Italian researchers have determined that men who want children have lower levels of sexual desire. The study was published in The Journal of Sexual Medicine and reveals that several factors are connected to a man’s level of sexual appetite.
“For years, the debate in scientific literature has been focused on female sexual desire and arousal, arguing that female sexuality is very complex and full of psychological and relational issues,” said study author Filippo M. Nimbi of Sapienza University of Rome and the Institute of Clinical Sexology (via PsyPost).
“Male sexuality has been under-evaluated and considered as mechanical and simple (stimulus, erection, and orgasm) and since 1997 even ‘hyper medicalized’ (since the creation of Viagra). In our clinical experience, the situation is a bit different. The psychological, relational and cultural issues are very important for men’s sexuality. With this project, we wanted to analyze the male sexual response starting from the desire phase — the most unknown part.”
“What is clear is that male sexuality is considerably more complex than previously thought: a hard and rigid erection is not enough to explain men functioning,” Nimbi added.
Nimbi and his colleagues surveyed 298 heterosexual Italian men on numerous subjects that could influence their sexual desire, including: level of energy, depression, anxiety, issues with premature ejaculation, relationship compatibility, and lack of erotic thinking.
Nimbi noted that feelings and emotions play a key role in men’s sexuality and desire is “strongly influenced” by gender and sexual stereotypes, including the notion that “the erection is the most important element to satisfy the partner.”
He added, “We are facing a reality in which we are not used to feeling and enjoying the pleasure of a sexual encounter. Mainly, we are in a rush and just focus on the orgasm, but sexuality (and pleasure) is much more.”
Strong predictors of diminished levels of sexual desire were fear and lack of erotic thoughts. In addition, the desire to have a baby was adversely associated with the level of sexual desire. Men who wanted children were less likely to have sex.
The researchers believe men’s unconscious fears about the life-altering changes people experiences after having children may contribute to this phenomenon.
“Many questions are still open,” Nimbi explained. “For example, this study has highlighted some of the main psychosocial factors affecting sexual desire, but there are many others. How sexual desire is understood has profound implications for how sexual behaviour is treated in ethical, medical, social, legal and religious contexts. We like considering this study as a starting point towards a deeper understanding of sexuality for both clinicians and researchers, but also the general public.”
He recommended that people need to make the time to relax and have sex: “Good sex needs time, relaxation, carefreeness and a good partner.”