in their sex lives. It's just biology that impels men to have affairs, to desire multiple partners, to demand variety in the boudoir. This idea has been around for centuries, of course, but in modern times it was best articulated by sex researchers William Masters and Virginia Johnson.

Loss of interest in sexual activity is caused by monotony

About 50 years ago, the sex researchers Masters and Johnson were famous for writing and talking about topics that simply were not discussed in public in the 50 years before them. In 1964, Masters and Johnson wrote, “Loss of coital interest engendered by monotony in a sexual relationship is probably the most constant factor in the loss of an aging male’s interest in sexual performance with his partner.”

In other words, the real reason men lose interest in sex is they get bored with their partners. This isn't because their partners are unattractive. Men who have sex with older women, with unattractive women, or with women who present dangerous situations don't really care about the woman, they just want to have sex a different way.

Therapists in the tradition of Masters and Johnson tell men who have lost interest in sex that sexual excitement and intimacy in the relationship are not the same thing. Often, they are very different things. Couples need to treat sexual "needs" as one more opportunity to nurture a caring, considerate, nurturing relationship. The woman in the relationship may be told she should just be supportive of her husband's need to have sex with others.

When the real problem is andropause

Most women, of course, reject this advice. And the simple fact is, all the various psychological interpretations of loss of libido in men overlook the reality that the primary issue may be physical.

Andropause is often described as the male menopause. Unlike menopause, there is no clear transition from the hormonal virility of youth to the hormonal sterility that can occur in middle age. Men's bodies simply produce less and less of the hormone that powers erectile strength, stimulates sexual desire, and keeps the male sex organs in their usual form, size, and shape, testosterone.

Andropause is often the result of men letting themselves get out of shape. Job and family pressures don't leave as much time for exercise. Food becomes an important part of a man's social interactions. Men eat more, and they get fatter. All those fat cells make estrogen. Scientists writing in the medical journal Aging Male report that fat in a man's buttocks destroys testosterone and creates estrogen 1000 per cent faster than fat anywhere else in a man's body.

Testosterone levels fall while estrogen levels rise. A man does not have to be angry with his wife, have issues with his mother, be addicted to porn, or suddenly develop a Peter Pan Complex to have less interest in sex when his estrogen levels dominate his testosterone levels. And by this we man, the estrogen levels in his own body, not the estrogen levels in his home or office!

Dealing with andropause. Simply losing weight, as little as 5 or 10 pounds (2 to 4 kilos), can do a lot to restore testosterone dominance and rejuvenate sexual interest. Once men have lost the weight, then they benefit a lot more

Of course, if other factors impel a man to seek sex outside of marriage, restoring testosterone levels will just make a man more interested in sex outside of marriage. Sometimes men will be even more interested in sexual experimentation after they deal with the physical problems that kill libido.

Open relationships are like unicorns

It's not unusual for men to restore sexual potency through weight loss, or hormonal rebalancing, or with a prescription for Viagra, Levitra, or Cialis, and then ask their wives for an open relationship. But as one writer puts it, "Open relationships are like unicorns. I've heard they exist, but I've never known one to work."

In the realities of modern society, especially in the United States, most couples will choose fidelity. However, they may have to choose it over and over again. Men who nurture the idea of the thrill of having an affair usually eventually go on to have the affair, so it's important for both partners to commit to making sex in their marriage exciting, stimulating, and fun.

One of the most important things to remember in this process is that while women judge men by conversation, talk is not what turns men on. Scientific study has found that men's testosterone levels rise when they take action, when they plan action, and when they engage in novel, even thrilling activities. Testosterone levels fall when they talk about feelings. Women who insist on talking about their feelings, and then talking some more, and discussing them again later, may later realize their man has made his own plans for achieving desired feelings and acted on them.

And the very most important thing to remember in creating greater sexual excitement is that while men are often said to prefer younger women, the fact is that they prefer different women. Revealing new aspects of themselves in intimate relationships is the primary method couples continue to find sexual excitement in monogamy.

  • Bruckert L, Liénard JS, Lacroix A, Kreutzer M, Leboucher G. Women use voice parameters to assess men's characteristics.Proc Biol Sci. 2006 Jan 7,273(1582):83-9
  • Karila TA, Sarkkinen P, Marttinen M, Seppa T, Mero A, Tallroth K. Rapid weight loss decreases serum testosterone. Int J Sports Med. 2008 Nov, 29(11):872-7. Epub 2008 May 30