How To Figure Out What Is Wrong In Your Sex Life

I got asked today what I do to determine the problem area in the basic problem of a wife not wanting sex. It’s an excellent question because it will determine the way you go about solving that issue too. It’s a five step process akin to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs where you need the bottom layers to be fulfilled in order to have the upper layer’s needs sought to be met. This is also why some guys get this near instant sexual explosion of interest from their wife as soon as they find MMSL, and some guys have a couple years of grinding out the MAP to make it go together.

Step One – Rule Out Medical

This is where I ask the questions about any medications, medical issues, birth control history and her all purpose general physical health. There are plenty of medical things that can nerf sex drive and ability to function sexually. You have to address this stuff first because there’s minimal benefit from running Game on a wife that just has zero sex drive and when she masturbates can no longer physically orgasm. You’re going to run your Alpha stuff and all the serotonin overload from her anti-depressants is going to flood out her ability to respond to it. Most anti-psychotics for example work by shutting down dopamine receptors in the brain, (which is also why most people on anti-psychotics have so little motivation to do anything) and you looking crazy hot is simply not going to trigger a dopamine response in her. It’s like she’s taking 200mg of I-Don’t-Give-A-Fuck.

If the problem is a medical issue, the solution is to seek medical attention and have it addressed. You simply can’t Game your way to a great sex life if the Mirena IUD inside her has completely stopped her sex drive. That being said, the health care system is increasingly an assembly line of care through too much asked of too few doctors. So you must educate yourself as fully as possible on your critical medical needs affecting your sex life. You can’t simply book a med appointment and hope for the best. You read up and ask questions. The entire goal of running the MAP may simply be to get her to seek medical attention for her issue.

Step Two – Rule Out Structural Attraction Issues

The structural attraction stuff is something you are lacking that 90%+ of all women would find a serious stumbling block to being interested in you. I’m talking about stuff like whether or not you have/can hold a job. Whether you have a mountain of debt. Whether you are badly obese. Whether you own your own car (outside of a city like New York of course). Whether your home is in a basically safe neighborhood. Whether you have a serious illness. Basically anything that is currently a big problem in your life now, that would have be a deal breaker when she first got involved with you.

Again… these are all things that you can’t Game your way out of. If she’s laying awake at night thinking about how you don’t have a job and the debt is piling up, and you’re 150 pounds overweight, she’s simply not going to respond to your cocky and funny routines as well as she could if you were in shape and there was $5,000 in the checking account. Just not happening.

So the solution is to fix those long term structural attraction issues. This may well take a long time and require huge effort, but it’s the only way to advance into the future with any degree of success.

Step Three – Rule Out Critical Moments and Neglect

Sometimes you just really screw up and it creates a moment of such negative emotion in her that she is wounded by it. Stuff like you didn’t come to the birth of your kid. Her best friend died and you went fishing. You hit her for whatever reason. Also if you ever cheated on her and she discovers it. You humiliated her in public for something. Anything that you were to an outside observer completely out of line. Likewise extreme long term ignoring of her – whether that’s by video game addiction, long hours at work, or endless travel, doesn’t matter. You’ve ignored her emotional needs for so long that she’s shut off from you.

In this case she’s emotionally withdrawn from you and holding herself back from you. She’s got her shields set to maximum and doesn’t want you to be happy either. She is deeply emotionally uncomfortable with you.

The solution is to apologize and be genuine about it. Often the initial problem stems from a lack of Beta attention, so whatever that lack was, you have to now supply. Note I said lack. If you’re already heavy Beta, you don’t just add yet more Beta.

Step Four – Rule Out Another Man

If she’s physically healthy, everything is basically running smoothly and there’s no big soul crushing moment dampening things, but the sex is minimal, she’s mentally absent and acting strangely… odds are there is another man involved. This will always be hidden from you as best she can, so you will need to play detective and scurry out the phone records, credit card statements, phone and text logs, Internet history and even have her followed to actively rule out another man being in play.

