What is stopping you from having sex?

What’s stopping you from having sex?

Recently, I was contacted by a woman in New Zealand, doing research on libido, and what is stopping people from having sex, and for my opinion on a recent sex survey held throughout New Zealand.

A segment of the questioning was about what hinders New Zealanders sex lives.


People were asked: Which of these things hinders your sex life?








The results were:

  1. Fatigue 44%
  2. Incompatible libidos 32%
  3. Stress 32%
  4. Time restraints 28%
  5. The proximity of dependents/children 24%
  6. Low body confidence 22% – more likely to be female, aged 18-29 and single.
  7. Health issues 19% – more likely to be aged 60+
  8. Low self-esteem 13% – more likely to be female, aged 18-39, and single
  9. Other 9%  (answers included: Old age, long distance relationship, disabilities, different work schedules, being single, erectile dysfunction or premature ejaculation, and inability to reach orgasm.)
  10. None of these 16%


I was asked, “from your view as a Sexologist, what do you make of these results – are these common obstacles you come across in your work? And, what can people do to help to overcome these obstacles? (namely the top three: fatigue, incompatible libidos and stress)?”

I happened to be stuck in an airport on the East coast of America for 5 hours so was able to pass some time and write a response, on my phone…

“Thank you so much for reaching out to me for my thoughts and opinions on this subject…. a quick response would be yes, those would definitely be the top 3 reasons I hear.

However, I would say number 2 (incompatible libidos) is more common and can be addressed if the couple are willing. Many times one partner just accepts the incompatibility and looks elsewhere to have their needs met, an affair, seeing a sex worker, going to a swing club…


Those willing to go and get their hormones checked who end up on bio-identical hormonal therapy see great results… but they have to want to make their relationship work and still have that deep desire for their partner or themselves. 

Luckily in my work as a sexologist I attract couples who want to make their relationships work and are willing to do whatever it takes. 

I love my work and have so many long-time, married couples seek me out which is awesome!

I address a lot of this in the book I wrote summarizing the research I did for my doctorate, “The Anti-aging & Health Benefits of Sex….”

I also have many couples and individuals that I recommend sex toys to, to help them find their own pleasure zones, to spice up their relationships, and enhance their sexual experiences….


Some female clients who are single or travel a lot find it easier just to use a toy for their pleasure than bother with actual sex with another!!

And many older clients or those with disabilities or erectile issues have found the use of vibrators and other toys to help their partners have greater sexual satisfaction.

Re stress and fatigue… definitely massages and hot baths, and scheduling time for oneself and ones loved ones…

And nutrition/diet, what people eat, definitely affects their energy levels. Staying away from carbohydrates and sugars and eating a nutritionally dense high fat, moderate protein, low carb diet helps massively with fatigue, dealing with stress, self esteem issues, libido….”

The writer came back to me and asked…

“I really think you should see a specialist about your lack of libido Sharon.make an effort to do something about alleviating the hindrances/obstacles in their sex lives?”

“Regarding incompatible libidos, other than hormonal therapy, is there anything else that people can try? And how do people know if they have incompatible libidos? And another question: Why is it important that people make an effort to do something about alleviating the hindrances/obstacles in their sex lives?”

To which I responded…

“Usually in my work “incompatible libidos” means one person has either lost interest in having sex or being intimate with the other person or is no longer attracted yet the other partner still has sexual needs and desires that are no longer being met so they have to find other ways to meet them, either being creative in the use of toys, or opening up the relationship to other people through the swing lifestyle or the concept of polyamory or open relationships, which requires honesty of communication. Or, if it is not possible for one person in the relationship to accept the lack or realize there is an issue then many times the other person has to have their sexual needs met elsewhere like with a sex worker or having an affair. 

You know if you have incompatible sexual libidos of one wants more than the other and it is not reciprocal. 

Sexual intimacy is not necessarily a be all end all to every relationship but if you do have a strong sexual component of your relationship and then it dies or dwindles then that can become an issue. 

My personal opinion which is also reflected in the findings of my research that i have done for my doctorate and in my work, sex and intimacy is very important physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually for any person and also in a relationship. 

I wrote about the health benefits of sex and intimacy in my book based on my doctorate….

We are so blessed to have these bodies and all the potential feelings and possible stimulation and sensations. To maximize our experience here on this earth I feel it is our God given right to enjoy these sexual bodies and each other. 

After I graduated from Otago University with my first degree in 1989 I traveled the world for 7 years studying sex and spirituality. 

In 1996 I met my life partner whilst back in NZ and we joined forces and taught personal growth, health and awareness seminars together for many years. 

I still teach workshops and seminars but more specifically focused on the health benefits of sex and open relationships and specialize in working with couples and individuals who want to enhance what they already have and are open to experiencing more joy sexually by themselves and with their loved ones. 

I have been living in America since 1998, so more than 20 years. 

I have been working in this field for over 20 years and completed my PhD in 2013.” 

And a couple of results of this interview can be seen here:

NZ Herald: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/lifestyle/news/article.cfm?c_id=6&objectid=12011773

Newshub: http://www.newshub.co.nz/home/new-zealand/2018/03/a-quarter-of-new-zealanders-are-cheaters-and-one-in-seven-in-long-term-affairs-survey.html

I find it interesting how their focus is on people who “cheat”!





Maybe I should refer them to my blog:


“Is cheating really cheating? Are you a cheater? Or are you a cheetah? Or maybe a cougar?….

….Perhaps our innate soul needs the hunt to feel fulfilled on some primordial level? So if we see it simply as a part of human nature to want to hunt, then really cheating is not really cheating after all, it is simply the desire to hunt….

….Perhaps we all have the hunter and the desire to feel hunted within us. Like the ebb and flow of the ocean at the water’s edge, or the joy in the variety of rain followed by sun… To always have sun can get a little monotonous, to always have rain, a little depressing… Like a flower needs both sun and rain to blossom and reach its full potential, perhaps we do too.

So rather than see your partner’s sexual exploration as a threat, see it as an innate and natural desire and look to your own innate desires and seek self fulfillment too. What makes you feel wanted? Desired? What makes you juicy, alive? What makes you feel satisfied and whole?

So is it really cheating or just hunting?

And are you the hunter or hunted or both?

Are you a cheater or really just a cheetah?”

Dr. Shelley