The cultural myth that a man doesn't want sex because his wife is unattractive or unenthusiastic simply isn’t true. Beautiful, fit, desirable—and desiring—women regularly make sex therapy appointments to complain about husbands who don't want sex.
Why does this happen? Here are four reasons—and resolutions:
1. His work is his mistress. When men are passionately involved with their careers, they can sublimate sexual excitement that would normally be directed toward their wives. The accolades, money and ego boost from being regularly praised, or promoted, can be a turn-on.
2. Sexual Autonomy. He doesn't want to negotiate sex and so takes his desire, literally, into his own hands. He masturbates to porn or his own fantasies because it's quick and efficient. Some men feel exquisite vulnerability at being dependent on another person for their desire to be quenched. Our society idealizes a man who needs nothing–the rugged individual, the Marlboro man, the take-charge-don’t-take-anything-from-anyone guy. Boys can internalize the idea that being dependent makes them less male. And childhood patterns of interrupted care, or neglect from constantly busy parents, can cause boys—and girls—to decide that needing is dangerous.
3. Anxiety about ED, EE and DE. Erectile dysfunction, early ejaculation, and delayed ejaculation might have diverse causes but their common factors—a man’s frustration, worry and feelings of inadequacy—can shut things down sexually between you.
4. His inner world outvotes the caveman. A reticent, kind, male patient who struggled with low libido finally opened up about three aspects of his libido: One part was an awkward teenager who felt anxious about initiating. A second part was a 20-something, feminist male who thought sex was degrading for women. The third aspect—a caveman—was horny and hungry for sex. He said that the first two characters always outvoted the blatant needs of the third and so he remained silent with his wife about his desire. She listened in awe as her usually quiet husband revealed his complexity, later asking if just once she might have sex with his caveman.
Link for more help from Laurie Watson with SexTherapy in Raleigh, Cary, Greensboro and Chapel Hill, NC. Laurie’s book Wanting Sex Again is available on Amazon!