My Partner Doesn’t Want Sex, What Do I Do?

Low sexual desire is one of the most common problems found in marriages and long-term relationships. More than one third of women who go to their gynecologist have been reported to have shared that they would prefer to have sex infrequently and that actually, they do not enjoy sex much. Today, men are also claiming that their desire to have sex with their wives can and has dwindled. The result of not wanting sex leaves the partner that does want sexual intimacy feeling undesired and unloved, or the individual may start to question their commitment or love for their spouse, as a result of the lack of intimacy. Finding a knowledgeable therapist to deal with the issues associated with a lack of desire is difficult since there are few books that are helpful on the subject.

There are many contributing factors to love and desire. The most common blocks to intimacy include marital conflict, fatigue, stress, intimacy disorders, and avoidant attachment from unresolved, overwhelming childhood events and/or parental misattunement, a lack of knowledge about how to please one’s partner or pressures to perform, overuse of pornography, fears of intimacy, discomfort with one’s body, and self-hate and depression. Assessing the multiple contributing factors and addressing each of them require a great deal of skill, experience, and compassion.

The good news is that most of these blocks, these contributing factors to sexual intimacy, are reversible. We have come to believe that the hardest step to reversing sexual troubles is having the couple present for treatment at all, followed by the ability to maintain their commitment to solving their blocks to intimacy — work that can go deep and get difficult at times.

The success rate for those who are committed to getting to the bottom of the issue, alongside highly skilled therapy, is typically very high.

Dr. Mark Schwartz has extensive background and experience working with issue of sexual desire in couples. Having spent years as the director of the Masters and Johnson Institute, working side-by-side with renown researchers Masters and Johnson, he has spent much of his career focused on the blocks that prevent intimacy in marriages and long-term relationships.

Contact Dr. Schwartz for a free consultation at 831 747 1727 or via email.

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Our Years Spent Working with “The Real Masters of Sex,” Masters and Johnson, Long Before the Television Program

Working with Masters and Johnson

PHOTO_SchwartzGalperin_MJ1980s_300pxwTo tell you that the experiences gained from working with Masters and Johnsons for as many years as we did were invaluable, would be an understatement. Their professionalism, tenacity, and daring curiosity for the subject matters they ventured to study left a lasting mark on both Lori Galperin and myself. Their work and dedication has continued to inform our research, processes, and therapeutic style to this day.

The building where Dr. William Masters and Virginia Johnson conducted research into human sexuality in the 70s and 80s looked a lot like a physicians’ office. Privacy and professionalism reigned. Clients worked their way past a conscientious and well organized receptionist, through locked doors, intercoms, and buzzers as they were escorted to their therapy session. Even the name on the door would never belie what went on behind it: Reproductive Biology Research Foundation.

Photo_MJ_Publication_400pxwDr. Masters often said that one must be “beyond reproach”—meaning, that those of us who worked with sexuality daily were at risk of seeming lascivious, so we combatted that by being hyper-professional and “squeaky clean.” Everyone wore a white lab coat and addressed each other by formal name (Dr. Schwartz or Mrs. Bowen) or — oddly — three initials (WHM and VEJ). Nobody inside those doors had sex with one another unless they were married. There was no flirting. The names of couples attending therapy were kept extremely private.

Occasionally the institute conducted research on fertility and the effectiveness of birth control, which required a supply of sperm samples. Paid donors, mostly medical students from Washington University, were warned to be mature and discrete or risk being banned from the program. They disappeared quietly into an otherwise sterile bathroom with a few issues of Playboy and a collection cup. (more…)

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Why Did We Marry? Why Did We Fall Apart? Helping Couples Regain Their Love and Intimacy

A Video Dialogue with Dr. Mark Schwartz and Lori Galperin MSW

How the Natural Course of A Relationship Oftentimes Leads to Dissolution; There Is Something, Many Things That Can Be Done About It.

Listen in on Mark and Lori as they discuss the common pitfalls of broken relationships and how couple’s therapy can make all the difference in the world.

Download a PDF Overview of Marriage Therapy Institute >>

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Why We Marry, Why We Split…

Why Marriage Counseling Off-site Retreats Are a Relationship-saving Trend To Pay Attention To


Most individuals marry for good reasons — and for bad reasons! The good reasons include finally finding that one extraordinary person who you weren’t even sure existed. Life feels magical: colors are brighter, song lyrics have more meaning, and the sex is passionate. You feel good when you are with this person and think of them constantly when you are not. You are no longer alone; you have a partner with whom you can explore the universe, with whom you can create, learn, laugh, play and build a life.

And the bad reasons?  We often choose partners who uniquely re-create what therapists call “the pasts unfinished business.” And so begins the disenchantment, the frustration, the hurt and disappointment, the distance, and the power struggles.

It starts small. Your other half leaves the cap off the toothpaste, loads the dishwasher all wrong, if they attempted to load it at all. They don’t talk or they always want to talk. They want sex all the time. But worse, when they don’t, are they no longer attracted to you?

You can’t believe the person you thought was so amazing is now so inconsiderate! Were you wrong then or are you wrong now? Who is this person? Or is it you? Marital therapists during the last few decades were, in general, remarkably ineffective in helping couples create sustainable and adequate relational improvement — but much has changed in the last few years.  The field of marriage counseling, marital therapy has evolved and the current approaches are working much better. Often, much can be done to improve a failing relationship. Reestablishing the “good” and resolving the “bad” is a sincere possibility.

The complex challenge is that for partners to make changes, they need a climate of teamwork, respect, and positive regard for each other. But wait! The relationship is already in danger or they wouldn’t be in marriage counseling. Here’s the million dollar question: How is that you can achieve the initial relational shifts necessary to foster change? (more…)

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Article: Experts Among “SEXperts”

Winter 2001


Experts Among ‘SEXperts’

by Brenda Murphy-Niederkorn

Sex. The mere mention of the word might still be enough to grab readers’ attention today, but it certainly doesn’t shock them as it did when the world-renowned Masters & Johnson Institute in St. Louis first came to public attention in the early ’60s.

There’s no way it could, says Mark F. Schwartz, Sc.D., ’72, codirector with his co-therapy partner, Lori Galperin, of the Masters and Johnson Clinic in Chesterfield, Mo., a St. Louis suburb. “Since the introduction of the birth control pill [in the early 1960s], the changes have been huge,” says Schwartz.

Schwartz and Galperin are heirs to the Masters and Johnson legacy. They took over the clinic from their predecessors in 1991. A year later, a Vanity Fair writer dubbed Schwartz and Galperin as “the new sexperts.”

Today, says Schwartz, the media bombards us with sex. During the past decade alone, we’ve been introduced to the pharmaceutical benefits of Viagra by former Sen. Bob Dole, and to the extramarital escapades of President Clinton, including details of oral sex, a previously taboo topic. These events may have made society more tolerant to discussions of sex in public, but they haven’t altered our puritanical views about the subject, says Schwartz.

The work of William H. Masters, M.D., and Virginia E. Johnson, Ph.D., was focused on changing society’s attitude about sex to view it as a natural function. Schwartz can chronicle the changes by decade that he’s seen since he began his association with Masters and Johnson in 1975: (more…)

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