sexually frustrated couple, lasting sexual problems

Check your email and chances are you will find spam. Even with a filter to block out unwanted messages, some junk slips through. These ads frequently offer to enhance your sex life.

But what if you don’t want a more active sex life? We frequently hear from women who would prefer to dampen their partners’ desire: “Can saltpeter lower a man’s sex drive? If not, is there a natural herb that will?”

Saltpeter (potassium nitrate) has been used in fertilizer and fireworks. It was also used at one time to cure meats. Although it has a reputation for lowering libido, this is a myth. Potassium nitrate could be dangerous if consumed, however. It can cause kidney damage or anemia as well as headaches and digestive distress.

As for natural herbs to reduce libido, there is only one we know of. It is chaste tree berry (Vitex agnus-castus). This herb was known as “monk’s pepper” and was purportedly used to dampen libido in the Middle Ages.

Women aren’t the only ones who are interested in suppressing sex drive. One reader recently contacted us with this question: “I desperately need your help. Neither my primary doctor nor my psychiatrist is interested, so I turn to you.

“What can I take to reduce my libido? I have a lovely wife who for the last seven years has not been interested. She is the only person in my life. Your input on this would help keep me from driving myself nuts as well as her. I’m currently taking lithium, sertraline, lorazepam and trazodone. After the ridicule both doctors put me through, I certainly hope you can help.”

Your physicians should not be giving you any grief, especially since the combination of medicines you are taking could be hazardous. What’s more, trazodone may be aggravating your situation.

Ask a urologist or a specialist in sexual medicine whether a medication for prostate enlargement might be safe for you. Drugs such as Avodart or Proscar can sometimes lower libido as a side effect. That is because they block the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone (DHT).

Progesterone is another hormonal treatment that may be useful in suppressing sexual interest. This drug does have numerous side effects, however, so you will need to discuss it in detail with your physician. The herb Vitex appears to have a mild, progesterone-like effect and may be safer.

Counseling is essential, regardless of drug treatment. Although your wife is not interested, physical intimacy is usually part of a wholesome relationship. Invite your wife to join you in therapy with an expert who specializes in human sexuality.

We would like to send you a CD of a recent hour-long radio show interview we did with one of the country’s leading experts in sexual medicine. Irwin Goldstein, MD, is Director of Sexual Medicine at Alvarado Hospital in San Diego and Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Sexual Medicine. During the interview, he addressed problems of both high and low libido as well as erectile dysfunction and other sexual problems.

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  1. Kelly

    I’m 20 years old and I’m engaged to the love of my life only problem is that I crave sex much more than he does. I know he loves me and I know for a fact he’s not cheating on me because he can’t get a boner from anyone else but him. I know this because I tested him when we started dating by buying him lap dances but every time nothing. He also took my virginity and the only man I’ll ever have sex with and I’m fine with that. I just need to either learn how to control myself or get his libido up. Way up!

  2. Carol

    I’m married 37 years and I’m done. I can’t hug , watch tv , have a conversation or be anywhere near my husband without him wanting sex. It’s sickening! And when he doesn’t have sex he takes on a psychotic personality and becomes another person with a crazy look on his face. He doesn’t understand that behavior itself is a complete turn off. Oh and he’s a paroniod schizophrenic on top of all this. But has been a good provider. I’m on here trying to find out what I can cook for him to slow down his sex drive until I make my exit. I can’t stand the thought of him only being happy if he has sex, it makes me sick! Life is more than that, I’m more than that.

  3. M.G

    I am 54 year old and my husband is 66, we have been married for 31 years , through these years he have been cheating me with other women, have 2 kids within our marriage, he was never affectionate and we had sex when he desired. What is painful now is ,he is now a double amputee and because of diabetic he is not erecting anymore,and it is only now that he want me close to him because he can no longer get to get other women, my desires for him has died naturally because he never showed me affection.
    The problem is that am starved and sometimes i want so strong but the feeling of him entering with his hands disgust me,as he can no longer give it to me , sometimes i think of remarrying so i can have that experience before i die or just kill the feeling altogether. Please help. MG Namibia

  4. ERNIE
    Alexandria, VA

    Sorry. I wasn’t attracted to my wife. I tried chemical castration. It didn’t work. We got divorced and I found satisfaction with many women. Sex is probably immoral but you go to have it. Women know. Men are pigs. Men are stupid. Men are sexual monsters. Hard to help what one is, even if is wrong.

