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Dear Nina B, Sex Therapist

Nina Booysen

“My husband and I have been married for almost ten years…”

“…and though our sex life started off spontaneous and fun, this has dropped off and he seems to have no libido and little interest in sex – I’m usually the one to initiate things. I figured it might be a case of getting too used to the relationship but whenever I suggest ‘kinky’ or different things to do in the bedroom, he always seems to get embarrassed and uncomfortable and just wants to do it the normal way. When I ask him what he likes, he also gets uncomfortable and doesn’t want to talk about it. How do we inject the spice back into the relationship if he doesn’t want to make an effort?” 

Dear reader,

There are many explanations as to why your ‘all things spice’ department may be on a go slow. Let’s look at the possibilities.

Firstly, his lack of interest is what lead you to try to spice things up. This is the core issue.

Low desire in men is a much more common issue in relationships than many people think. We have always been lead to believe that men will take sex whenever and however it is offered. Not True.

Men are just as susceptible to life’s changes as we are. Having sex with another human being requires effort, a need that they have of us and we of them. When we feel we have nothing left to give at the end of a day, sex is the first thing to fall away.

The suggestion of spicing things up or being “kinky” may seem like more effort he would have to put in.

In my experience, some of the reasons why men are avoiding or hesitant around sex are:

  • Life changing events.
  • Cultural and familial influences on his core beliefs around sex.
  • Lack of sexual self-confidence.
  • He is battling with a sexual dysfunction such as premature ejaculation or erectile dysfunction. Performance anxiety sucks all the fun and playfulness out of sex.
  • He is indulging in an active fantasy world separate from his relationship with his wife. In other words he cannot reconcile having hot, kinky, steamy, sex with his wife as that is ‘love’ but his fantasies are purely sex.
  • He feels he cannot communicate his needs for fear of judgement.
  • There are relationship issues affecting his desire for his partner and willingness to connect physically.
  • He has low testosterone (rare)

Given the long list above it can be daunting for a couple to have an open and non judgemental discussion about something that is so emotionally driven.

We can all become avoidant because of negative emotions. I would suggest that you try and have a chat with your husband when you know he is at his most relaxed and talk about how his lack of sexual interest makes you feel.

More importantly, how does the lack of interest in sex or in connecting make him feel? Were there times in the marriage when sex and intimacy were found naturally in the relationship and weren’t a source of angst? Talk about those times.

If you can get to the source of low desire and fix that first, then the ability to “spice things up” will be much easier. Sometimes speaking to a therapist can help a couple understand the true issues and give you the tools to resolve them.

If you have a sex or intimate relationship query for Nina or would like to know more about her practice and services, you can email her at [email protected]

Feature image of ‘upset man sitting on the bed with woman on the back‘ via Shutterstock. 

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Nina Booysen

Nina is a Canberra and region based relationship and sex therapist. She is the founder and director of Nina B Sex Therapy, working for a community based organisation as well. Nina has Psychology and Counselling qualifications as well as a Masters in Sexual health Counselling. Nina is dedicated to offering clients a non judgemental, sex positive approach to life and relationships. More about the Author

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