Understanding the correlates of lacking interest in sex is key to informing therapeutic options for this group.The research questions addressed in this paper are1: What sociodemographic, relationship, sexual behaviour and sexual attitudinal factors are associated with lacking interest in sex in sexually active men and women? 3 To what extent does lacking interest in sex coexist with other sexual function problems?Results Overall, 15.0% (13.9–16.2) of men and 34.2% (32.8–35.5) of women reported lacking interest in sex.This was associated with age and physical and mental health for both men and women, including self-reported general health and current depression.We also examined the association between reporting lacking interest in sex and the other sexual function problems asked about in Natsal-3 using AORs.Overall, 15.0% (95% CI 13.9% to 16.2%) of sexually active men and 34.2% (95% CI 32.8% to 35.5%) of sexually active women reported lacking interest in sex for ≥3 months in the year prior to interview.Natsal-3 is a probability sample survey of 15 162 men and women aged 16–74 years in Britain, interviewed between September 2010 and August 2012.A multistage, clustered and stratified probability sample design was used and participants were interviewed in their homes by professional interviewers using a combination of computer-assisted personal interviews and computer-assisted self-interviews (CASIs) for the more sensitive questions (including, of relevance to this paper, those on sexual function).
See: Britain’s third National Survey of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles (Natsal-3), lacking interest in sex was the most common sexual difficulty reported by both men and women.1 Lacking interest in sex for ≥3 months in the past year was twice as common in women compared with men.
Lacking interest in sex was more prevalent among men and women reporting sexually transmitted infection diagnoses (ever), non-volitional sex (ever) and holding sexual attitudes related to normative expectations about sex.
Some gender similarities in associated relationship and family-related factors were evident, including partner having had sexual difficulties in the last year (men: AOR 1.41 (1.07–1.86); women: AOR 1.60 (1.32–1.94)), not feeling emotionally close to partner during sex (men: 3.74 (1.76–7.93); women: 4.80 (2.99–7.69) and ease of talking about sex (men: 1.53 (1.23–1.90);women: 2.06 (1.77–2.39)).
Interviewers were present in the room while participants completed the CASI, but did not view responses.20 After weighting to adjust for unequal probabilities of selection and to match the British population in terms of age, gender and geographical region, the Natsal-3 sample was broadly representative, on key variables, of the British population as described by the 2011 Census.21The estimated response rate was 57.7%, and the estimated cooperation rate (the number of interviews completed from eligible addresses for which contact was made) was 65.8% (of all eligible addressed contacted).22 More extensive details of the survey methodology and sample characteristics are published elsewhere21 22 and for demographic characteristics of the sample, see ref. Participants provided oral informed consent for interviews and the survey was approved by the NRES Committee South-Central— Oxford A (ref.: 10/H0604/27).
Only respondents who reported ≥1 sexual partner (opposite-sex or same-sex) in the past year (4839 men and 6669 women) were asked whether they had lacked interest in sex for a period of ≥3 months in the past year (see below).