  5. VK3

    Please help, I am male 29. I don’t have a sexual partner and it just comes wit too much rizk these days. Due to lack of sexual partner, I am getting more and more addicted to porn especially to milf variety. I feel so bad and so sinful after watching this kind of sh&t. Please help Please help me kill of all sexual feelings and thoughts. Any OTC Drug that can help do that, I am willing, please let me know.

  6. Miles

    I don’t fit well into this conversation. My wife has a libido. Oh she’s not 30 (62 and beautiful) but she is not uninterested. I, however, take a number of drugs led by Paxil ahd Ativan whose record for ED is mind boggling. It is not her libido I want to kill, it’s mine. I succeed about 20% of the time, and while she has never said a word about it, the humiliation is kind of building up for me. I can’t even let her see my face. I am at the point where I’d rather surrender (and I would be giving up something wonderful after 31 years) and not think about attempting it. Got anything sure fire for that?
    And yes, I have tried great number of romantic ideas. They can’t fight chemistry. The Paxil and Ativan drugs act like an anesthetic (on a very particular area), I have been led to understand.

  7. Binh
    Hanoi, Vietnam

    Hi, my sister has schizophrenia for years and recently she’s been shouting and moaning a lot. My parents can’t stand it and they send her to neurotic hospital. My opinion on this matter is simply she’s lacking the sex in her life due to her illness. This is a quite difficult problem to solve. In one hand we can try to find her a sex partner but yes of course, many risks involve. On the hand, I’m looking for legitimately a way to suppress her sexual desire, just like monks, these people need it because of their different circumstances.

  8. John

    I’m a 40 yr old young Widower, who has no desire to find a new relationship and would never contemplate 1 night stands or prostitutes. I find my high sex drive is making me depressed and masturbation doesn’t really help. I would love a natural, non-harmful way to take away my sexual desire.

  9. Tim
    Natchez, MS

    How could I get a copy of the CD or is there a YouTube video of it? Thanks!

  10. Jil

    Fasting is the solution and cutting down sugar intake definitely will help, 100% sure.

  11. SD
    South Africa

    There is nothing so painful like being rejected by the man you love with every fibre of your being. As I am writting on this page, my heart is bleeding. It’s really painful to be treated like some house chore sex in my marriage is about my husband it only happens only if he wants it but if I try to make moves, he never responds.

    Now, he comes to bed in early hours of morning. I can’t even remember the last time he kissed me. I am really desperate to get rid of sexual feelings. Please help.

    • Jil

      Fasting is the solution and cutting down sugar intake definitely will help.

      • Ana
        New York

        Been there done that. This didn’t help me at all, personally.

      • Ashley

        I am crying right now. I relate to you 100%

        • Naomi
          New York

          1000% percent. 27 years of a sexless–but not at all unaffectionate and really good in almost all the ways, so even more confusing–marriage has left me, a 47-year-old not unattractive woman with a huge libido, losing my mind.

          I hate that I’m not alone because this kind of rejection kills women. Men it kills physically. Women it kills in Every. Single. Way. It’s rejection down to the depths of the blarf of the soul. And the hoo-ha, well, that’s secondary, and most men don’t know what to do with it anyway. It’s the emotional and mental factors. And NO ONE GETS IT. It’s the man who’s supposed to want it all the time. No one, even my closest friends, cannot get it. They think I exaggerate. They think I am making, as my husband says, Mountains out of Molehills. They think it’s no big deal.

          It is.

    • Joseph

      Cross purpose! Your husband is like my wife. That is why I am here. I wish I had a wife like you. Perhaps, we can…

    • Ivy

      please if you have any response on this kindly forward to me as well, i av got same situation. thanks

    • Yann

      Feel the same way but the roles are reversed!

  12. Moira N

    The man I love hasn’t touched me for the past 18 years and he doesn’t even want to talk about it. I thought it would become easier with the years, but no. This is why I just want to kill my sexual desires knowing very well they are never going to be satisfied.

