Are your clients in one of the 20 million traditional heterosexual marriages in the United States without physical passion? Do they engage in sexual intercourse less than ten times a year? Does the husband seem to be disinterested in sexual intercourse? If so, the information gathered in He’s Just Not Up for It Anymore will serve as a wonderful companion to sex therapy. It dispels the myth that, “men are always interested in sex,” and shows both men and women that they are not alone in struggling with this problem.
Bob Berkowitz and his wife, Susan Yager Berkowitz, both veteran writers, are also the marriage experts on www.thirdage.com. In this new book, they tackle the question of why men stop having sex, and what their partners can do about it.
The book is divided into three sections. First, The Sexless Husband, outlines both men’s and women’s perspectives of why the sex stopped and why the men shut down. The second section, Inside the Sexless Man’s Mind, is an in-depth exploration of all the dynamics between couples that leads towards a sexless marriage. The last section, What Couples are Doing About It, explores how couples are grappling with the problem.
Together with opinions from leading sex experts in the field, the Berkowitzs report data from their online study of 4000 self-identified people from sexless marriages in which the man ended the intimacy between them. In addition to the survey, hundreds of responders participated in a follow-up interview. Data collected from 13 websites yielded a mean male and female age of 55 and 48 respectively.
Although this book is based on data which may be biased by the self-selected population of survey responders, it nevertheless includes a range of perspectives of the causes and life changes that lead men to loose interest in sex. The authors, for the most part, do a great job of not pronouncing judgment. Rather, as reporters, they simply present their findings and ask well known sexologists to comment on them.
This book is ideal for couples struggling to understand why the sex stopped in their marriage. The authors present a wide range of possibilities and discuss each of them individually. They push both men and women to take responsibility for their own behaviors and their impact on their marriage. This book separates the survey results by gender, thus highlighting the differences in how men and women perceive the same behaviors. Another strength of this book, is that much of the information gathered comes from people grappling with the issues. Furthermore, how couples have made decisions to handle the sexless marriage is portrayed.
Couples who are looking for a deeper psychological perspective from which to understand their situation may be disappointed. The book is written from the perspective of an observer, reporting the results of a survey, as opposed to a therapist who might link the causes of the problem to a psychological or cultural framework. Furthermore, couples hoping to identify specific conversation starters, or actual sexual techniques to alter the sexless marriage will be disappointed. That information is not covered. Because alternative lifestyles and the impact of sex addiction on one’s personal relationships are minimally addressed, this book will not be helpful for individuals or couples who engage in S&M, open marriages, or struggle with a sex addiction. For the majority of couples who are engaged in monogamous heterosexual marriages, however, this book should prove to be a valuable resource.