“I Don’t Feel Like Having Sex Tonight…”

If your sex-life is in the tank, it makes sense that you might try to avoid it. According to noted therapist Melody Matthews Lowman: “You’re protecting yourself from an unsuccessful sexual interaction, and losing interest is a natural outcome.”

Conditions that Matter

Here is a short list of sexual health issues that can typically lead a guy to avoid sex:

Low or absent sex drive
Early ejaculation
Delayed ejaculation
Unreliable erections
Curved or painful erections

Trust me, they are all correctable (I do this for a living). But by far the most common among them is low sex drive.

Know Thy Stressors

“If you are a pretty bad golfer and a buddy invites you to go golfing, you’re not going to feel like it. You might rather go play tennis or something that you’re better at instead,“ says Ms. Lowman. “Men want and need to feel competent in our society and so this behavior is quite natural.” But that’s not the real issue here.

Most commonly, a loss of interest in sex drives the avoidance problem. By far, the most important factors leading to a loss of sex drive are lifestyle-related and often characterized by exhaustion, travel stress, drug use, medical illness, and erratic sleep schedules. “These disregulate the body tremendously and can easily cause a loss of interest in sex.”

Getting the Mojo Back

“During early courtship, there is a rhythm and anticipation about sex within the relationship.” Partners spend time thinking about what will happen when they get together that evening or on the weekend. Once people are in a long-term, committed relationships, however, they often forget to take care of this important form of ‘foreplay.’

In a new relationship, the sexual desire comes first, well before the sex, and the sex follows. However it is very common in long-term relationships not to feel the desire first before sex. In the words of Ms. Lowman, “there’s no getting the pot to simmer so that’s its all warmed up.”

A great solution is to work on what was happening before losing interest in sex. Preserve and dedicate this “foreplay” time that was a great part of early courtship by not paying the bills, watching the news, or cleaning the house before going to bed.  And you can protect time for each other in basic, non-sexual ways as well: be well rested, substance-free and simply spend some relaxing time together.

“What did you do for fun early on in the relationship? Put this back on the table.” Then, when you are ready, let nature take it course and do what’s comfortable. “Remove the pressure to perform and remember that there is a next time.” Doing these sorts of things will inevitably invite back sexual desire. Follow the prescient words of Sara McDowel in LA Story: “Let your mind go, and your body will follow.”

This article originally appeared on Dr. Turek’s blog, www.theturekclinic.com, and has been republished here with permission.

Dr. Paul Turek, Medical Contributor

View posts by Dr. Paul Turek, Medical Contributor
Dr. Paul Turek is an internationally known thought leader in men’s reproductive and sexual health care and research. A fellowship trained, board-certified physician by the American Board of Urology (ABU), he has received numerous honors and awards for his work and is an active member in professional associations worldwide. His recent lectures, publications and book titles can be found in his curriculum vitae.
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