I know that’s horrible to think about, but I have learned to always ask the question about ruling out someone else. I am unfortunately right about this a regrettably high amount of the time. And yet again, this is not something that being cocky and funny will effectively work on. She’s not going to respond to you with high interest over some sexy moves, when the other man has her all jacked up on dopamine from illicit text messages and swapping nude photos. You must intervene firmly, swiftly and decisively.

The basic rule of thumb is that a woman torn between two men, will typically respond in the short term to the one making the strongest, most dominant and sexually aggressive play for her. This is why Nice Guy husbands who earn good money, have a nice home and generally provide her with the lap of luxury, lose out to “douchebag losers with nothing”. The Nice Guy husband begging for his wife to come home and generally being emotional about it, will loose out to a confident douchebag who just demands she cater to him. (Six months later when the glow wears off, douchebag is seen more clearly for what he is of course… then she can have serious regrets)  Douchebag has a better Alpha profile and that’s what draws women in for affairs.  This effect of most dominant male wins is also why cheated on husbands become physically enraged and experience an enormous desire for physical violence against the other man. Back in the Time Before Writing, that’s how Alpha dominance was figured out back then. The simple act of moving in on another man’s wife and risking violence is a sleeazy but powerful Alpha move.

Step Five – Game On

If everything else checks out, she’s likely just a bit bored and as soon as you start being goofy and groping, she’s going to light up and lap it up. Play some Sexy Moves out of the bag and you’re good to go. Alpha Beta Balance for the win.

If you have multiple areas of trouble, then you need to work on all of those areas as quickly as you can. Priority should be given to the earlier steps as much as possible and you shouldn’t expect a major sexual response until Steps One through Four are fairly well under control.

If Nothing Works

If everything checks out fine in Steps One through Four, and you’ve added Step Five and still nothing… it’s likely that you have a woman that will never experience a strong sexual interest in you. She might pop some interest in you when she ovulates, but once a month sex still means the criteria of a sexless marriage. So it’s pretty much game over. She’s just not interested in you that way. Classic signs of this is her offering an open marriage or saying you could get a girlfriend.




  1. John Q Galt says

    How do you know if your problem is not enough beta or too much beta? Os the ” love you but not in love with you” a clue in either direction?

  2. Liz says

    How would you get around the physical aspect? I have a severe family history of depression, and a few years ago my doctor put me on Lexapro. (Yeah, yeah, I know.) It completely destroyed my sex drive, even for a few months after I went off it. It wasn’t my husband – I couldn’t even orgasm on my own.

    Now, I know that the best thing to do would not to go on that drug in the first place. But what if that ship has sailed, or the effects of stopping/not starting are so bad that you have to continue? It was a truly awful time for both of us.

  3. MrBurgundy says

    Here’s another issue I’ll throw in there, it probably best belongs in either step two or three: factors from outside the marriage causing her stress. For example: kids having problems at school, antisocial neighbours, work hassles/job loss, a family member’s illness or death. The big bumps in the road.

    A lot of this is beyond a husband’s control, and even the best sex life may take a hit.

    Crucially, of course, it’s how you deal with it: if you recognise one of these as a factor, you have to recognise that it’s temporary, and you’re just going to grit your teeth for six months, whilst continuing to maintain your game.

    While that while all this is going on (and it’s shitty that you have to deal with it) it’s a big mistake to respond by withdrawing your own engagement in the relationship. If you do that you’ll find, once the stress is eased, that you’re both stuck in a emotionally/physically distanced rut.

    I know first hand of what I speak!

    I would lump that all under the Step Two Structral stuff I think. Basically it’s a clearly identified problem that needs a solution rather than something nebulous. Good points.

  4. SB says

    Under which of the steps does “I’m not attracted to my wife’s personality” fall?

