Stress Affects Male Sex DriveNew research into how stress affects a man’s sex drive shows we’ve badly under-estimated how munch long work hours and anxiety over money can impact men’s sexual performance.
Sydney researcher Elaine George has been investigating low sex drive for her doctoral thesis for several years.
And the surprise finding of her work so far is that stress and fatigue are just as much killers for men’s sexual desire as they are for women. The idea that men’s sex drive is bullet proof doesn’t reflect reality, says George, who is two years into her doctoral study.
“Some men almost shut down when they are severely stressed. Emotional withdrawal is often followed by physical withdrawal.”
50 Per Cent Don’t Want Sex Every DayAs we’ve reported on Midlife rocks, preliminary research results show that while 49 per cent of men do want sex pretty well anytime anywhere, around 20 per cent of men don’t want sex every day and some are quite contented with sex once a month or less.
And that’s a concern because physical intimacy in a relationship is very closely correlated with emotional intimacy, says Elaine.
The definition of a sexless marriage is one in which sex occurs less than 10 times a year.
Maintaining Intimacy ImportantGeorge says there is a lot of merit in the idea of “bread and butter” sex to maintain intimacy during difficult times. It’s fine not to expect fireworks and a peak sexual experience every night, she says. “Regular intimacy is very valuable to a relationship. The ‘all or nothing’ attitude that you expect orgasm every encounter can become a dangerous psychology.”
And it’s not just the low sex drive that can be so destructive for both men and their partners she says. There is also a strong link between low sex drive and erectile dysfunction – a term George doesn’t like to use because she says it “labels” men and opens up a Pandora’s Box of additional stress and performance anxiety.
Temporary ED No Cause For Panic“A man may not be able to achieve an erection in one situation – it doesn’t mean to say it’s all over. It might mean he is extremely tired and fatigued and in that particular situation he loses his potency – and then that leads to other scenarios.
“In couples I see when this happens wives often experience panic, anger, self-doubt, and some then tend to become more controlling and over bearing and that sends him running further away.”
Men have been raised to think they are stripped of their identity if they can’t get an erection – and that’s just not true says George, who operates from a practice in Neutral Bay and has written extensively on sex and relationships in the Daily Telegraph.