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I heard a joke the other day. A couple seeks couples counseling. The wife complains that her husband isn't interested in having sex. At some point in the middle of the session, the therapist grabs the woman and kisses her passionately while she "oohs" and "aahs" with delight. The therapist then turns to the husband and says, "See, your wife needs this every Monday, Wednesday and Friday." The husband is quiet for a moment and then replies, "Monday and Wednesday will work, but I can't get her here on Friday. I've got a golf game."

This joke caught my attention because it had an unfamiliar ring to it: the husband didn't want sex. We're used to the standard jokes about desire-less women who prefer doing just about anything -- cleaning out the freezer, paying bills or taking out the garbage -- over having sex with their mates. But this was a new twist, a twist I might add, that has quite a bit of truth to it.

As someone who is in the front lines with couples, I have grown increasingly aware that women have no corner on the low libido market. In fact, based on my clinical observations and casual conversations with colleagues, I'd say that low desire in men is America's best kept secret. After all, in a culture where virility is inextricably connected with masculinity, why would any man want to broadcast his drop in desire? Most of the data available on the incidence of low libido in men is based on self-report and estimates vary widely. Do we really know what goes on behind bedroom doors? I don't think so.

Sixty percent of the women surveyed in a popular women's magazine said they wanted sex just as much, if not more, than their husbands. The majority of low desire men are unwilling to discuss this issue with their wives and resist seeking help from doctors or therapists. They also won't talk to their buddies about it. (It's hard to imagine a guy walking into a locker room, telling his friend, "I really wish my wife didn't want sex all the time. I hate that she thinks of me as a sex object. And another thing... why can't we hug without her thinking we have to have sex? She just has a one-track mind.") Men's unwillingness to openly discuss this matter leaves women feeling exasperated, lonely and hopeless.

REDBOOK and Michele Weiner Davis teamed up to ask women about their husbands' sexual desire. Here's what we learned: 

  • 60 percent of the more than 1,000 women we surveyed said that they were as interested in sex as their husbands — or more so. 

  • How often you have sex is determined by how often the lower-desire partner wants it — whether that's the man or the woman. 

  • Although 95 percent of higher-desire women are either somewhat bothered by the desire gap or consider it to be a serious problem, 56 percent believe that their husbands aren't bothered by it at all.

  • According to their wives, men's low sexual desire is caused by erectile dysfunction only 11 percent of the time. The most common causes are personal.

Another interesting point is that the person with lower sexual desire (in this case, the husband) controls the frequency of sex. He has the veto power. Not only that, he expects his wife to accept it, not complain about it and to remain monogamous, an expectation that is bound to backfire over time. The survey also suggested that there is less sex in marriages when the husband has low desire than in marriages where women are the ones who say, "No." That's because, in our culture, men are expected to be the initiators and when it is the wife who initiates but gets turned down frequently, she is more likely to give up than her male counterpart.

Another myth-buster revealed by the survey was what women said were the causes for their husbands' lack of desire. Contrary to popular belief that the only reason a man would turn down sex is because "his machinery isn't working properly" or their wives are extremely unattractive, this just isn't so. Men, it seems, turn off to sex for many of the same reasons that their wives do -- emotional disconnection, underlying resentment or unresolved problems, depression, stress and so on. In fact, one of the most common reasons men reject their wives' advances is that they feel their wives are critical or bossy. Nagging simply isn't an aphrodisiac.

The problem is, which comes first, the chicken or the egg? Are men turned off to being sexual because their wives complain, or do women complain and behave angrily because their husbands are physically and emotionally withdrawn? Ah yes, the infamous catch-22. And therein lies the problem. When there is a sexual divide, each spouse waits for the other to change. "If you are nice to me, then I'll have sex with you," or "When you have sex with me, I'll be kinder to you." You don't need a degree in psychology to know that this sort of standoff is playing with fire. Stalemates make marriages go down the tubes.

