This book offer a well-researched, balanced, and realistic discussion of a common challenge and the options men and women have for addressing the complicated layers of a sexless relationship.
Let us be clear right off the bat: this is NOT a self-help book. While the authors will not lay out a simple one-size-fits-all solution, plan or program to “What do I do?”, they will offer a lot of stories, research, experience and thoughtful analysis and interpretation to help you understand what could be happening when you or your male partner stops having sex.
We appreciate that this book is written by a couple who bring their own personal and professional experience to the table–this helps to set a balanced, “we’re in this together” tone. The bulk of the material is not about them or their opinions, though. Instead, they have drawn together survey data from over 4,000 male and female folks in this situation, interviews from over 100, insight from other therapists and experts in related fields, and an impressive list of other research.
They use this information to show how perceptions of men and women in relationships are usually very different, full of blame and missing the real underlying issues. This book does not let anyone off the hook and will likely challenge both male and female readers’ assumptions about their partners and themselves. The stories included from other men and women do provide helpful perspective, a sense of not being alone, and starting points for bringing up understandably difficult topics and feelings.
Some of the topics explored include erectile dysfunction, weight gain and body image, affairs, porn, masturbation, boredom, and myriad life changes. The authors shed some light on ways in which these causes and behaviors might be connected, as well as how underlying fears and reactions can further drive away desire.
While most of the book focuses on the “why”, the final (small) section of the book does outline some practical advice for beginning to take action and seek help from doctors and therapists, as well as what it might look like to stay or leave in a sexless relationship. (Note that an important missing piece is looking for a certified sex therapist, as most therapists are not well-versed in topics of sexuality.) The real takeaway, though, is that there is no straightforward fix to bringing sexy back, but that “Ultimately, you have to face each other and break down the barriers between you and real intimacy.” If you are looking for a realistic discussion about the complicated layers of lost male libido and the options couples have for addressing this challenge, this book will be a solid place to start.