Sex

Hey Man: I Don't Want Sex Anymore – Is Something Wrong With Me?

VICE's resident men's advice columnist Rhys Thomas has the answers.
September 20, 2021, 8:30am
Men's advice columnist Rhys Thomas sitting behind a desk
Photo: Christopher Bethell
‘Hey Man’ is a personal advice column about guys, by guys. Need help? Email HeyMan@vice.com.

Hey man, I used to want to have sex all the time, but suddenly I have no sex drive. What’s happening?

At some time in their life, every bloke has felt as if they’re defined by their shagging capabilities. From teenage lads comparing body counts to shuffling home in Thursday night’s clothes wondering if you lasted long enough, sex often ranks high up on the list of things men deem important.

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When our libido dips – where no matter how much you’d like to be horny, you can’t switch on the wires upstairs and downstairs – it can be miserable. Especially if there’s a hot person in your DMs or a partner in your bed. 

But this change is just that: a change. If you want your mojo back, you need to question why you don’t feel yourself. Are you stressed because you have a shitload of work to do? Or experiencing depression or anxiety?

Dr Luke Pratsides, a GP at Numan, says that scientifically, a lack of testosterone is stopping your urge to have sex. In fact, running low on testosterone is a biological cock-block. “As far as men are concerned, when testosterone is reduced, so is our libido,” he summarises.  

Practically, a lack of T comes from living an unbalanced lifestyle. “Most of the people I speak to about this aren’t getting enough sleep, they’re not getting a balanced healthy diet, and they’re not exercising enough” says Dr Katherine Hertlein, a lead therapist at sex therapy app Blueheart

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Even in 2021, when we should be able to drink magic six-pack juice, exercise is essential to getting yourself back in the bedroom. You need to get your pump on to get your pump on, so to speak. “Even if it’s just an hour-long walk,” says Hertlein. Both doctors also mentioned that getting a full night’s sleep is essential.

Of course, not wanting to have sex doesn’t always mean a health or wellbeing issue is at hand. Your libido can dip for lots of reasons. Maybe you’re not into a certain person or persons anymore – or, actually, you may just not want to have sex ever. So, to answer your concern, you’ve got to get a little introspective and figure out why it is you personally don’t want to have sex at the moment.

If you have a partner, or people you regularly find yourself catching a bus in the dead of night for, question whether everything feels good there. If every time you were sent a peach or aubergine emoji, you’d typically be running out of the house, but now can’t be bothered – even though they consistently turn you on – something might be up.  

“Quality of sex is really contingent much more on the connection to the person you're having sex with, rather than just having sex.” says Dr Nan.

Do you know your kinks, fantasies, what’s missing? Is there something you don’t enjoy, but you’ve been going along with it because it’s easier and it’s just what people do? It’s worth being open about what’s going on, especially if you’re having sex with a regular partner. 

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Really, you want to put as little pressure on having sex as possible. Adopt an “it’s just sex, we’ll be fine” mindset. If you can try and put less importance on what’s going to happen, you’ll find things easier. The stress will fade. Before you know it, all will be good in the department of shags. 

One of the most frustrating things for many men is that this dip in horniness can make you feel like you’re killing other people’s boners. Frankly, however, anyone worth the time of day will be more than understanding that you’re not to blame for not wanting sex. But for their own wellbeing, it can be communicated that it has nothing to with them.

If you’re able to have a transparent chat – or if you’re the partner and you’re reading – then Cara Thien, founder of sexual wellness brand Dani Pepper, says “not becoming frustrated or pushy is important”. 

Timing these conversations is crucial. Instead of bottling up, then ruining both the evening and your confidence, Hertlein says: “You want to tell them well before you go to bed. Avoid saying it when you’re in a heated moment. Say things in a considerate, calm manner, with the right tone.” 

Generally speaking, your libido won’t disappear forever. In some cases where it has, treatment is available. If you think this is the case, it’s worth getting a hormone blood test. This is rare, and more common in older age or if you’ve had any issues with your prostate.

Beyond that, your inability to want a shag – if it feels like a problem – is probably a signal that something’s just not quite right.

Take a second to reflect on how you’re doing, write a list of your thoughts and stresses, talk to someone. Begin to figure out where the issues lay, and you’ll be shagging, or enjoying not shagging, in no time. Good luck man. 

@_rhysthomas_