Ask a Sex Therapist: Can A Man Be Sexually Frigid Too?

by Cay L. Crow

Black and white photo of man in sixties with a serious look on his face

Men Who Lack Sexual Desire

Dear Cay:

The dictionary defines FRIGID (of a woman) as indifferent or hostile to sexual intercourse, or not able to have an orgasm in sexual intercourse.

Is there such a thing as a FRIGID man? I wonder if I am such a person, even though I do enjoy oral sex, but for some unknown reason avoid sexual intercourse, and/or am unable to perform. I am very affectionate otherwise.

I have recently lost my lady love, the one I had truly opened my heart to. Needless to say, I am devastated. I miss her profusely. This relationship lasted two years.

I have never been able to have a happy and lasting relationship. A person without real love in their life is a lost soul. I want to win a lady’s heart but I want to be accepted for who I am. Do I need to find a frigid woman?

Rick, San Antonio

What kind of partner is best for your sexual identity?

Dear Rick,

First of all, in spite of what the dictionary might say, the term “frigid” has been misused in our culture, thanks in part to Dr. Freud who claimed that every mature woman should want intercourse. In this context, I define intercourse as penis in vagina penetration. In modern sexology, the term “frigid” is considered antiquated. I encourage you to leave that detrimental label behind. We now live in a world where there is more acceptance of all the variation of sexual expression. I encourage you to embrace who you are as a sexual being and find a partner who does as well.

Sex Doesn't Have To Be Intercourse

To my knowledge, the term “frigid” has not been applied to men simply because it is assumed that all men see intercourse as the epitome of sexual expression. Men who don’t care for intercourse probably don’t mention it because society creates a double bind for men by conflating a preference for intercourse with masculinity. In my practice, I have seen a number of men for whom intercourse is not their favorite sexual option. Many of these men don’t find intercourse stimulating enough or it requires too much work to get the stimulation they need. Or these men prefer an activity that is equally stimulating to their partners and intercourse is not the best choice. Remember 70% of women cannot orgasm from intercourse alone; they need some other form of stimulation before, during, or after intercourse to express orgasm.

Is it normal to have different levels of sexual desire?

When it comes to sexual activity, we all have different tastes. Thankfully, there is a delightful spread on the sexual smorgasbord. No one has the right to tell you what to enjoy and what not to as long as it is between consenting adults.

I think it will be important that you tell future lovers of your preferences. You may want to seek out a woman who, like yourself, does not care that much for intercourse. There are still plenty of delicacies on the sexual menu that you can enjoy together such as oral sex, masturbation, making out, dry humping, manual stimulation, using toys, etc. Think of these activities as outercourse rather than intercourse. Dr. Marty Klein wrote a book entitled Let Me Count the Ways about outercourse. America is a rather intercourse focused culture; this can be detrimental to the consistency of sexual intimacy. Couples who embrace outercourse are more likely to continue being intimate when health problems interrupt intercourse.

Finally, Rick, I just want to hold your grief-stricken heart for a moment and remind you that love and loss are indelibly interwoven. The grief you feel now is the ripple effect of the two loving years with your former love. I sense that you truly want to connect to someone emotionally and that is more important to you than the erotic aspects of the relationship. Rest, heal, be gentle with yourself and when you are ready, start looking for love again. But this time, present yourself as a gift to that lucky lady because you are.

CAY L. CROW, LPC, AASECT-CERTIFIED SEX THERAPIST

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.


Explore more

Share this