I know 5 reasons your husband doesn’t want sex with you anymore, says TRACEY COX – and having an affair isn’t one of them

Sex therapists say that in about a third of couples who seek therapy for differing sexual urges, the woman wants sex more than the man.

The assumption that all men want sex with their partner all the time is simply not true – and it’s one of the reasons why women are so ashamed to admit it when their husbands turn down sex with them.

‘I would tell my friends if he was having an affair. But I’m certainly not going to tell them that my husband hasn’t touched me sexually in years,” one woman told me.

Many women assume the worst when sex stops: their partner doesn’t love them or is having sex with someone else.

But extramarital sex is rarely the reason a man loses sexual desire for his partner.

It is much more likely that…

The assumption that all men want sex with their partner all the time is simply not true – and it’s one of the reasons why women are so ashamed to admit it when their husbands turn down sex with them. Stock image used


When a woman confesses to me that her male partner is suddenly avoiding sex and doesn’t want to talk about it, my first question is: ‘How old is he?’.

If he’s over 40, I suspect erection problems have something to do with it. If he’s over 50, I guarantee he is.

Men expect to lose their hair and develop a beer belly. But no one talks about what happens to their penis as it ages. As wonderful and impressive as they are, an erection is just a penis full of blood. If he has erection problems, problems with blood flow are often the cause. Unfortunately for men, there are quite a few things that can affect it. Diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, obesity, low testosterone levels (aging), unhealthy lifestyle (drinking, smoking, junk food), stress and anxiety. Most men are not aware of this.

The first time he fails to get an erection at the right time is a sobering experience, even if he isn’t sober. If it happens more than once, it is often considered one of the worst moments of his life.

Humiliated. Depressed. Debunked. These are just some of the words men use to describe the feeling of not being able to ‘get up’.

Many men would rather not have sex at all than have to deal with a penis that ‘doesn’t work’. For most men, sex means putting their penis in something. It is extremely difficult to convince a man that oral sex, handjobs, kissing, touching, and using a sex toy count as sex. You can do a lot without an erection, but most men don’t believe it – and aren’t interested in exploring the concept.

Erection problems are not the same as low desire, but if he experiences one, sooner or later he will probably feel the other too.

British sex expert Tracey Cox (pictured) shares the top five reasons why your partner may no longer have sex with you

British sex expert Tracey Cox (pictured) shares the top five reasons why your partner may no longer have sex with you

He no longer feels attractive

There is constant debate about female body image and how it affects their desire for sex. But men also struggle with feelings of attractiveness and the same thing happens to them.


Most women come up with three main reasons to explain why their partner has lost interest in sex.

But how likely are they to be true?

1. He’s having an affair

‘We used to have sex every day. Now he initiates once a month if so. Of course there is someone else. What other reason could there be? He won’t just stop having sex.’

Probability of being right: 3/10

Actually, he can – for all the reasons I talk about in this article. Cheating is the least likely reason why your partner turns to the wall instead of you. Many men experience an increased desire for sex with their partner while they are having an affair.

2. He doesn’t like me anymore

‘I see him looking at women who are younger, prettier and thinner than me. I actually wouldn’t mind if we were still having sex. Everyone looks at attractive people. But if he pushes back on every step I take, how can I not take this personally?’

Probability of being right: 4/10

Women grow up believing that all men pursue attractive women and want to have sex with them. Therefore, they must be somehow unattractive if their partner does not pursue them sexually. There may be some loss of attractiveness if you’ve made significant changes to your appearance – such as extreme weight gain or loss – but there’s almost always something else at play.


‘He waits until I go upstairs to bed and says he’s right behind me. He then goes to the downstairs toilet at least three times a week, locks the door and masturbates while watching porn on his phone. I know because I followed him and listened outside the door. Meanwhile, I lie in bed and try to look sexy, hoping that tonight will be the night he notices me. He rarely does that.’