  5. Phinn says

    For anyone who may be looking for a set of instructions about how to resuscitate a failing, sex-starved marriage, this is the best, most informative post on the Internet.

    Get the book. Read this post. Follow these instructions. Repeat as necessary.

    Much appreciated.

  6. says

    John – I Love You But I’m Not In Love With You = a very clear signal that your Alpha is very low but there’s enough Beta to keep her comfortable.

    The presence of Alpha turns her on, the lack of Beta turns her off.

    Women sometimes unconsciously seek to find an Alpha Beta balance by getting Beta from one guy and if he’s incapable of giving her Alpha (by willingness to say tolerate a poor sexual relationship), getting Alpha from another one.

  7. Chris says

    My wife doesn’t give me sex because she is a brittle diabetic. She’s constantly going DKA and being hospitalized. Sex is painful for her. Even if it is possible that her medical condition could be improved, it is clear to me that it is not going to improve. And though she has been on deaths door numerous times, she seems to live on, spending most of her life in a comatose state.

    So what am I to do?

  8. says

    Liz – if you’re having major sexual side effects from a medication, that needs to be told to the prescriber immediately. You can be tapered off one drug and put on another. In terms of anti-depressants I like Wellbutrin best because it also has sexuality enchancing side effects. Also there’s diet and exercise and so on to try as well.

    Most of the SSRI meds come in liquid form so you can taper off very very slowly too.

  9. John Q Galt says

    Thanks Athol. So I need to Alpha up. Been running the MAP and taking steps toward living without her.

    In the past, she’s said she does not want to divorce because she doesn’t want to hurt me. My gut tells me she hasn’t 100% decided though.

    Should I tell her I’ll be OK with it if she divorces me? The truth is,t hat is an accurate statement – though it isn’t what I want and it will suck for a while…I know I’ll find a good woman eventually.

    Maybe this will jump start teh alpha by ripping away the security blanket?

  10. says

    John – My approach is that as soon as the affair is uncovered you give her an ultimatium to either actively work on the marriage, or you file for divorce yourself.

    The longer it goes on with allowing her time and space to think, the weaker you look because you’re actively framing her as the one in control of the relationship. You’re also telegraphing how badly you need her.

    She’s meant to think she just did something so stupid she’s about to get dumped, not that you’re having a breakdown over it and still clutching at her.

  11. says

    It’s worth reiterating that no matter which step you’re at, running the MAP and being as attractive and Alpha as possible are a huge help in getting her to work with you, not against you, to solve whatever the problem may be.

    In our case, the problem is medical. Sex is sometimes uncomfortable or even painful for her. The problem was worse in the past, but it still occasionally rears its ugly head, so it’s hard for her to really get into it and enjoy it when in the back of her mind she always has to wonder, ‘Is it going to hurt if I let him stick it in?’

    Doctors have been pretty useless when it comes to providing solutions more helpful than “take a break from intercourse for a couple weeks and see if it gets better” or even a diagnosis of exactly what’s wrong so that we can do our own research into possible solutions. She, perhaps understandably, found it easier to just give up on enjoying sex and ignore the problem rather than deal with the constant frustration of banging her head against an uncooperative medical system.

    I, wanting to be “supportive,” handled the whole thing like a passive over-Beta chump. Wouldn’t admit to myself or to her how much I hated the lack of sex or her lack of response and enjoyment when sex did happen. So the problem compounded itself: not only did she have this medical problem making her less interested in sex, she had an unattractive partner that she wasn’t interested in sex with.

    Since discovering MMSL, running the MAP, upping the Alpha, and making it clear to her that this situation wasn’t tenable for us, she’s been much more on board with trying to find solutions to her medical problem. We’re coming to terms with the fact that there is probably never going to be a “Eureka! I’m cured forever!” moment, but that we can still keep looking for ways to work around the problem and still have an active and fulfilling sex life.

