KEY FACTS: Low Sexual desire in men (HSDD hypoactive sexual desire disorder)
- Up to 25% of Australians suffer from hypoactive sexual desire (HSDD) – this affects approximately a quarter of men according to the ‘Research by the Australian Study of Health and Relationships
What Is It? (i.e. Low Sexual Drive/Desire)
- HSDD – hypoactive sexual desire disorder- defined as a persistent lack of interest in sex or being sexual.
- It is leading to sexless marriages (ie sex less than 10x year) becoming an undeniable epidemic.
- Sex and intimacy are a meaningful, crucial part of a relationship, and loss of sexual desire can severely affect a marriage and put it at risk of infidelity and/or divorce
- Men of all ages – research results vary- 24%..’ but counsellors indicate male patients revealing up to 30% of men are “self reporting” low libido
- Research indicates that at least one in five couples suffer from sexless marriages
- If problem is not addressed, relationship/marriage becomes vulnerable and difficult to salvage – intimacy on all levels plummets
Other variables can compound the problem:
- Male Ego and Sex – so much shame & embarrassment – men don’t talk about it (despite the common stereotype perpetuated in the media that ‘men always want it’ )
- Females tend to think what is wrong with me? They may not feel appreciated, cherished, valued or treasured and tend to become hurt, humiliated, embarrassed, bitter, withdrawn and lonely.
- Women may withdraw emotionally thus compounding the situation.
Further Help Information: What can be done?
- People don’t have to suffer in silence, or live in denial or shame.
- The first and often most difficult step is seeking assistance – ideally from a sexologist.
- Couples must recognise that often it is a couple’s issue irrespective of who has the lower desire.
- Couples need physical and psychological assistance because desire is connected to both.
- Medical assessment important to ensure that there are no other underlying issues that may be contributing to the desire problem, including current medications
Ways to Keep Sex Alive in the Marriage:
- Open communication
- Schedule regular dates
- Make desire a conscious decision
- Take responsibility yourself
Where To From Here?
- New drug on the horizon that will be specifically prescribed to enhance sexual drive (centrally acting – like the newer anti-depressants) initially for women with HSDD.
- Male sexuality is more complex than initially thought. It is not driven primarily by hormones, nor is it intrinsically stronger than that of women. In our predominantly male-macho culture men are expected to be the sexual aggressor/initiator. Men can easily feel emasculated if their sexual identity or prowess does not conform to the societal norm; but therein lies the source of marital discord or erosion of psychological and emotional intimacy – when physical intimacy declines.
- There is a need to debunk myths about male libido and to delve into the male psyche to better understand the myriad of factors that contribute towards desire and indeed to understand what desire actually means to men – how they perceive and interpret sexual desire.