It used to be women who pretended they were asleep or feigned a headache, but new research shows men are now the ones losing their libido.
Lack of desire
According to stereotype, men just can't get enough action between the sheets, while women roll over and pretend to be asleep in a last ditch attempt to get out of doing the deed. But a new sex-therapy study has discovered that this is a fallacy. It's actually men who are saying no, and it's the sex-starved women who are calling out for more.
The study, conducted by Relate, a UK-based relationship counseling and sex-therapy service, found that for half of the couples who attended counselling it was the man who had the sexual issue most commonly this problem was due to a lack of desire or erectile dysfunction.
Men are speaking up
Nina Bryant, a Relate psychosexual therapist says it's increasingly common for men to lose their libido. ''When I started in this field it was rare for a man to report a lack of interest in sex,'' she says. ''Now it makes about a third of my case load.''
Of course, this isn't just because men are now experiencing more sexual hurdles, but it's also because the ''new age'' man is now more comfortable talking about it.
Being a man: it's a loaded role
''We want a lot from men these days,'' says sex and relationship psychologist Petra Boynton. ''They're meant to be the breadwinners, but also doting, hands-on dads who deliver mind-blowing orgasms.'' But, in reality, Boynton says, ''A man's sex drive can fluctuate for all the reasons a woman's can. It could be that he's stressed, unhappy, tired or under pressure at work''.
Gina Ogden, a clinical sex therapist and the author of Women Who Love Sex agrees: ''We call it men's 'sex drive' as if they're cars with a certain number of pistons thrusting them forward at all times. Actually, it's about desire, expectation and emotion, and naturally that can ebb, flow and sometimes plummet''.