One of our very own Sexpert.com writers has a new book, and we’re very excited to have an exclusive interview with the author.
Dr. Dawn Michael has an M. A. Degree in Marriage Family Counseling and a PhD in Human Sexuality from The Institute for Advanced Studies in Human Sexuality. She’s a certified member of American College of Sexologists International and works with couples and individuals in private practice, as well as continuing her interest in teaching, writing, lecturing and developing systems in the field of sexuality, psychology, communications and relationships.
Her new book My Husband Won’t Have Sex With Me was inspired by an article she wrote that went viral on the Internet, called Reasons “Why My Husband Won’t Have Sex With Me.”
Women have long been portrayed as difficult partners who deny their spouses sex, yet this cannot be further from the truth. My Husband Won’t Have Sex With Me
brings to light the agony of women who are at their wits’ end when their red lips, sexy lingerie, and soft lingering touches no longer work magic on their husbands. From pregnancy and childbirth to sexual dysfunction and pornography abuse, leading clinical sexologist and relationship expert, Dr. Dawn Michael leaves no stones unturned as she lends a voice to all who are trapped in a sexually frustrating relationship and helps you to bring the passion back into your life.
Interview with Dr. Dawn Michael, author of “My Husband Won’t Have Sex With Me”
Sexpert: What are some of the most commons reasons for a man’s loss of sex drive that you’ve come across in your sex therapy practice?
Dr. Dawn Michael: In my practice I have worked with men young and old that have performance anxiety. Of course there are other reasons for loss of sex drive, but this is the number one reason that I see. Often the story goes like this: At some point he was not able to get or maintain an erection, and the spouse took it personally, made a big deal about it and then each time he was getting ready to have sex he would begin to worry that he could not get it up. This creates a vicious cycle. What I do is then explain to the couple about the function of the male penis and how anxiety or stress can activate the fight or flight response, which helps both partners to see that it was not a lack of attraction to his wife but that her response was causing him anxiety. As we work on those issues in the marriage, it usually helps to resolve the problem.
Sexpert: How did that inspire this book?
Dr. Dawn Michael: As a writer I am constantly looking for new topics to write about. My article “Reasons Why My Husband Does Not Want to Have Sex With Me,” which was featured on Squidoo, went viral six months after it was posted, getting 4,000 views per day, over one million views in a year, and over 2,000 comments. It was #1 on the site until the day the site closed. What does that tell you about the relevance of this topic? At that point, which was about five years ago, I started to gather the comments, put similar ones together, look at the material, and write my new book.
Sexpert: What is the difference between a man losing sexual interest in his wife versus a wife losing interest in her husband?
Dr. Dawn Michael: A man not wanting to have sex with his wife is still a taboo topic, whereas it is almost expected that a wife will at some point not want to have sex with her husband. With this stereotype, it makes it so difficult for a woman living in a marriage where her husband does not want to be intimate with her.
Sexpert: How do you think pornography can heal a sexual relationship?
Dr. Dawn Michael: I don’t think pornography can heal a relationship, nor do I think it can destroy a relationship. it is the behaviors surrounding pornography which present a problem for many couples. In the book I do recommend to women whose husbands watch pornography to not get upset with him, but rather find out what he is “into,” what turns him on and how you may be able to incorporate it into your sex life. This is a prime opportunity for many women to find out more about what turns their husband on rather than shutting him down or out.
Sexpert: Do you prescribe it in your practice?
Dr. Dawn Michael: If a couple is open to exploring new avenues in their marriage sexually, looking for more erotic entertainment I think pornography can add excitement to the marriage depending on what each person enjoys.
Sexpert: What’s your best advice for a couple with a new baby to maintain their intimacy and sex life?
Dr. Dawn Michael: In the book I talk about making time for each other, having a date night, and taking the time to dress up for that date night. For a woman it is so important for her to feel like a wife again, as having a baby can be exhausting. For most men they talk about how they are no longer the center of attention, they miss their wife and they do not know how to express their feelings without feeling jealous or stupid about it. The reality is if they don’t say anything it come out in other ways that are passive aggressive. So knowing how to say to say it the right way can make all the difference in the relationship example, “Honey I miss my sexy wife, can I take you out on a date tonight and we can get a baby sitter, I would love to spend some alone time with you.”
Sexpert: What do you mean when you talk about an “expired” marriage?
Dr. Dawn Michael: Sometimes a marriage has expired but we’ve forgotten to turn it over and look for the expiration date, which could have been five years ago! Some couples are at a point where they just don’t know how to end the marriage. When I do intimacy counseling and I can see that the couple is really not getting anywhere after a few home exercises, I will draw up a chart (which you can find in my book) to find out if they still have any common interests or if they are willing to meet each other half way, or compromise on anything. Sometimes just looking at this simple chart the couple can eventually come to the conclusion to end it themselves. In my own life, ending my marriage was a painful choice, and I didn’t make the decision until exhausting everything I could for years. I finally realized that if one person is not willing to meet you half way or work on the marriage, then being absolutely miserable is not an option for the rest of one’s life.