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Has your dude stopped trying to get cosy between the sheets? Don’t freak out on him just yet—there could be several reasons as to why he just hasn’t been in the mood that you may be able to empathise with. We got Dr Martha Tara Lee, a clinical sexologist at Eros Coaching, to tell us more about why he hasn’t been initiating sex so you may become that understanding girlfriend.


1. Dip in sexual interest


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In 2003, researchers in the US and Europe surveyed 1,761 people who had been married more than 15 years and confirmed that the honeymoon period or high wears off relatively quickly, after around two years. Passionate love becomes companionate love.To shake things up without breaking up, pursue mutually ‘pleasant’ activities (cooking, seeing friends, watching films) and mutually ‘exciting’ activities (skiing, dancing, concerts). The crux of keeping a relationship from being swallowed alive by domesticity and routine is to constantly surprise each other


2. External stressors


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Stress messes with libido. If its temporary, then there is nothing to worry about, but no matter, its worth exploring a adopting a healthier lifestyle as a couple—that includes a healthier diet, more exercise, adequate rest and a simpler lifestyle. Discuss what is happening and ask if there is anything you can do to support your partner during this hard time.


3. Lower testosterone


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When T-levels fall, it can lead to reduced desire and often poorer erections. Don’t over-think or over-analyse things. Just go to a urologist to get a check-up done to rule out any physical issues. If the physical issues are ruled out but the situation stays the same, you may wish to seek out the support of a trained sexologist like myself.


4. Performance anxiety


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Most  men do not have the sexual skills it takes to be able to be erect and ejaculate at will. Plus, as they age, they may experience several other difficulties in bed. Sometimes, to mask his performance problems, a guy might blame his partner for not trying, gaining weight or other random things just to take the heat off himself. It is important to know what is true and what isn't, and you should encourage him to seek help sooner than later.


5. He is too "self-sufficient"

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It is unfortunate that when the frequency of sex decreases and a woman catches her partner masturbating in private, she immediately labels him a porn addict. Whether its to escape the vulnerability of being the initiator or simply to take a break from depending on another person to meet their sexual needs, a guy may prefer masturbating over partnered sex. In their words, it is less work and they can get it over with faster. There needs to be a balance between solo and couple time a discussion on meeting each other's sexual needs in more empowered ways rather than shaming, blaming or accusing.

This article was first published in Cleo