By Jennifer Karina
I’m a 30-year-old woman married to a 37-year-old man who is completely disinterested in sex. No matter how much I try to initiate it, he finds me offensive and conflict arises. I suspect there is a problem because we have not had sex for the last nine months and my patience is running out,” wrote one of my readers.
When couples have conflict and do not seem to agree on anything, check the sex life — it has something to do with it.
There are various factors that may contribute to a man’s lack of sexual interest — they could be physical, psychological or both.
Emotional factors affecting sex include both interpersonal and psychological issues; lack of open communication and trust between partners.
Psychological factors could include stress-related issues due to work pressures or financial engagement, traumatic childhood experiences, performance anxiety, fear of intimacy or excitement, unresolved conflicts, undisclosed medical condition, or more serious sexual fears that one is afraid to confront. Sometimes the reason may even be that the man is secretly gay.
Physical factors contributing to sexual problems may be body image issues, hormonal deficiencies (decrease testosterone due to factors such as ageing and fatigue, which can also cause decreased libido).
Some serious birth defects, an enlarged prostate gland, diseases such as diabetes, sexually transmitted diseases including undisclosed HIV status, could also cause disinterest. Other causes may include drugs, alcohol and depression.
Men feel tremendous pressure to perform sexually. Sexual dysfunction is a reality that threatens relationships. There may be partial or complete failure to attain or maintain an erection, or a lack of sexual excitement and pleasure in sexual activity. Whatever the case, the greater challenge, however, is a partner’s refusal to accept the reality and to seek medical or psychological help. These conditions appear as an aversion to, and avoidance of sexual contact with a partner.
Men are attracted and sexually aroused towards their partners by their external beauty and the level of intellectual and recreational engagement in the relationship; perceived respect, appreciation and positive unconditional regard.