material is presented for educational and informational purposes
only. No other claims are made. Always consult your health care
professional for specific personal care recommendations.
advice given to people with sexless marriages is incomplete.
It doesn’t matter if the advice comes from your Medical
Doctor, your counselor, minister or priest, from the Playboy
Advisor, or from Cosmopolitan or Redbook…. Most advice
am a huge fan of Ken Wilber. Ken is the hippest philosopher
in America these days and I have read all his books and worked
hard to understand and apply his Integral Model. If you are
interested in Integral Theory you can read Ken’s books,
A Brief History of Everything, and A Theory of Everything.
You can also go online to one of his websites, www.IntegralNaked.com.
Ken’s integral model informs me tremendously in the
work I do with individuals and couples in my office, with
the family owned businesses where I consult, and with my on-line
sex therapy. In fact, Ken’s Integral Theory has helped
me to make more sense of life than has anything I have ever
read, and his model is well integrated into my normal life.
Not for everyone, Ken Wilber’s work is for thinking
people who want to know how everything integrates with everything
else in a holistic way.
is a map that will guide our discussion. This represents my
Integral Approach to On-Line Sex Therapy.
is where the medical community tends to go first. In fact,
this might be the only place where the medical community goes.
makes some sense to me. I’m starting here myself, and
I encourage people who have a sex problem to start here as
well. If you are in a sexless marriage, thinking you should
get some sex therapy for yourself and/or your partner, then
you are correct in examining the biological challenges first.
tend to be more comfortable in talking about their lack of
sexual desire. Men with no sex drive tend to remain absolutely
will talk with their physician more easily than will men.
your biology is whacked out, you have to do something about
man’s biology is less likely to be an issue than a woman’s,
but if it is an issue, it needs to be addressed. Guys can
have testosterone problems, for example. Without testosterone,
there is no desire. I ask guys who are in a sexless marriage
if they have erections during the night, if they ever wake
up with an erection, and if they ever masturbate to ejaculation.
If they say yes to any of those, then I am suspicious that
they do not have a biological problem. Not convinced, but
can have a plethora of biological challenges to deal with.
Hormones, nerve damage from childbirth or surgery… frankly,
the list could be pretty long.
can sit and talk all day about having no sex drive, and that
isn’t going to change a physical problem, unless your
physical problem is a symptom of some other challenges. For
example, some people are so uptight about sex that they can’t
relax and consequently tighten up during sex. The result is
painful sex, and then a lack of sexual desire is the consequence.
line – the first place to start is with a complete physical.
Inform your physician of your problem. If your Doc is sensitive,
he or she will not brush you off, but will make sure that
your biology is working well.
beings aren’t very sexually responsive to people they
don’t like. And what complicates matters is that there
are many reasons why you might not like your partner.
you remember the movie “10” with Dudley Moore
and Bo Derick? Her seductive beauty mesmerized him, but when
he finally began to have sex with her, she turned out to be
a shallow person with no sense of responsibility… and
it turned him off. He “lost it”, and left. There
is more to sex than meets the eye.
physician might diagnose you with a “Hypoactive Sexual
Desire Disorder” but you might well know the truth;
you don’t want to make love with your partner because
your partner is an insensitive control freak (or, something
else that doesn’t appeal to you).
your husband’s technique is horrible. Maybe he is one
of those “wiz-bam, thank-you-ma’am” types
of guys who lack any sensitivity when it comes to love making.
Your sexless marriage might well be the result of living with
a partner who has a knack for poor communication and poor
problem solving. As a Marriage and Family Therapist I can
assure you that there are any number of issues that can be
going on between you.
literally thousands of people go on the Internet and type
in the keyword “sex help” what is driving them?
I have a small survey on my website that invites visitors
to give me some feedback. Every one that goes there reports
that they are experiencing relationship problems. Every one.
Are the problems you are having the cause, or the symptom
of your sex problem? That is a good question.
area is the most often overlooked area in the whole field
of sex therapy.
belong to a certain tribe of people who have certain customs
common within your group. These customs define what is “normal”
for all of you. It is these customs that lead to certain stereotypes,
and certain prejudices if not watched.
of us grow up in a tribe that is supportive of relatively
healthy functioning, and some of us don’t. And some
of us grow up and move past the lessons learned, and some
of us don’t.
grew up within the New York Metropolitan Area. Long Island
and Northern New Jersey were home. I went to college in Holland,
Michigan, a fairly conservative community predominantly occupied
by people of a Calvinist, Dutch heritage. After a year in
Southern California, my wife and I moved 40 miles away to
Grand Rapids, a more urban area, where we have lived for 30
years. I’ve worked with a lot of people who have been
influenced by their heritage, and who think sex is sinful
Italians I grew up with in New Jersey didn’t seem to
have that same attitude. Although I admit my assessment was
made at some distance from the center of their tribe. They
no doubt had other issues that I wasn’t aware of.
approach sex differently than do Roman Catholics.
culture does have a significant influence on many of your
attitudes and behaviors. Your culture is determined by your
socio-economic status, your neighborhood, you geographical
location, you religious affiliation… you name it. And
any, and all of it, influences your openness and availability
to a wholesome sexual relationship with your partner.