    We’ve still got a ways to go– she’s on hormonal birth control that may be suppressing her libido somewhat; I’m not looking forward to trying to talk her into going off of it, we don’t want kids and she’s terrified of pregnancy, having been told by doctors that it would probably be very difficult for her– but things are better than they’ve been in a long time, and getting better still.

  12. holdingallthecards says

    @John: from my experience, not wanting the divorce from my roommate/husband was simply because I want my kids to finish highschool with minimal disruption. I suspect he feels the same about the stability. Financially it makes no difference to me, but for many women it would (especially the SAHMs). I would ask yourself what she’s getting out of this by staying married to you, and that’s your real answer.

    Good post, Athol. It covers most of the basics, with the exception of the women who marry men that they were never into in the first place. Men who are used as sperm donors and sugar daddies are probably the ones that could stand on their head and your concept will never work for. But this leaves me wondering, why do men marry nowadays anyway? Paying someone under the table to come in and clean once a week is a lot cheaper than a wife. Do these guys just cave under their GF’s pressure for a ring?

  13. John Q Galt says


    She’s getting money, obviously….but she would get that regardless, thanks to alimony. She has a very nice house, but we’re selling that and moving back home. She has me as a friend, but she thinks I’ll still be her friend even afterwards…

  14. RedPillNewb says

    why do men marry nowadays anyway?

    I wanted a family. I love being a husband and a father. And I have a high need for Girl Beta (nice meals, ruffling my hair, cooing at me about how I take good care of her) which is tough to get if you’re just bringing bimbos home 7 nights a week.

    She never pressured me. We both just assumed we’d be together forever, and so far so good (but working on better).

  15. SunDance says

    The last paragraph hit me hard:

    “it’s likely that you have a woman that will never experience a strong sexual interest in you. She might pop some interest in you when she ovulates, but once a month sex still means the criteria of a sexless marriage. So it’s pretty much game over. She’s just not interested in you that way. Classic signs of this is her offering an open marriage or saying you could get a girlfriend.”

    This was my situation before I ran Game (the MAP). She said I should get a girlfriend. I ran MAP in order to prepare myself for the divorce. Once I learned and began to run it, my wife did respond. I am still not happy with the situation, but I do get some form of sex when I request it, she does hint at times for me to initiate it, and a few time she will innate (we average 4.5 times / week). She even said once if I cheated she will cut my balls off (Shit test?). I quickly reminder her that I still get a future girlfriend.

    What hit me hard was “Game Over.” Did I waste all this time with her? She is more productive around the house, seems happier, and I do get regular sex and affection now. This seems like progress. Is she fooling me? How can I tell? Am I going to have to keep Gaming her hard? Is it game over?

  16. says

    @ Sundance – Huh? I said IF she doesn’t respond it’s likely game over. If you’re having sex 4.5 times a week she clearly has responded to you!

    There are some guys that run the MAP and have everything as good as possible and still get near zero sex from their wife… for those guys I’m saying it’s game over.

    I suspect she said to get a girlfriend when she found you unattractive… then you ran the MAP… now she very clearly does NOT want you with another woman. Dude… you aced it.

  17. Geoff says

    Why do men get married? Pretty sure the answer to that question would consume an entire book.
    But the short answer is for a good, caring, compassionate, loving, nurturing, patient, emotionally balanced, attractive woman that would make a good mother that he likes to have sex with. But some guys are fools. They just go for the attractive piece and often end up paying dearly for it with an unfulfilling relationship and an entitled life partner.

  18. SunDance says

    Thanks for developing MMSL. It really works. What is so weird is I had to change for her to change. I do like the results.

  19. John Q Galt says

    @Athol…I told her months ago tbat if we didn’t make it, I was going to miss having her as a confidante. She said we could still be friends…I told her it didn’t work that way – that I’d have a girlfriend again sooner or later and she’d rightly feel that was infidelity.

    She looked surprised. I dou t it stuck….

  20. Joe Commenter says

    @Athol: There are plenty of medical things that can nerf sex drive and ability to function sexually.

