In my practice, a good proportion of my clients with low sexual desire are men. This is particularly challenging because men have grown up with the myth that they should always have sexual desire and be ready to pounce on one’s partner at any time. If that is not the case, it saps the self-esteem of the man and can even preoccupy his thinking. The truth is that men are not machines and there are many factors that could cause this problem. There are also solutions. This article is a brief introduction to this sexual challenge for men and please feel free to contact me with any questions, if you want more information or if you would like my assistance.
Possible cause: Low Testosterone
Potential Solution: Get a blood test to measure your testosterone. If you are low or even low normal, ask your physician for a testosterone treatment to booster the amount in your blood. There are several ways the testosterone can be administered.
Possible cause: Side effect of medications
Potential Solution: Ask your physician to explain any possible sexual side effects of medications you are taking. Basically any medication that can cause drowsiness (including antihistamines, blood pressure medication and others) can affect libido. Also many of the most commonly prescribed antidepressants can decrease sexual desire.
Possible cause: Overbearing or needy mother
Potential Solution: See a therapist to help you “differentiate” from your mother. This actually is very common in my practice and I have helped many men experience more of their own healthy sexuality as they were able to “become their own person” and separate from the needs and expectations of the mother. In these matters, I see low sexual desire as a protective mechanism so that the man does not get “swallowed up” or smothered by another woman’s needs. This is often more of a projection from the man than an actual interpersonal problem.
Possible cause: Difficulty adjusting perceiving his partner as a lover or. just a mother after first child is born
Potential Solution: Usually some effective therapy designed to help the man reframe and remember so that he once again sees his partner as a sexual person as well as a mother.
Possible cause: Interpersonal conflict
Potential Solution: Couples therapy with an emphasis on communication training.
Possible cause: Not being physically attracted to partner as time goes on
Potential Solution: Cognitive behavioral therapy so that man can see the attractiveness that he may be missing. Sometimes it involves lifestyle changes for the partner as well (to be fair).
Possible cause: Pattern of being uninterested after a certain amount of time has gone by in committed relationships (may signal a developmental arrest)
Potential Solution: Deep, effective psychotherapy to help man resume social/emotional development so that he can experience pleasure from a loving, committed relationship as opposed to just getting adrenal rushes from a new person.
Possible cause: Childhood sexual abuse (or physical or emotional abuse)
Potential solution: Trauma treatment such as Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing. These treatments by a certified EMDR therapist (such as myself) can help people relatively quickly process and move on from past trauma so that they can claim their healthy sexual selves.
Potential cause: Lack of passion and excitement/eroticism in relationship
Potential Solution: Couples and sex therapy to create novelty, risk-taking and sexual exploration between partners.
Possible cause: Situational Stress such as loss of job or any other kind of loss, change in health status, etc.
Potential solution: Do what you can to alleviate the circumstances such as getting a new job. Get support from loved ones and/or a therapist to help process feelings and receive love. Practice some relaxation skills and techniques including Yoga, Meditation, Conscious Breathing and Muscle Relaxation Techniques.
As you can see, there are many possible causes. I listed solutions very briefly. It is one of my main specialties and I have trained many physicians and psychotherapists in the US and China in treatment of low sexual desire. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you want help with this often very treatable (even if challenging) problem.