Probability of being right: 6/10

Online porn has replaced ‘real’ sex for an alarming number of men. It is immediately accessible, invites you to view ever-inviting images without fear of judgment and offers an endless range of variety, 24 hours a day. It’s hard to beat that!

Many men see masturbating to porn as a way to have imaginary sex without personally cheating on their partners. Others use it as fantasy fodder to spice up sex. I don’t see a problem with either reason – and there usually isn’t if the man is still enjoying sex with his flesh-and-blood partner.

The problem with solo porn sex is that it’s so easy for men to get lazy. Seducing your partner takes effort: within five minutes you’re done watching porn.

Chances of him being right about having erection problems: 10/10

When erection problems arise, the chances of a man replacing real sex with porn are extremely high. If partner sex makes it very anxious and porn sex is zero pressure, which one would you choose? Many men who suffer from performance anxiety would rather have sex alone with themselves while watching porn than suffer the humiliation of admitting it to their partner.

Gain weight, lose muscle mass and (as already mentioned) their hair. Even though people still like to say (please stop) that men with gray hair and wrinkles look “distinctive” while women with both just look old, men are not immune to feeling depressed when their appearance changes.

This is especially true if his partner is much younger or seems to be doing better than him. It’s one thing to reveal a plump belly while trying to seduce a woman who also has one. Quite another thing, when she’s still sporting a six-pack and (you swear) looks a little disgusted when she sees it.


This may come as a complete surprise, as the first hint of low libido often appears two years into a relationship. This is because almost everyone gets an artificial boost of desire at first.

The second most common time this happens is when children arrive and sex naturally decreases. People with low desire can maintain a healthy sex drive if they have sex regularly. But if sex stops and his motivation to seek it out is not strong, his libido will plummet to its natural resting place, which may be much lower than the partner expected.

Is he secretly gay? Is he having an affair? Am I too fat/too old/not sexy enough? Very few women think this is because their partner naturally has a low libido. While we talk a lot about women losing desire, we rarely talk about the fact that men lose interest in the long run. Never mind that I didn’t have much enthusiasm for it in the first place.

The truth is that men don’t inherently have a higher sex drive than women: it’s a stereotype. The reality is more nuanced. Desire is a complex interplay of biological, psychological and social factors that vary widely between individuals, regardless of gender.

Our ‘resting libido’ is also at least partly genetically determined. If your partner’s father had a huge sex drive, chances are he does too. However, if that leads to Dad having an affair, it could have the opposite effect…

He thinks he’s being kind because he doesn’t want to

Not all men grow up in a household where men are encouraged to ‘be a man’ and seek sex whenever they can because ‘it’s what men do’.

If your partner’s childhood was marred by a father who had affairs β€” giving the impression that the desire for sex gets you in trouble or that our sex drive is out of control β€” he may subconsciously decide not to let that happen to him. Wanting sex is dangerous, maybe even disgusting.

This can also happen to men if their mothers have been treated poorly by men. The message she sends (intentionally or unconsciously) is that men’s sexual urges are harmful to women. Her son then works hard to temper his and is ashamed when he fails. Normal things that almost all adolescents enjoy, such as masturbation and fantasizing, become negative experiences.

Now that he’s become the man he wanted to be – someone who isn’t sexually aggressive or predatory – he thinks he’s being kind by not wanting to have sex with you.

He is stressed or depressed

A study found that one in five men say their libido is low because they are too stressed from work. Then they kill what little desire is left by doing what many people do when they’re stressed: self-medicate with alcohol. Excessive drinking affects the production of testosterone, the main hormone responsible for our sex drive. Not surprisingly, the kick-on effect of all this is often depression. So he goes to the doctor, who hands out antidepressants and maybe some blood pressure pills, effectively wiping out any cravings that are hopefully still lingering. An ever-expanding list of medications dampens the most enthusiastic libido.

Check out Tracey’s two product lines – Supersex and Edge – if you want a quick, instant way to spice up everyday sex. You can find them at lovehoney.co.uk (or the lovehoney website in your country).