Low testosterone levels can cause a variety of health problems. Obesity, heart disease, osteoporosis, brain fog, lethargy, and even depression can all be traced back to low testosterone levels. One aspect of this disease that is always difficult to treat is the accompanying low libido that plagues many men. Many men simply lose their appetite for sexual activity. It’s not that they consciously don’t want to, but most men in our culture have relied on a libido and sex drive to be the motivation to engage in sexual activity.
A couple in my office discussed the frustration of living with a man low libido. The woman lamented the fact that she had somehow been brought into the “boyfriend” zone without ever realizing it. She felt like they were living like roommates, not lovers. They knew they still loved each other, but the sexual chemistry and energy between them was just gone. Western culture is partly responsible for some of the difficulties in these situations. Women have been told that his libido and sexual desires are their responsibility. Many women make the mistake of assuming that if he doesn’t care about sex, it’s somehow their fault. This is a common lie that women have fed their entire lives (the same lie also feeds into the erectile dysfunction dilemma).
Men are often confused because they don’t know what is going on. They can’t figure out why they’re not interested. They have always relied on a sex drive to be the instigator of their sex life. They are often confused just as their partners. Many men describe how they feel when they see delicious food in front of them – they enjoy the sight and the smell, but have absolutely no desire to eat it.
Many partners take it upon themselves to do something to arouse the man in order to make him react sexually. Partners try different techniques – sexy conversations, lingerie, suggestions for favorite sexual activities – anything they can think of to start the flames of passion (usually to no avail). When these efforts fail, many partners can experience a wide range of emotions: isolated, lonely, angry, sad, bitter, and angry, to name a few. Many men feel this and tend to withdraw into a cave of pain and confusion instead of stretching. Countless patients have told me that in these cases their solution was to withdraw. Instead of touching their partner, avoid touching because they feel that touching must lead to intercourse and that they don’t want to start anything that they cannot finish.
The solution In this dilemma, several lies about sex that most of us have believed our entire lives are exposed. The first is that we have sex when we are horny. This belief can stand in the way of the full autonomy of a sexual life. Men have relinquished their hormone levels in making decisions about their sex life. Rather than being intentional, thoughtful, and mindful of their relationships, intimacy is left to circumstances, open schedules, and hormone levels. The key is for men to realize that sexual intimacy is a path to stability, happiness in relationship, and even self-esteem. It’s okay for the adolescent or young man to be hormone-driven, but a mature relationship requires careful preparation, deliberate action, and selfless focus on our partner’s needs. Instead of waiting for hormone levels to make us horny to have sex, we must intellectually make the decision that sex is good for our relationship and ours life quality.
The second thought I want to address is the idea that sex must be intercourse. With low testosterone / low libido, it can be very difficult for men to get a reliable erection. In this case, the sexual activity needs to shift from a reproductive style to a playful, engaging, and pleasure-oriented fun. I often tell my patients that the urge to have sexual intercourse can often hinder spontaneity and connection with sexual activities. For example, I suggest that guys break out the coconut oil and cover their partner from head to toe with it and just start playing with each other’s bodies. Most couples do not try to conceive during sex. While intercourse is always on the menu, it should possibly be optional and not a priority. Erotic massage, sex games, intimate touch, manual stimulation – all of these options can be very satisfying when we let go of our cultural beliefs about what sex should be.
So how do we arouse a man with low testosterone levels? The answer is, we are not. Arousal is probably not the most helpful goal. The more helpful goal might be to feel connected, connected, validated, approved, loved, understood, and valued. Arousal is wonderful, but it is not necessary to achieve these goals. Many couples will benefit from speaking with a therapist or sex educator / counselor to help guide this transition to a broader understanding of sexual activity. While health professionals focus on achieving optimal testosterone levels and, ultimately, higher libido, it is important to focus on the important goals that will keep a relationship going.
If you are experiencing symptoms of Low T, please contact us to arrange a free telephone consultation. Our team of sexual health experts can help.