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Why Men Stop Having Sex: Men, the Phenomenon of Sexless Relationships, and What You Can Do About It Paperback – Dec 30 2008

4.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Ltd; Reprint edition (Dec 30 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 006119204X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061192043
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 1.5 x 20.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 200 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #14,378 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


"A book that millions of men could benefit from . . . this really could be the Last Taboo. . . the real point here, the Berkowitzes say, isn't casting blame on anyone. It's understanding the issues and jump-starting all these stalled libidos." -- New York Newsday

About the Author

Dr. Bob Berkowitz is the author of the bestselling What Men Won't Tell You but Women Need to Know. A veteran reporter, he has a Ph.D. in clinical sexology.

Susan Yager-Berkowitz is a longtime magazine writer, specializing in nutrition. Together Bob and Susan are editors of the new book Dr. Hubbard's Sex Facts for Men and Women and are the “Marriage Experts" on

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This book offers a lot of advice and examples to help you and your loved one identify the romantic problems you may be facing and give some great guidance on how to work through it. The book is sectioned into three parts

Part I - The Sexless Husband
Part II - Inside the Sexless Man's Mind
Part III - what Couples are doing about it.

This book often refers to the responses of people (respondents to a survey or study) of different ages, who may be in situations one can relate to. This gives the reader a chance to identify with the feelings they may be having and the issues they may be facing.

What I personally enjoyed about this book was its realism without the glossing over that one feels when they read some article in a magazine. This isn't some bargain bin therapy/self help book trying to shoe-horn you into one of any number of categories. This book takes a very realistic approach to what makes "him" and "her" (but mainly HIM) tick without blinding the audience with science or sentimental tripe. 'Why Men Stop Having Sex' is the book version of that a sound, caring person who sits you down and presents you with rational descriptions and ideas leaving the reader with a sense of understanding and hope for their own situation.

This book helps you identify the problems you may be facing, it gives you ideas of why you're in the situation you are in and helps you understand your options to resolving your issues. And it's pretty cheap to boot.

A special note to you guys who are sheepish about these kinds of books and therapy and all that crud... this book helps. It helps a lot to know whats *really* going on, and not just what you think it is or what you saw on TV. Believe me, you need a second opinion if you're going on gut instinct.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Definitely a good read for both partners in a sexless/sex starved marriage; I read it in one night. I have now pinpointed the issues my spouse has and his reluctance to discuss our sex life, or anything of a private matter, with me anymore. The advice is sound and the quotes from real people is invaluable. No, you are not alone, not even close!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x9af81534) out of 5 stars 26 reviews
170 of 180 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9afa8d74) out of 5 stars Objective, Well-Researched 4000 Person Survey of Married Men Who Lose Sexual Interest in Their Wives May 14 2008
By L. A. Enke - Published on
Format: Hardcover
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.
116 of 127 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9afa8e40) out of 5 stars Best book on the subject yet. Even better than THE SEX STARVED WIFE. Sept. 25 2008
By Cynthia Danute Cekauskas, LCSW - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I must say. At first I thought there could be no better work on the subject than The Sex-Starved Wife: What to Do When He's Lost Desire. This book is much more comprehensive, thorough and gender balanced in examining the reasons why male partners either decrease or cease their sexual activity with their significant others. Perhaps this is so because the book is written by a married couple who wanted to be fair to both genders involved. Like THE SEX STARVED WIFE the book wrote that HSDD (hypoactive sexual desire disorder)can be used as a catchall term for little or no sex as a result of many factors both psychological and physiological in origin. So often the medical community has a tendency to assume that the sole reason for this has to do with low testosterone count. In Chapter Eleven "Maybe He's Gay? Asexual?" Berkowitz and Yager-Berkowitz clearly state "if a man's sex drive is low, it may not be due to low testosterone...there are multiple physiological and psychological reasons for a man not wanting to have partnered sex." Significantly, one reason may be "simply the way an individual functions, just as one man may have an unusually high sex drive, another may have one unusually low. And sometimes a man with a weak level of desire marries a female with a libido that falls into a range that is average or above, a situation perhaps masked in the early days of courtship when his passion was able to soar to a temporary high before it peaked and declined back to what was 'normal' for him". This is something THE SEX STARVED WIFE neglected to mention. I have read some reviewers that sounded furious that the author of THE SEX STARVED WIFE seemed to blame the woman exclusively for the problem.In their concluding chapter Berkowitz and Yager-Berkowitz DO admit that "sexless marriage is rarely the result of only one partner's behavior, even it if looks that way on the surface." I DO agree with that statement but I DON'T agree with what they allege in Chapter One "Why Men Stop Having Sex." I do not agree that WOMEN shift responsibility for the lack of sex away from themselves. On the contrary, I think women have a tendency to BLAME THEMSELVES for their husband's lack of desire and oftentimes excessively and unjustly so. Both partners in the relationship have to take responsibility for their actions. Far too often there is a hidden power struggle existing in the relationship. It IS pointed out that "the absence of sexual desire is most often related to expressed or unexpressed with critical and controlling women who were ready to fly off the handle..." but also that "We don't believe anger is one-sided...They are taking no responsibility for, or are oblvious to, their own part in the story." The authors rightfully state "A conflict-free relationship is impossible. However, when conflict becomes either a cause or an excuse for witholding sex, it is not handled properly." Additionally "Not getting or sustaining an erection can also be a way of passively showing contempt. Withholding sex becomes a punishment; he is refusing to give her something she wants, perhaps one of the few things he perceives as still being within his control." This creates a vicious circle when "The 'noncritical' or 'nonangry' partner responds by witholding touch, warmth and sex, which gives the 'angry' spouse more reason to stay that way." At any rate I would strongly recommend this book especially for any woman struggling in a relationship where sexual intimacy has been rendered extinct.
41 of 48 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9afab138) out of 5 stars Should You Resign Yourself to a Life of Celibacy? Dec 20 2010
By Rebecca of Amazon - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
"...lack of desire is recognized as the most common sexual problem in America..."

