Close-up of senior couple focusing on worried woman

I have tried everything except penile implants. I can not achieve an erection. I also do not think of sex at all—except for fantasies that she’s with other men. I even try to think sexually and it changes to something else. When my wife is in the mood I try but she says she can see I’m not into it. I tell her I want to be a part of helping her be satisfied. She says she can do that herself. I sometimes think of her just having an affair. I know in part of my mind that isn’t normal. But in the other part, I sort of feel it’s erotic but it doesn’t do anything for me down there. And it is about as far as a sexual thought goes. Why is this happening? Is it normal? I just feel really bad for her. She isn’t dead. She still has strong sexual feelings. How do I handle it? should I tell her or just keep having fights every time she want to be sexual?


  • Michael Castleman says:

    A lot going on. You have a major sexual desire difference. She wants to be sexual, and you hardly ever think about it (except for fantasies that she’s with other men). You also have erectile dysfunction. And the two of you fight about sex.

    The stereotype is that men are constantly horny and women must be coaxed, wined, and dined into bed. But for many couples, that’s simply not true. When couples consult sex therapists for desire differences, in one-third of cases, it’s the woman who wants more sex. You guys are in that group. You’re normal. Plenty of women have more libido than their partners.

    What to do about it? Your situation is complicated—desire difference, erection issues, confusion, resentments, and fighting. I urge you to try sex therapy. A sex therapist can referee mutual venting and probably help ameliorate your desire difference. A sex therapist can also counsel you about your ED, and help you explore your fantasy that your wife is having affairs.

    If you’re unfamiliar with sex therapy, the therapist does NOT have sex with you and does NOT watch you have sex. Sex therapy is a form of talk-based psychotherapy with “homework.” It usually takes four to six months of weekly one-hour sessions. It costs $200-400/hour, though many therapists discount fees for those who can’t afford standard rates. For more, read my low-cost article, An Intimate Look at Sex Therapy, and/or see the film, “Hope Springs” with Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones. To find a sex therapist near you, visit the American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors, and Therapists, the Society for Sex Therapy and Research, or the American Board of Sexology.

    I wish you great sex.

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