  13. Y

    My boyfriend and I have been together for quite sometime now. He is 40 and I’m 28. When we started our relationship, we had the lamest sex ever but then it got better as our relationship progressed. I have noticed lately that he is not into me anymore. I’ve been making advances on him trying to make him want to make love to me but he wouldn’t. He used to be so into me. I get it that he had a long list of women that he had sex with before which is understandable. Also, he has always been so passionate with his work and I admire him for that. Yet it is so frustrating too feel unwanted unloved too feel that he doesn’t care about me (though I know he does). What do I do to reduce my libido? How do I remove these feelings?

  14. Tony

    I have often struggled with a sex drive that ebbs and flows. There are times it is high, and other times it seems to dissappear completly. I believe it is because I am bi-polar and experience manic episodes when it surges. It gets in the way of my life and causes me to put pressure on my partner for more sex or turn to pornography and masturbation.

    What I have found works best for me is focusing on my thoughts. It appears that we feel whatever we think. Think of something sad, ie. someone’s death, and you will feel sad. Our emotions seem to follow our thoughts. Lots of times thoughts pop in our head without our asking for them. What we have to do is take more control over our thinking. Every time I have a sexual thought or even see something sexual I don’t dwell on it. Dwelling on it makes it very difficult to change the thought. There is no safe dwelling time. You must change that thought as quickly as you can. If you do, it becomes habitual and, before you know it, it is automatic.

    Now when I see a sexual or erotic thing on tv or in a magazine I almost instantly change my thinking. When I feel a sexual urge I change my thinking for the 3-5 seconds it will take to go away. I repeat that if the sexual urge returns. I know that there are times we need some sexual release so I wait for the right time between me and my partner…a time when he wants it as well. If that is not possible I simply masturbate for release.

    • Jil

      Keep yourself always dry down there and cut down sugar intake.

  15. Will
    United States

    I can personally attest to the fact that the number one, sure-fire way to suppress sex drive is marriage.

    Within five years, a woman’s drive drops to zero. A man’s will quickly follow.

    • David
      Sydney Australia

      Amen brother. That exact thing happened to me. We we married in January 1992 and have never made love since returning from our honeymoon in late January 1992.

      • Yann

        How do you cope with the situation??

    • donna

      That clearly is not true! Have you read the concerns from the women? My husband had trouble getting an erection once and just quit…..very little affection comes my way even though I have asked and said I don’t need to have sex if he is uncomfortable with his situation, but don’t shut me out!! I still enjoy hugs and meaningful touch.

  16. James

    I found the best natural remedy for mis matched sex drives many many years ago. It’s called compromise! She wants to 1 time per month, I’d like to 7-8 per month. Easy, 3-4 is right in the middle. Everyone is happy. Except we are not as people with lower sex drives REFUSE point blank to compromise and why? They are having the perfect amount of sex for them full stop and who cares about anyone else. Ah but you can’t have sex and shouldn’t be asked to if you weren’t feeling really up for sex? Wrong. There is in the mood, there is not in the mood and then there is middle ground. Middle ground is probably where most people sit for most of the time and when you are in the middle ground it becomes a choice. Shall I bother maintaining a physical closeness with my spouse or shall I not seeing as I am not fussed. Most people with low sex drives regard sex as less important than those with higher drives and they therefore choose not to when faced with this question. The proof of my statement above is that In nearly every case, when couples decide to try for a baby, like magic, the person who has hidden behind having a low sex drive is suddenly, miraculously able to increase 800%.

    • Angela

      No one should EVER have sex unless they want to. Someone else’s desires aren’t my problem. A guy’s hand will give him an orgasm. And of course a woman can start having sex more when she’s trying to have a baby, she actually wants to at that point.

      And, there’s an actual reason for doing it then. Other times, it’s a waste of time because there are more important things to do than touch someone’s gentiles.

      • AW

        I feel so sad that you have never experienced the beauty and fulfilment that can come from a joining of two loving partners. I hope you are able to sometime in your future and realize that sex for most people is not just a simple satisfaction of physical urges, but a complete act that fills mind, body and soul.