    High five for the slipping NERF in there as a verb. good work.

  21. Dreadpiratkevin says

    “Why do men get married? Pretty sure the answer to that question would consume an entire book.
    But the short answer is for a good, caring, compassionate, loving, nurturing, patient, emotionally balanced, attractive woman that would make a good mother that he likes to have sex with. But some guys are fools. They just go for the attractive piece and often end up paying dearly for it with an unfulfilling relationship and an entitled life partner”

    Bingo, exactly right. Hopefully some young, unmarried guys will take heed. How many posts on manosphere blogs start something like this “When I married my wife she was an 8, if not a 9 and then….”

  22. Dwight says

    Regarding Step Three. If you have emotionally withdrawn from your wife isnt it always the use of beta to reconnect?

  23. says

    Step Two and Three are Beta needs and need to be in place or her interest will be turned off. Step Four and Five are Alpha needs and need to be in place to turn her interets on.

  24. RCP says

    Funny about the deafening silence to Chris’ post (7/13/12 10:29am).

    If you’ve bought into the whole Aplha Game/MAP Kool-aid but your wife is physically unable to have sex due to health problems, what are you supposed to do?

    Athol had no answer for that?

    Chris says:
    July 13, 2012 at 10:29 am
    My wife doesn’t give me sex because she is a brittle diabetic. She’s constantly going DKA and being hospitalized. Sex is painful for her. Even if it is possible that her medical condition could be improved, it is clear to me that it is not going to improve. And though she has been on deaths door numerous times, she seems to live on, spending most of her life in a comatose state.

    So what am I to do?

  25. Josh says

    Ok so here goes. My wife and I have been together for five years now and married going on three. I am 26 and she is 25. We have three kids. One is ours together and we each had one when we met which was at the babysitter. Anyway, when we first started out the sex was great. She fell in love with me pretty quickly but it took me a lot longer to fall in love with her. Long story short, about midway through last year I gues I started losing interest in her or something but we didn’t talk as much and I would watch tv and be lazy. She took it for a little while then(by the way I didn’t even realize it was a big problem). About October last year, I came home and there was a note saying she decided to leave me. Being bull-headed as I am I did nothing. We agreed to live together until after the holodays for the kids. Finally a month and a half later I realized how lonely I was without her and tried to work it out, to which she basically said that she had already gotten over me. So it looked like it was going to divorce. Anyway, right before Christmas she came to me and said that she wanted to work it out so we did. Since then though, the balance of power seems to have switched to her. After about a month and a half she started going out with her friends all the time. It got to be extremely frequent and she was coming home wasted or at least drunk extremely late then having to get the kids off to school in the morning. Needless to say I was very upset, then I started to believe she was cheating. Everytime I talked to her about it she would attack me and say that it was because she felt like I was attacking her. So finally I told her one night that I had had enough. That’s when she broke down crying and told me that she had been so stressed out about my daughter because she has a few delays, well more than a few. Mainly she is five and still shits her pants and sometimes plays with it. We are working on it. Anyway she said she was drinking to make herself feel better. She admitted she was pushing me away and that she had been only thinking of herself and there was no excuse. She stopped going out as much after that but now goes out maybe once a week or less. So that improved but sex is still down to once or twice month. I tried to talk to her about that and she basically said I was pushing too much. She told me that sex just isn’t important to her and never has been. She told me when she was a kid she went through three seperate sexual traumas and that was the reason she has never been too into sex. I only knew of one and she said she did not want to think or talk about it. I did not push her on it. But I have pretty much given up on talk. We had sex recently, she said she was in the mood and asked if I wanted too, so of course I sadi yes. Then we did again a few days later but I think it was more of a one time thing, but not sure maybe I was starting to do something right. I can never tell! Anyway I have basically given up on talking to her about these things because it gets me nowhere and upsets her. I have been searching the internet for something, anything to help me, us. I finally found the MMSL book. So today I brought home pizza and tolds her and kids to come to table and told her to sit in the chair next to me and she did, no problem. Then I got a shower and when I got out she was playing this game on her phone. Well she is like addicted to this game and I really don’t like her playing it when I am home because it takes away attention from me. So I sat down beside her and said “Okay babe it’s time to turn off the game.” SHe said”So what are you going to tell me what to do now?” I said”No, but you have all day to play your game when I’m at work, when I come home it’s our time to spend together.” I asked/told her to turn off the game again and she said nothing. She continued playing it for a few minutes and then left without saying anytihng. By the way she is on her period today if that matters. Any advice here did I try too much too fast. I am just starting on this.

