He's into You, He's Just Not That into Sex Inhibited sexual desire (ISD, also termed "asexual") affects about 1 percent of the population. It is a rare condition where desire is, and always has been, completely absent. Hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD) is more widespread and is defined by the American Psychiatric Association as any "deficiency" or "absence of sexual fantasies and desire for sexual activity," producing "personal or interpersonal distress," that is not a result of a psychological illness such as depression, a medical condition, or libido- lowering medications, alcohol, or drug abuse. This definition is intentionally broad, omitting qualifiers such as age, physical condition, and whether or not there is any "normal" level of desire, suggesting that "normal" would be what ever is necessary not to produce distress. In many cases of HSDD, appetite for physical intimacy is low, but once aroused, satisfactory performance and plea sure follow. In other words, a signifi cant number of guys do want sex, just not a lot of it.
She Gained a Lot of Weight
There is no getting around the fact that 32 percent of our male respondents claimed they stopped having sex with their wives because they no longer found them attractive, and 38 percent said the reason was weight gain. Clearly, these may be cover- ups for depression, anger, or impotence. It is always easier to obfuscate blame, especially when the problem is, at least in part, yourself. So, let us make this clear before we write another sentence—we aren't talking about a few extra pounds, which, without question, are an excuse, not a reason.
However, if a woman is more than around thirty pounds overweight, her partner may be telling the truth. Men are visual, perhaps even more so than women, so excessive weight gain may indeed be a problem for them. Mysteriously, whether or not they themselves have added extra pounds, too, is irrelevant.
More Weight, Less Want
Obesity also diminishes libido, so an overweight person may not be as responsive a partner as he or she once was. There is also new evidence that correlates male obesity and impotence. Mix obesity, ED, and low libido together and it may be easier to just stop trying. (Conversely, a few men said the problem was that their wives lost weight.) Interestingly, only one guy mentioned that he would prefer a younger woman.
With obesity at an all- time high in America, it is not a surprise that weight gain is an issue. Some men might interpret it as just one more rejection—another example that she no longer loves and respects him. If he looks a bit deeper, of course, he'll realize that she no longer respects herself, either.
He's Not Too Tired, and He's Got the Time
A Newsweek cover (June 30, 2003) photographs an attractive heterosexual couple in bed. She's visibly confused and distressed, soothing her pain by spooning chocolate Häagen-Dazs straight from the carton; her guy is intently at work on his laptop, barely aware of her presence.