The whole idea of men being celibate in marriage may seem foreign to most of us. However it is much more common than you may realize. 40 million Americans find themselves living in a no-sex or low-sex marriage.

In some countries (like India) married men become celibate for religious reasons and this seems to be more accepted. But in America, a lack of libido is seen as a major problem that can eventually spell doom for many marriages.

When we think of lack of desire in marriage we may automatically think the woman is to blame. After all, we've been taught that men have higher libidos. However men who shut down emotionally (or become angry) seem to also shut down sexually.

Some of the reasons men stop having sex include boredom, depression (many drugs may cause men to no longer feel romantic love or can cause them to be impotent), anger, their partner's weight gain or the madonna/whore syndrome. Some are also anxious about getting a woman pregnant so they abstain. Quite a few men stop having sex with their partners because they prefer pornography. A few men withhold sex as punishment. Some have hypoactive sexual desire disorder, low testosterone or erectile dysfunction. So the list is long and the problems seem endless.

So what is a woman to do if her partner no longer seems to desire her company? This book does not have a lot of answers but does have a chapter on what some couples are doing about this problem. There is some good advice from couples who have remained married. Basically this book is good for figuring out why the problem is happening in the first place. Then you may want to seek counseling for the issues involved.

Truthfully, this is one of the most interesting books I've ever read. If you are no longer prepared to live in a platonic relationship or have sex infrequently, this book has lots of ideas to consider.

~The Rebecca Review
31 of 36 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9afab030) out of 5 stars Insightful, helpful, important, and well-written Feb. 29 2008
By Stephen L. Gessner - Published on
Format: Hardcover
This is a very important book which handles a sensitive and difficult topic with insight, compassion, and solutions. It is well-researched and carefully written by one of the few true experts in the field. Using a survey to gather information from thousands of respondents gives the book an authenticity and a personal quality that helps the reader understand what real people think about this topic. The advice, suggestions, and remedies offered by the authors take the book beyond a mere analysis of the problem to a prescriptive level of practical and useful solutions.
14 of 19 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9afab66c) out of 5 stars Good Book, Very Interesting, But a Little Short on Answers Nov. 13 2012
By CarinaKC - Published on
Format: Paperback
This IS a very good book and in some was better than the Sex-Starved Wife. It feels more evidence based, especially with the surveys it uses. It also points out the many and varied reasons why a man loses desire for his partner.

However, if you're like me and I suspect many other women who buy this book, you're not too bothered about the many different reasons. You want to know how to put your own situation right. In this respect I agreed completely with the statement that it's ALWAYS the low sex partner who's controlling things. And I disagreed with the idea that women tend to deflect from or deny their own responsibility for this state of affairs (chap 1). I don't agree with that. When women are feeling less desire by and large they try and make an effort and they feel guilty that things aren't working out.

Men however, not only stonewall and won't talk about it, but they genuinely deflect responsibility by saying the wife is no longer attractive, not sexually adventurous or whatever. The survey result about oral sex being an indicator of "male sexual satisfaction" BTW is a red herring. It it no way says that lack of oral sex is a CAUSE of men losing desire for their wives.
In any case, why would a woman give oral sex when she is getting nothing in return?? I just increases the low desire man's control in the situation, and gets the wife nothing.

A really good Kindle book for this (because it actually gives some answers and an action plan) is Rekindle His Desire: A Practical Plan for Women in a Low Sex/No Sex Relationship Or a Sex-Starved Marriage. It won't tell you to get him to counselling (he won't go anyway), and it doesn't blame it on the woman.

This IS a very good book and in some was better than the Sex-Starved Wife. It feels more evidence based, especially with the surveys it uses. It also points out the many and varied reasons why a man loses desire for his partner. It feels good to know there are so many other women with this issue, but ultimately it won't help you all that much.