He's Just Not Up for It Anymore: Why Men Stop Having Sex, and What You Can Do About It

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Overview

Men not interested in sex? Can this really be true? It is for the estimated 20 million American men and women who are in relationships in which the man has stopped being sexually intimate. This breakthrough book reveals the counterintuitive truth: Many men are just not up for it anymore. To find out why, bestselling author and relationship expert Dr. Bob Berkowitz and his wife, Susan Yager-Berkowitz, began an unprecedented survey of more than 4,000 men and women in this situation, gathering data and following up ...

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He's Just Not up for It Anymore: Why Men Stop Having Sex, and What Women Can Do About It

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Overview

Men not interested in sex? Can this really be true? It is for the estimated 20 million American men and women who are in relationships in which the man has stopped being sexually intimate. This breakthrough book reveals the counterintuitive truth: Many men are just not up for it anymore. To find out why, bestselling author and relationship expert Dr. Bob Berkowitz and his wife, Susan Yager-Berkowitz, began an unprecedented survey of more than 4,000 men and women in this situation, gathering data and following up with hundreds of interviews with selected respondents.

Why don't these men want to have sex? Is the problem physical, emotional, or psychological—or are these guys simply bored with their partners? Is it unexpressed anger about other aspects of their relationships? Are they depressed? Now that there is limitless access to pornography, are some men no longer able to be turned on without it? Are they becoming satiated? Do they have a fully functioning libido, just not for their wives? Or is decreased interest in sex just an unacknowledged but natural fact of life for a lot of men? Do they want their libidos back?

Further, how do their partners feel about this? Are they dejected or relieved? Do they suspect infidelity, asexuality or homosexuality, or just blame themselves? What are they doing about it? What can they do?

He's Just Not Up for It Anymore provides a unique window into the sexless man's mind—so that men and women can understand this important issue and begin to address the problems that have inhibited intimacy, and ultimately solve them.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061192036
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 12/26/2007
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 1,233,450
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.89 (d)

Meet the Author

Dr. Bob Berkowitz is the author of the bestselling What Men Won't Tell You but Women Need to Know. A veteran reporter, he has a Ph.D. in clinical sexology.

Susan Yager-Berkowitz is a longtime magazine writer, specializing in nutrition. Together Bob and Susan are editors of the new book Dr. Hubbard's Sex Facts for Men and Women and are the “Marriage Experts" on ThirdAge.com.

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Read an Excerpt

He's Just Not Up for It Anymore
Why Men Stop Having Sex, and What You Can Do About It

Chapter One

Why Men Stop Having Sex

Most women are raised to believe men want sex all the time, a belief the media consistently reinforces. So when a woman suddenly finds herself in a sexless marriage, it not only hurts a lot, it's bewildering. It seems irrational. That same man, the one who couldn't wait to get you alone, couldn't wait to make love to you, now acts either annoyed or exhausted if you even hint at intimacy. Sex should be such a natural, pleasurable, loving, simple thing, shouldn't it? How did this happen?

Sex, of course, isn't simple at all. It may be an expression of love, a whole lot of fun, irresistibly sublime, and the high point of your day, but simple it's not. Some anthropologists suggest it was, once upon a time. When the objective was procreation and a male perhaps shared meat with a female in exchange for as much sex as he wanted, both were far too busy hunting, gathering, and outrunning whatever creature might hunt and gather them first to worry about whether or not sex was happening on a regular basis. And, after all, who knew what a regular basis was, anyway?

Today we know, or at least we think we do. Women's magazines seem to constantly be giving results to polls that ask the inevitable question: "If you are married or in a committed relationship, how often do you have sex?" The average is one to two times a week, a figure that hasn't changed since Kinsey first published his data on men in 1948 and women in 1953. Data are data, but what about all the couples who wouldn't score quite so high on this test? If youare in a relationship where once a month is the norm, or for that matter, once a year, do you even want to take the test?

Why is it that so many married couples find themselves living a life of celibacy?

Today we live in a world where every available form of media seems to scream out that people, and men in particular, want sex, and more sex. That trite and hackneyed expression "sex sells" still seems to be the mantra for pushing everything from soda to cars, to, well, sex. And the majority of us buy into this. We want to be those elusive things—desirable and sexy. The ultimate goal, what most of us really want, or think we really want, is to fall so much in love, to be in a relationship so committed that we become one special person's own private sex symbol. We get a house together, and maybe a family, and lots of sex. Forever.

So why is it that so many married couples, those very people able to have as much sex as they want, find themselves living a life of celibacy? These same couples probably once had sex on a regular basis. They thought each other interesting, attractive, and desirable enough to commit to sharing a bed forever. What stopped the passion?

