Men Experience Low Sexual Desire Too, Study Suggests

C. Price

Written by: C. Price

C. Price

C. Price is part of's content team. She writes advice articles, how-to guides, and studies — all relating to dating, relationships, love, sex, and more.

Edited by: Lillian Castro

Lillian Castro

Lillian Guevara-Castro brings more than 30 years of journalism experience to ensure DatingAdvice articles have been edited for overall clarity, accuracy, and reader engagement. She has worked at The Atlanta Journal and Constitution, The Gwinnett Daily News, and The Gainesville Sun covering lifestyle topics.

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“I’m not in the mood” is an excuse most commonly associated with women, but new research finds men also struggle with a lack of interest in sex.

According to researcher Ana Alexandra Carvalheira, “Male sexual desire is like a kaleidoscope with several little stones. A little movement can change the big picture.”

Carvalheira and her colleagues interviewed more than 5,250 men throughout Portugal, Norway and Croatia about their ongoing levels of sexual desire. Nearly 15 percent reported a lack of desire that extended for two months or more.

The numbers still pale compared against how many women typically experience a decrease in desire. Even among younger women, some studies reveal as many as a third experience some form of extended dip in their desire.

Carvalheira, a professor of clinical psychology at the University Institute of Applied Psychology in Lisbon, said male desire can be linked to psychological, social and relational factors.

“Fifteen percent reported a lack of desire

that extended for two months or more.”

She also said the issue among men does not receive nearly the scientific attention extended to erectile dysfunction or difficulty ejaculating.

“It has been like that since the very beginning of research on human sexuality,” she said.

The researchers developed an online survey for their study group of men aged 18 to 75. Questions ranged from issues like personal self-confidence and body image, to their levels of satisfaction in relationships, sexual and otherwise.

As other studies have revealed, location appears to impact results considerably. Only one in 10 Portuguese men reported extended dips in desire compared to one in five among Norwegians. Croatia fell in between, with 17.4 percent reporting an issue.

The report does acknowledge the Norway results may have been skewed by how the testing was advertised.

They also found other issues can compound the decrease, with men reporting erectile abilities nearly five times more likely to experience low desire.

Additionally, men in long-term relationships were found 1.5 times more likely to have lowered desire compared to other men.

The study appeared online in the Journal of Sexual Medicine.


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