- It’s often thought that men are always in the mood for sex.
- According to a relationship therapist this isn’t true.
- Life can get in the way when men get older, and sex can feel like less of a top priority – just like it can for women.
- If men feel emotionally distant from their partner, they might not be in the mood either.
A common stereotype is that in a heterosexual relationship, men are always initiating sex. According to relationship therapist Sarah Hunter Murray, this isn’t true.
In an interview on TODAY, discussing her book “Not Always in the Mood: The New Science of Men, Sex, and Relationships,” Murray said it’s a myth that men are “always in the mood.”
“Men sometimes don’t want to have sex,” she said. “‘Not tonight dear, I have a headache’ – we think about that as something the wife says. We don’t have the same vernacular for talking about men’s low sexual desire.”
Murray interviewed and surveyed 200 heterosexual men in relationships, aged 18 to 65, and talked about her findings in the article.
While it’s normal to talk about how it’s hard for women to find time for sex when they have work, caring for children, paying bills, and taking on more responsibilities, we don’t tend to do the same for men.
Men who took part in the research said sex stopped being a priority once they hit 40, when they generally had to focus more on getting a good night’s sleep to get up in the morning and take the kids to school.
Another finding Murray found surprising was that if men feel emotionally distant from their partner, they might not be in the mood either – squashing the misconception that sex is “just an act.”
“Men were telling me that if they had been having a fight with their partner that hadn’t been resolved or if they just didn’t feel so close and connected, even if she was interested in sex, sometimes, they just wouldn’t be,” she said. “He just wouldn’t feel sexual desire – it was dependent on feeling that emotional closeness first.”
She added that it’s important to realise sex is emotional and vulnerable, and may be initiated because one partner just wants to feel close.
“It’s a way for men to bring those walls down; to feel they can just be themselves,” she said. “It really is this opportunity to be open, vulnerable, close, connected, and emotional.”
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