Reducing sexual desire

Q: I’m a 22 year old male and I’m not really interested in a relationship right now. Because I’m focused on my career I don’t have much free time, which is OK. The problem is that I waste a lot of that time masturbating. I’m not ashamed of it, but I’d prefer to spend that time doing something constructive, like reading, writing, or resting.

Is there any way to reduce or eliminate my sexual desire without doing something that would affect the other aspects of my life and personality?

Dr. Klein: The simple answer is an anti-depressant such as Prozac, Paxil, or Zoloft. Many people find that these drugs reduce sexual desire (and often make it more difficult to climax).

However, I wonder if there’s something else going on. How much is “too much” masturbation? Are you comfortable with your fantasies? Are there other aspects of relationships you want to avoid, such as closeness or communication? Are you avoiding a sexual relationship for reasons other than time and focus? I hope you will examine these questions, either on your own or with a psychologist or sex therapist. Helpful books might include Bernie Zilbergeld’s “The New Male Sexuality,” Harriet Lerner’s “The Dance of Intimacy,” or Warren Farrell’s “Why Men Are The Way They Are.”

By the way, you are smart to realize that some drugs that decrease desire can have serious effects on your health and personality. Do NOT experiment with hormones or other medications without a physician’s supervision.

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