        • Leeloo


      • Harv

        Amen! I am fighting a situation right now where my mother turned 80 this year and my father is 81. We are struggling with my father as he is having bouts of short-term memory difficulty (nothing that completely fits dementia or Alzheimer’s disease). He is on medication for blood pressure and his prostate as well. I am 37 and ever since I was a kid my mother has told me about how much it hurts to have to be with my dad.

        This year my mother came to me in tears with how hard it is to live managing my dad’s memory and now he is pressuring her for sex. Not always intercourse but having her pleasure him – which makes her sick. It makes me sick seeing her go through this. Myself and my four older brothers have addressed my dad about this but to no avail.

  17. Anon

    I am a female who was repeatedly raped in later childhood. I am also wheelchair bound. I have zero desire to ever have sex again. I have never tried and don’t want to. I am looking for a way to surpress any physical responses to anything sexually related. I don’t masterbate a) because I don’t want to and b) because I physically can’t due to my disability. I do sometimes get a feeling like I want to, though, so that’s what I want to stop. Can females take chaste tree berry?

  18. c

    I forgot to mention that I have a normal sex drive, I just want to kill it completely to stop the arguments and rejection.

    • kade

      Heard Zoloft greatly reduce libido. Its used to treat anxiety, depression and PTSD.

    • Jil

      Fasting is the solution and cutting down sugar intake definitely will help

  19. c

    I’m a 28 year old male, I have a amazing girlfriend and we have been together for 5 years now. But the last 4 and a half years we’ve been having problems with intimacy (we don’t even kiss any more).

    We have talked about it but always come back to give it time. I have even said that I will find a way to stop being so needing (the reason why I am on this page right now) but she keeps saying that there’s no need for it (yeah ok……. There definitely is).

    It’s killing me all the time trying to figure out what went wrong, she don’t love me no more, she don’t find me attractive now, I couldn’t please her so she thinks what’s the point. I have no idea what it’s about. I could try to talk to her again, but it just starts a bad mood off for her (that I have to put up with) and she will be snappy with me for I don’t know how long, and after that it will be the same “I don’t know……. just wait and see what happens. Give it time”.

    I would do anything to have the old days back, the days when we a couple in love with each other, we are more like a couple of friends now. I just don’t know what to do. I love her, but does she still love me. Sorry for the rambling, just need to get in all of my mind. Guess I can only wait and see. I hope you all have good luck with your own personal problems.

    • Sylvia

      Something’s up with her. You are far too young to be experiencing this kind of rejection. If she refuses to go into counseling, then you go. Maybe you should be with someone who wants an intimate relationship and more.

    • Yann

      Get the heck out. It will not get better!

    • J

      Either your “girlfriend” has a medical/psychological issue or she just flat out doesn’t like you and hasn’t for a while. From your comments, you’ve been carrying on in a one-way relationship for several years. It’s time to let her live her life. Don’t hold on to her. Not all women communicate (which is a certain level on intimacy in and of itself). In my experience, people try to force that level of intimacy by probing and asking questions, trying to talk, and get half truths and lies. Sounds like you’ve living in that vacuum of trying to talk to someone, trying to be intimate with someone, who isn’t comfortable being intimate with you. And friend conversations differ dramatically from the conversations married/intimate couples have. What you’re going through SOUNDS, like “body language” but you’re just not interested in hearing it. She gives you a lie, and you take it, though it’s obvious she’s not into you and maybe never was despite the initial good time. And you gotta be careful with taking peoples’ lies, turning a blind eye to the truth. An excuse here and there,maybe, but not constant, not consistant. Cause then you’re just pressuring her, and “unfortunately”/fortunately, women aren’t like men. If she was into you “like THAT” she would’ve been killin herself to get this issue resolved. If anything is askew in my relationship, I will not let up until it’s FIXED. Because I LOVE my wife. LOVE her, like crazy.

  20. neil

    you can buy vitex also known as chaste tree berry. just look up chaste tree berry and this will show you where to buy products

    • kade

      Time is passing you by day after day week after week month after month still no change. Just the repeated (here we go again..) “Give it time” Move on. She has

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