I'm flabberghasted reading the other reviews of this book, so confused that I just retrieved it, to peruse it again before writing this review. I sense that other reviewers are processing the facts of the book through the lens of their own personal lives.
I read this superb book on men losing interest in sex with their wives as a professional consultant, with a keen interest in sex in America. The book is well balanced and not all focused on placing blame on EITHER party, inspite of two totally contradictory reviews of the same book.
The authors do make the accurate point that the lower-libido partner ALWAYS controls sexual frequency in any relationship. In no way does this book exempt wives from contributing to loss of their husband's libido.
First and foremost, the chapters of the book are organized around the results of a 4000 person, gender-balanced survey of men who have withdrawn from sex with their wives, and wives whose husbands don't want sex with them. These respondents are not married to each other.
We first read the reasons why men said they stopped having sex with their wives. The top three reasons listed were:
1. She isn't sexually adventurous enough for me -- 68%
2. She doesn't seem to enjoy sex -- 61%
3. I am interested is sex with others, but not with my wife -- 48%
Next, we read the women's responses -- why they think their husbands stopped having sex with them. The top three reasons lsited were:
1. He lost interest and I don't know why -- 66%
2. He is depressed -- 57%
3. He is angry at me -- 45%
In fact, this #3 answer among women is about the only thing that men and women agree on in this classic Venus and Mars discussion around marital sexuality.
44% of men surveyed agree that they are mad at their wives, and this fact contributes to loss of libido.
What I like about the book is that it tackles big topics in this gender-based, bedroom divide. As a professional I am interested in the big picture, not one person's personal love life.
The authors write: "One of the biggest predictors of male sexual satisfaction is receiving oral sex. Moving beyond their own 4000 person survey, they cite the well-respected Elle/MSNBC poll of approximately 39,000 men, in which one of the biggest predictors of male sexual satisfaction is receiving oral sex."
That's the Mars position.
Venus, according to the same poll isn't so thrilled with Mars, when it comes to performing fellatio. 45 percent or the women surveyed say that they don't like performing fellatio.
Whether women like going down on a guy or not, men view fellatio as an ultimate expression of love, commitment, adoration, tenderness, and temporary surrender. To have 1 of every 2 marital bedrooms in deadlock on this topic could be considered a national problem, in my opinion.
The value of this book lies in its objective reporting on real answers to real questions in a large national survey. The anecdotal reporting comes from the followup interviews. I prefer this approach to books that focus on the problems of a few sexual or marital-therapy clients, and then offer big-picture analysis.
This book illuminates the chasm between 4000 men and women, who suffer marital distress with a low-libido husband. Period.
At the end of the book, neither sex is responsible. As is the case with most of life, the answers are in the joint-responsibility grey matter. The answers are physical, psychological, and cultural.
The only question that these parties do agree on, is that they are bloody angry with each other. I would begin the marital dig here.