And before I get nasty comments or emails about the fact that there are millions and millions of men who go to bed lonely... I know, I know. I have written and spoken extensively on this subject. For the record, I routinely encourage women who have little or no understanding about their husbands' sexual needs to place more priority on their physical relationships. But now it's time to nudge men who have shut down and turned off, to climb out of their comfort zone and reconnect with the women they love. Don't you agree?

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Comment by john battle on June 1, 2014 at 8:14pm
@Rachel thanks I try to respect all people whether I like them or not
Comment by john battle on June 1, 2014 at 4:08pm
@mr1stroke I'm sorry to burst ur bubble I never went through any of those things u mentioned but I been through situation like this with women who were married but will lie to me and say that they aren't married and when I find out that they where married I had to let those women go to go handle there problems in there marriage cause I'm don't want to be known as no home wrecking as n**** cause I do respect marriage and a union that two people man and woman that went before GOD and respect is a word that is lack by people in this world in u r just one of the niggas that don't respect other men or have respect for urself and I can guest that u probably was a man that was cheating by women and u so u probably like going for married because it's been done to you or it's been done to ur uncle or father and if not is either one of ur uncles or father is married and do u have respect for them if they were married and will u ever tell them that u only date married women and if u don't tell them that will tell me u have enough some type respect for married men u r close with and u do have some type of shame for what u do and if u didn't u would not ever responded to me and for the record I'm probably younger then u how old r u I'm twenty something and on another note I respect men who do have successful marriages with there wives that's facts
Comment by mr1stroke on June 1, 2014 at 1:49pm

@ john battle you are the type of person i would call a dumb n**** and an ignorant monkey see monkey repeat type of n****, now lets get with your questions, no i do not have many home boys like a team hanging out type of n**** because thats not what i do any more im bout my business, yes i have uncles who are like my father, now unless you are a true man, just about every one knows a true man do not jump on anything and do not get desperate, a true man get to pick and choose no matter how good a woman look, not like you muckers who are married but stay at the stip club or having side chicks, now if i date a woman whether she was married or not how does that make me a home wrecker, dont that woman knows she is in marriage, am i going to end up with her or am i just f******, how come her man is making sure he gets to the bottom of the problem? i guess are just an old fool who is not smart enough to understand what a home wrecker is but quick to repeat like a bay who is watching a cartoon, now since i am a home wrecker for dating women who are married, what do you call a man who is married but yet have a side chick where he supporting her, taking her out, buying her gifts, complimenting her, but will not do it for his wife? dont be mad at men like men for keeping our game together, because you either lost your woman to another dude or you dont know how to keep a woman, learn the game before you let loose because coming at me will not help your situation, this is summer guard your grill or you will be sharing, so you choose partner

Comment by john battle on June 1, 2014 at 10:49am
@Rachel just telling it how I see it honesty is the best policy communication is the key to any relationship
Comment by john battle on May 31, 2014 at 11:59pm

dats y communication is so important 

Comment by john battle on May 31, 2014 at 11:57pm

heres my opinion on this usually when a man sexual desires go away with his wife usually means he have something insecure within his self or the love have faded and he don't no longer care for that women cause if a man have a  good-looking wife dat other men find her attractive he going to find her more attractive then any other man will look at her and his look will be more different than any man look at her she will see ur look is more than u being just attractive to her that u can read her even like ur favorite book and u know every word in the pages and that feeling is love so u look at her and u know every time u see her u want to touch her and pleasure her in different ways everyday u will try something new if two people get together off of just being infactuated then that attraction then fade over time of getting to know someone with thinking u was in love everything a person do that u dislike helps lower sexual desire for a person so thats why when a man picks his wife he should know if he's in love or if he just attracted to that women for that time they meet cause attraction can fade over time of getting to know someone when two people are truly in love with one another attraction hardly fades it just get stronger over the years if it don't work dat way then thats just lust and infactuation and both people need to come up but with some men women u need to communicate with ur man cause some men suffers with E.D and they don't want to tell their wives because of that Feeling of masculinity issues so sometimes it don't mean ur husband is not attractive to you so both People have to communicate right and other reasons its can be because that husband found someones he's in love with another women and he thought he was in love with u when he was just in lust or infactuation with u my opinion a women that cheat is just not in love or not ready to be in a relationship cause a woman will know when she's ready to be tied down  when she finds her self doing things a lot differently then she would normally do like being a good woman for that man she's in love with like just cause he cheated don't mean she cheat on that man because thats just her being a good women cause she know she's ready to settle down so she treat that man way better then that man will treat her just to show him that he have a good woman and she will prove and demand to be treated the way she will treat him by just killing him with kindness till she reachers her end point of not being able to take no more and he will eventually take notice he have to treat that women like she will treat him some men take a while but when love is real and true both people make sacrifices to want to be happy together and respect each other opinions and then the sexual attraction will come so natural that both wouldn't need to cheat on one another that both people stay on each others mind 24/7 and when two people can find a common ground getting along with each other makes it so easy so that helps the sexual desires for each other grow more connected