  26. Jeremy says

    Im 26. My wife is 24 and we have 3month old daughter. When we firar were together she was nympho and ao nice and lovey. Now she is pretty cold and never in the mood. She was even telling me a few days ago that it is her not me and doesnt know why. She says our sex life is boring. Not my fault. She thought if she had sex with someone else she can feel that exciting feeling from before and our relationship could be fixed. she said I would have to have sex with another girl then. I told her I couldn’t do it. She wanted us back and thought this was the only way. She sexeted an old flame that I knew and had the opportunity to have sex. I told her that I love with all my heart and do What u think u have to do to fix herself. Deep down believing she could never go through with it. I came back and nothing happened. She told me she could never hurt me like that and she would never forgive herself. She told me though it meant a lot for me to allow it. She gave me a big embrace and kiss and told me she loved me. WTF! So I knew something had to be fixed. I just bought ur book after reading the forums and sample. Before starting chapter 2 I tried some advice with my wife. Not working still no sex. Still no old wife affections. She says she doesn’t know What turns her on any more. She says I’m always pushing her when I flirt or always the wrong timing. When is the right time to share a lil sexual energy to put lil feelings in her head so at night she is hot and bothered and wants me. I never feel wanted anymore. Just tonight She gave me that sexy look. Kissed her a lot then picked her up put her on the bed and started to kiss her neck and chest. She says hunny What are up to. Then said mmmm no hun. I gave her look like u started it with the eyes she said just a kiss. Oh and depressed I felt. She said u can bend me over real quick. I told her I want u to want it too. She said not tonight I’m tired. I said OK. She could see I was frustrated. I ask if she could then plan some us time tomorrow then. She says don’t push it. She said u been thinking having sex with me all day. I told her Yea I have been thinking of u and it’s been a while since we Did anything sexual. She said see this why I dont want it. Ur always pushing me. she told me she is still sexually attracted to me and gets pissed off I even asked. But a guy is always feeling negative shit when were not wanted. especially when her excuse is im tired and she and I stay up for 3 hours later watching tv. pretty sure she is not cheating but WTF then is going on. Does she need to fuck someone else to get over this funk? I don’t know if I could stay with her if she Did fuck someone else. I always doing her favors helping around the house a lot, and bringing her things. I feel like a Butler sometimes and I get paid in a kiss that’s always it ugh! She gets a massage every night. I feel weird asking for a hand job or something but I’m getting sick of being blue balled. What do I meed to do? Please help I don’t want us to eventually despise each other. When is the best time to make a move or flirt? I keep getting shut down. Please offer any advice u have. I couldn’t find anything in the forums. Sorry. I am going to read your booklet now and see if anything in there can tell me anything. thanks anyone that can share some advice. I’m new to the forum

  27. Ricky says

    Can the other man be your child(ren)? Not sexually obviously, but for a way to outsource being loved. My wife is not into sex anymore, and for the most part I believe she finds me attractive (maybe a little too beta sometimes, but working on that the past week or 2). We have a really awesome son (3yo), and try about 3 times a month for another. I believe our problem is a mixture of him being such a rockstar/drainer of her energy, and also her assumed (unwanted) infertility. Thoughts?


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