If you're in a sexless marriage, you're not alone

It's good to know there are other women who experience this. I thought it was really rare. (Female, 35)

Surveys tell us that 40 million Americans live in a no-sex or low-sex marriage. Some believe the number might be even higher. After all, we live in a culture where everyone, or at least everyone in a committed relationship, is supposed to be having sex, and lots of it. Not having sex equals failure, a lack of desirability. Who wants to check the "never" box on that magazine quiz?

A sexless marriage is defined by experts as making love ten times a year or less. Whether or not that is a problem, of course, depends on the couple. If both are content, if "ten times a year or less" meets their needs and expectations, then they have no problem. Unfortunately, this usually is not the case. Often the loss of sexual pleasure and intimacy results in depression, suspicion, anger, resentment, and sometimes, infidelity and divorce. Although it is clear that this issue is rarely one-sided, it is nevertheless surprising to many that it is just as often the man who puts the brakes on sexuality as the woman. The late Dr. Bernie Zilbergeld, who was one of America's leading sex therapists, suggested it was more often the man when he wrote, " . . . in the vast amount of couples consulting me about desire complaints it's the women who want more and the man who always has a headache." These same men who used to do whatever it took to get their fiancées or new brides into bed no longer desire them. What happened?

What stops the passion?

Why do men stop having sex with their wives? The reason is seldom simple and may have a physiological, psychological, or cultural foundation; recent studies add a genetic component. Often these elements combine.

We looked at the statistical reasons our male survey respondents, who self-identified as choosing not to have sex with their spouses, gave us for no longer being intimate, and we studied their comments carefully. Let's first take a look at some statistics. We asked men to rate a list of reasons on a scale that went from strongly agree to strongly disagree. The following table lists in descending order the percentage of men who agreed with each of the causes.

He's Just Not Up for It Anymore
Why Men Stop Having Sex, and What You Can Do About It
. Copyright © by Bob Berkowitz. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold. <%END%>
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 2, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Best book on the subject yet. Even better than THE SEX STARVED WIFE.,

    I must say. At first I thought there could be no better work on the subject than THE SEX-STARVED WIFE: WHAT TO DO WHEN HE'S LOST DESIRE. This book is much more comprehensive, thorough and gender balanced in examining the reasons why male partners either decrease or cease their sexual activity with their significant others. Perhaps this is so because the book is written by a married couple who wanted to be fair to both genders involved. Like THE SEX STARVED WIFE the book wrote that HSDD (hypoactive sexual desire disorder)can be used as a catchall term for little or no sex as a result of many factors both psychological and physiological in origin. So often the medical community has a tendency to assume that the sole reason for this has to do with low testosterone count. In Chapter Eleven "Maybe He's Gay? Asexual?" Berkowitz and Yager-Berkowitz clearly state "if a man's sex drive is low, it may not be due to low testosterone...there are multiple physiological and psychological reasons for a man not wanting to have partnered sex." Significantly, one reason may be "simply the way an individual functions, just as one man may have an unusually high sex drive, another may have one unusually low. And sometimes a man with a weak level of desire marries a female with a libido that falls into a range that is average or above, a situation perhaps masked in the early days of courtship when his passion was able to soar to a temporary high before it peaked and declined back to what was 'normal' for him". This is something THE SEX STARVED WIFE neglected to mention. I have read some reviewers that sounded furious that the author of THE SEX STARVED WIFE seemed to blame the woman exclusively for the problem.In their concluding chapter Berkowitz and Yager-Berkowitz DO admit that "sexless marriage is rarely the result of only one partner's behavior, even it if looks that way on the surface." I DO agree with that statement but I DON'T agree with what they allege in Chapter One "Why Men Stop Having Sex." I do not agree that WOMEN shift responsibility for the lack of sex away from themselves. On the contrary, I think women have a tendency to BLAME THEMSELVES for their husband's lack of desire and oftentimes excessively and unjustly so. Both partners in the relationship have to take responsibility for their actions. Far too often there is a hidden power struggle existing in the relationship. It IS pointed out that "the absence of sexual desire is most often related to expressed or unexpressed anger...living with critical and controlling women who were ready to fly off the handle..." but also that "We don't believe anger is one-sided...They are taking no responsibility for, or are oblvious to, their own part in the story." The authors rightfully state "A conflict-free relationship is impossible. However, when conflict becomes either a cause or an excuse for witholding sex, it is not handled properly." Additionally "Not getting or sustaining an erection can also be a way of passively showing contempt. Withholding sex becomes a punishment; he is refusing to give her something she wants, perhaps one of the few things he perceives as still being within his control." This creates a vicious circle when "The 'noncritical' or 'nonangry' partner responds by witholding touch, warmth and sex, which gives the 'angry' spouse more reason to stay that way." At any rate I would s

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 31, 2013

    Neongreenhorses3

    Oh i love it and i love that we are neighbors

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 24, 2012

    It helped me understand what was going on

    Easy read. It was very interesting to see how common this issue is. I am glad I bought it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 26, 2011

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    Posted March 16, 2011

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    Posted April 3, 2011

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