Scientists have found a new substance that reduces women’s sex drive by 95 per cent. Living together for several years before marriage, the couple always had a healthy sex life, albeit with the usual, cyclical ups and downs.
That’s not just an old joke; it’s one of our deepest-held, across-the-board cultural assumptions: men are supposed to be the hungry dogs, ever-ready. In relationships, the battle of the sexes rages in the bedroom: Men pester for it, women “give it up.” Remember The Cosby Show? Phylicia Rashad, eyes rolling skyward, would finally bestow it as a reward for good behaviour. It was for Fred Williams.* Wedding cake had a disastrous dampening effect on his libido, not his wife’s.
“People think men just do it like clockwork, no matter what happens,” he says. I’ve had girlfriends who say, ‘Are we fizzling out?
’ We’re not, but if I’m really stressed out, when I come home, I just can’t relax enough.” He feels that women can make too much of these ruts.
Women can only do it when the house is tidy and the kids asleep; men, meanwhile, could do it with the house on fire (of course only if the fire were contained and the fire brigade on its way).
Post-nuptials, however, sex became “this weekly chore I dreaded,” he says.
Both fall into the category of sexual dysfunction and can be caused by a number of physical and psychological factors including serious depression, a life-threatening illness, alcoholism or drug abuse, and male “andropause,” the period starting at about age 40 when testosterone gradually declines.
Erectile problems can usually be treated with testosterone supplements and drugs such as Viagra.
True, when they feel so stressed out that they can’t cope, testosterone levels may sink.
Then again, “men often look upon sex as stress relief,” while women dismiss the notion entirely in times of stress.
Mc Garvie contends that performance anxiety is a more credible cause of men not “putting out.” Fear of impotence, or premature ejaculation, leads many men to shy away from initiating sex or even touching and cuddling that might lead to sex.
Low libido, however, frequently has an emotional component.
And it can stem from the different ways men and women communicate.