  cause a man that love his wife feels just like this if he known the man  his wife cheated on him with

Comment by john battle on May 31, 2014 at 10:24pm
@Rachel I agree so let me ask u so every women cheat so why do women always complain about men cheating if they are going to eventually cheat and y get mad that a man cheats and women get in groups complaining about the men cheating on them women be out their demoralizing men by saying all men are cheaters when all women cheat why is that @mr1stroke ur just disrespectful and a home wrecking @$$ ni99@ and I guest you don't have no friends or close homeboys that u grew up with or uncle or ur father never got married and let me guest u never was married and u don't have kids so any man dat sit around and have to mess with married don't deserve no respect and deserve to die alone cause as many single women out the u rather have someone's sloppy seconds dats go to show how much respect u have for urself and that also show dat u have a lot of self-esteem issues cause u wouldn't want to get in a relationship but u will be a side piece instead of wanting to be special to someone so fear relationships because u don't want to be cheated on so u take advantage of women vulnerabilities because of them being in a bad relationship instead of looking for a single women out here dat don't want to be in relationship and just have a friend with benefits u want someone's sloppy seconds y not just just find a jump off she's been with multiple women cause women dat cheat I promise ur not the only guy those women are cheating on so wats the purpose of only sleeping with married women if there are more single hoes out then there are married women I'm just being honest u sound like a piece insecure s*** who have issues with love and sex
Comment by mr1stroke on May 31, 2014 at 4:57pm

@ Rachel lol it will not work the way you want it to work, women get turn off from men for whatever reasons, majority of the time its not like that for men it usually a health issue, as long as  there is a vagina in the house if she is good and attractive that man will always want it, but when it comes to men with low sex drive it is their fault why they cannot please their women, either they will not discuss it and find a solution or those men work too hard again not taking care of their health, no way a man who works two jobs, who does not exercise, do not eat healthy, drink and smoke will put it down like a normal man, it will not happen, two jobs mean either its 16 hours of day or night or one full time and a part time job, not counting traveling time so the rest of that is for him to sleep lol how can he think about sex, damn i feel for those men as s type this 

Comment by mr1stroke on May 31, 2014 at 4:51pm

@ Vanessa Kingston-Augustine thats all it is and thats all it takes you guys are doing what needs to be done and like that it will always be a success so keep the ride going the way it is 

Comment by Vanessa Kingston-Augustine on May 30, 2014 at 9:24pm
That is why I consider myself very fortunate to be married to a man that likes to communicate his likes and dislikes to me. We listen to eachother and work on keeping eachother happy. And when it come to the physical aspect, that communication is the best. We have the same desire to please , and he loves when I work my waist. But what I want to stress is the lovemaking to my mind. It really is a powerful thing.

I have had other relationships when my ex would complain that my puss was too wet, and I was too hot blooded. Not with my Caribbean man hot blood is what makes us complete. And we also enjoy working out together. That is a plus. He is indeed my best friend. Jah bless.

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