Low Male Sexual Desire

Hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD) is one of the most common presenting problems in the practice of sex and couples therapy.



Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder is the absence of sexual fantasies, thoughts, and/or desire for, or receptivity to, sexual activity, which causes personal interpersonal distress.

Causes of biopsychosocial factors: often a combination of factors such as the individual’s feelings and beliefs about sexual intimacy, relationship issues, and, in some cases, family-of-origin difficulties and traumas.

3 Criteria for Diagnosis:

  1. Lack of sexual fantasy and desire to engage in sexual activity. This absence of fantasy and desire must produce marked personal or interpersonal distress.
  2. The distress can affect both partners. Sometimes the distress is more pronounced in the individual who would like to feel desire but cannot experience it. In other cases, the distress affects both partners, particularly if there is a distinct discrepancy in sexual appetite resulting in frustration or disappointment.
  3. The disorder is not met as a result of a major psychiatric or medical condition or the result of substance abuse.

Prevalence of Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder (HSDD)

It is estimated that approximately 20% of men are affected by low or absent sexual desire. While sexual interest problems tend to be much less prevalent in men than in women, they do seem to increase with age. A gradual decline in sexual desire among men, may be explained in part by the reduction in testosterone levels.

Often the man with low sexual interest is far less troubled by the condition than is his partner, who may feel thwarted not only by the lack of physical affection and touch, but of procreative opportunities as well, particularly seen in young women who want to start a family.

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