Personal Cognitive and Emotional Challenges
you are struggling with a serious emotional challenge there
will likely be a direct impact upon your sexual desire. The
medical community has developed a long list of “mental
disorders” and each is capable of being manifested in
a sex problem.
depression, for example. A major depressive episode can render
a man or a woman helpless. Not only is there a lack of sexual
desire, there can be a lack of desire for life itself. And
someone who has chronic depression can struggle for years.
There is post-partum depression, too. A woman whose hormones
are out of whack after pregnancy can have no sex drive at
all. Then there is the low-grade depression that accompanies
chronic frustration with something as important as job satisfaction.
If you live in the United States as I do, and you are male,
you are supposed to achieve the American Dream. That dream
is becoming harder and harder to achieve.
there are a plethora of issues surrounding the normal developmental
process of life. As we move from being a Child, to a Rebel,
to an Adult… we can lose our sexual desire. Adults are
good and nice, mature in many ways. But Adults lack passion
in so many instances. They have sex, but it isn’t hot
sex. When one of you takes the next step and becomes an Outlaw,
your sex life might need help. Outlaws want to live with passion
and love, and they are willing to give of themselves for the
we mature, our maps of life change. We grow from one mental-model
of life, from one world- view to the next. Along the way,
there are emotional challenges, and cognitive challenges.
I had a woman in my office not long ago. She spent many years
within a conservative Christian family, and when he husband
died suddenly she found herself alone and vulnerable. Instead
of collapsing, she tackled her life, grabbed a hold of her
finances, and grew up. Then she had to face the challenge
presented to her when a son came to her and told her he was
gay. Her world was shaken. She took the next step, and became
an Outlaw. She chose to love her son and to reject her conservative
upbringing. She was in to see me because she had met a new
man, one very different than her former husband. This woman,
who once had been diagnosed with a Hypoactive Sexual Desire
Disorder, who had been in therapy years ago because she had
no sex drive, was now alive and sexual well into her 60’s.
are many, many personal cognitive and emotional challenges
that can result in a sexless life.
In the spring of 2003 there was a story, featured on the cover
of Newsweek, about how exhausted American couples are. So
exhausted, in fact, that 17,000,000 of them were living in
a sexless marriage. At that time “sexless” was
defined as having intercourse 10 times a year or less.
takes spiritual energy to connect deeply during sex. In truth,
the best sex is the sex that happens when two souls merge
in bliss. This doesn’t happen, however, if one or both
partners are spent.
the Hindu thought system there is much given to the subject
of chi, or energy. In the ayurvedic system, it is understood
that there are 7 Chakras beginning with our root chakra, on
up to our crown chakra. Each is a center of energy and each
can be open or closed, low or high, balanced or not. When
our energy is closed, low, and unbalanced we are not full
of sexual desire. It is that simple. My wife is a Reiki Master
and she makes a living helping people with their energy systems.
Reiki is one of the bodywork professions that make up the
field of complimentary health care.
with our quantum world-view, we know that everything that
exists is a bundle of energy. That includes you. You are a
bundle of living energy and to the extent that your energetic
system is open, high, and balanced… you live well…
and you live long.
which we call Spirit is energy. The invisible and ubiquitous
presence of the subtle energy of the Spirit is what gives
you are spiritually aligned, you will be at ease with sex,
and with everything else in life.
you are not spiritually aligned, you will struggle in all
the other 4 areas of life. Your biology will be affected by
dies-ease, your social relationships will be affected by dis-ease,
your cultural will be affected by dis-ease, and your personal
emotional and cognitive functioning will be affected by dis-ease.
when you are strong spiritually you are strong energetically,
and the result is a high level of functioning in all of the
other 4 areas: biologically, relationally, culturally, and
to Get Healthier, and Stay Healthier… Integrate Yourself!
you do to increase your level of functioning in any of the
5 areas will make it easier to increase your level of functioning
in the others. Take better care of your body and your energy
level is raised thus making it possible for you to function
better within your relationships, culture, and personally.
better care of yourself relationally, and all the other areas
will be stimulated to awaken. Growth in one invites growth
in the others.