The first most common reason why sex stops in a relationship is simply lack of desire, according to sexologists. These are professionals who counsel singles and couples in regards to their sexual issues. Research suggests that, not only do couples refrain from having sex, but they stop hugging and kissing. In many cases couples refrain from touching altogether!
Many relationship-entrenched adults admit to never even saying “I love you” to their partner or spouse. Even when they are together with their significant others, these people feel alone and isolated. These observations and many others are included in the groundbreaking book, He’s Just Not Up to It, written by Bob and Susan Berkowitz.
After conducting interviews with more than 4,000 individuals who openly admitted being in sexless relationships, the Berkowitz team has become expert in identifying the problems that lead to this behavior. By identifying the causes, they hope to help people overcome their issues and rekindle the flames of passion in their marriages.
It’s a Widespread Problem
It’s estimated that there are as many as 20 million loveless marriages in the U.S. today. This extraordinary number represents almost 13% of the total U.S. population! The fact that one in eight adults forgoes sex in the context of their marriage or current relationship is a surprising and somewhat staggering figure. Between 15% and 20% of all married couples report having sex fewer than 10 times per year!
Experts maintain that the lack of desire for sex in long-term relationships is equal in both men and women. However, men have their own reasons for shirking their marital duties. Of those surveyed, 68% of men blamed their partners for not being particularly interested in sex or for not being very adventurous in their sexual encounters.
The Men Folk Are to Blame
Almost half of men―48%―claim boredom as an excuse for their lack of desire. In other words, they’d be happy to jump into bed with another woman, but they’ve grown tired of sowing their seeds in the well-worn furrows at home. To carry the metaphor forward, these men are more than capable of copulation but prefer to plow new and greener fields.
Another 44% of men are angry with their wives and either unwilling or unable to perform. These men believe their wives are overcritical bullies. They respond by withdrawing emotionally and eventually shutting down. Men who are unhappy that their lovers have put on weight make up 38% of respondents. A full quarter of men prefer sex with nameless and often faceless strangers on the Internet!
These men prefer their fantasy lives to reality, by watching Internet porn while ignoring their flesh-and-blood partners living under the same roof. There are many, many websites that cater to this kind of behavior, providing willing partners and accomplices. Names such as NoCommitment, Chaterbate, Vichatter, and Omegle rule the World Wide Web, allowing any interested souls to hook up with strangers who may live down the block or half a world away.
Other Reasons Men Can’t or Won’t Get It Up
Erectile dysfunction is another leading cause of sexless marriages. However, we are really hard-pressed (pun intended) to believe that there are so many men who can’t get it up. We’re thinking that many regular users of Viagra and Cialis use the drug just to maintain a massive hard-on for hours at a time (more than four hours and you should definitely seek medical attention or take a very long cold shower).
ED can be caused by mental stress or be rooted in very real medical problems. Other medical issues, illness, or disease can also successfully sublimate sexual desire. These include depression and other mental disorders. Men and women both can suffer from the effects of past sexual traumas, including a prior abusive relationship. Certain medications also inhibit the male and female sex drive.
The Womenfolk Are to Blame
Women are very complex creatures and the resultant hormonal and other chemical changes that women suffer almost every month of their lives can both promote and inhibit their desire and need for sex. The absence, or low levels, of free testosterone can negatively impact a woman’s sexual desire. This is also true when high levels of SHBG are present in a woman’s body.
The use of antidepressants, while improving overall mood, can cause a decrease in sexual desire. That’s a tradeoff we’re not sure we would make: Get happy but have less sex. We don’t know too many people who are having a lot of sex but are miserable. While sex isn’t a cure-all, there are many positive health-related benefits, not to mention it feels good!
Some women complain that the pill as well as other hormonal-based birth control methods negatively affects their desire for sex. Breastfeeding also apparently inhibits the desire for sex, though we’re not too crazy about trying to get it on with a woman who has a nursing infant attached to her breast.
Many women also suffer from a lack of self-esteem and their desire for sex drops correspondingly. Women who struggle with body image issues can have a very difficult time in sexual relationships.
Many women suffer from a fear of intimacy; far more often than men. This fear or discomfiture can be brought on by many different reasons. Counseling is probably the best way to overcome many of these issues.