Relationships are feeling the strain as more men than ever admit to going off sex, whilst women feel starved and rejected
is anything to go by, men think about sex every seven seconds. But according to a shocking new study by Relate, this coudln’t be further from the truth as a record number of men admit to loss of libido.
Nina Bryant, a Relate psychosexual therapist with 18 years experience, admits the problem is increasingly common and is threatening relationships.
‘When I started in this field it was rare for a man to report a lack of interest in sex,’ she says. ‘Now it makes about a third of my case-load.’
Specialists have their own reasons as to why this is. Some believe men are getting better at talking about their feelings and compared to earlier generations, whilst others feel men are feeling more pressured by modern responsibilities.
‘We want a lot from men these days,’ says Petra Boynton, a sex and relationship psychologist. ‘They’re meant to be not only be breadwinners, but also doting, hands-on dads who deliver mind-blowing orgasms.
‘Men are expected to want sex from puberty to death but, in reality, a man’s sex drive can fluctuate for all the reasons a woman’s can. It could be that he’s stressed, unhappy, tired or under pressure at work.’
When addressing the issue, Bryant admits that focusing on the sex is the worst thing you can do. She says: ‘Don’t buy naughty knickers and sex toys. Women often try to fix the bedroom first, when that’s rarely the cause.
‘If the situation is bothering you, the best start is to tell him. Ask if there’s anything he wants to talk about and tell him you miss it – tell him that you’re frightened. In many case the man is likely to be frightened, too.’
It is estimated that one in two men will suffer impotence at some point in their lives, and occasionally this can be a symptom of diabetes or heart disease. It can also be made worse by smoking and drinking.
If the man has a clean bill of health, then the next option is to talk. Professional sex therapists are trained to bring underlying issues into the open and help couples discover desire so they can get back into the habit of having sex.
For more information, visit the Relate website at www.relate.org.uk or see your GP for advice.