Low Sex Drive in Men

low_sex_driveA reporter for a major national Men’s magazine recently contacted me and asked if I would comment on some of the surprising and common causes of low sex drive in men. Here are my responses:

  • – A frequent, and I would say surprising cause of low male libido is anger toward their wives or significant others. Anger sucks the energy out of a man’s desire for sex. When men make a statement in therapy such as, “I just don’t want to be anywhere near her,” this translates into not wanting to have sex with her either. Anger activates the “fight or flight” response, and most men are more comfortable fleeing conflict with the women in their lives. They become very ashamed of speaking up about their low sexual desire, and retreat to their “man cave.”
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  • – Low male libido is influenced by the biological condition known as “andropause,” the counterpart of menopause in women. This most often occurs in men whose testosterone counts have decreased with age. Testosterone fuels sex drive in men, so low levels of this hormone equates with low sexual desire.
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  • – Physical illnesses, such as heart disease, stroke, certain cancers and hypothyroidism are responsible for low male libido. The same is true for prescription medications such as antihypertensives, (medications used to treat high blood pressure), and antidepressant drugs such as Prozac, Lexapro and Effexor. Physical illnesses and prescription medications cause low sex drive in men because of decreased blood flow to the genitals. This strikes terror into the heart of a guy to even think that he might not be interested, because his sense of self is usually tied up in his virility.
Joseph Wegmann, R.Ph., LCSW is a licensed clinical pharmacist and a clinical social worker with more than thirty years of experience in the field of psychopharmacology. His diverse professional background in psychopharmacology and counseling affords him a unique perspective on medication management issues. In addition to consulting with numerous psychiatric facilities, he has presented psychopharmacology seminars to thousands of clinicians in 46 states.

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