Guys Who Dream Of Being Fathers Are Less Into Having Sex—Wait, What??

You read that right — a study by the Journal of Sexual Medicine has revealed that a man’s desire to have kids may lower his desire to have sex. It may sound crazy, but if you want to be a parent one day, it’s definitely something interesting to think about.

  1. Yeah, I know it’s ironic. I’m no scientist, but I feel like I’m not the only woman out there who’s met way too many overly horny dudes who were scared of relationships, kids, and everything that goes with them. You’d think that guys who wanted to bang more would be biologically driven to do so because they wanted to reproduce all over the place, but at least in modern dating society, the opposite seems to be true
  2. It’s a much stronger predictor than other “obvious” factors. You’d think that things like depression, compatibility, sexual conservatism, and sexual distress would be some of the main factors that tied into men’s lack of sexual desire, but they were actually much weaker variables than the desire to have kids. In other words, you supposedly have better luck banging a guy you have no chemistry with than a guy who dreams of being a parent someday.
  3. Fear and “lack of erotic thoughts” were other big predictors. It’s probably not a big surprise that men who don’t have sex on the brain aren’t super eager to force themselves to jump into bed with someone. And really, you can hardly blame someone for not wanting to have sex when they’re scared of something. The fact that these two factors shared the podium with wanting to have kids as the strongest predictors of low sexual desire is pretty interesting.
  4. Maybe focusing on having a kid takes the fun out of sex. There aren’t yet any concrete findings as to why men who are eager to be dads are less eager to have sex, but it’s possible that they start to see it as a means to an end rather than something to enjoy. It’s not outlandish to think that sex might be a lot less sexy when all you can think about is how much you want it to result in a child.
  5. It might be caused by underlying fears about fatherhood. Just because men want to become dads doesn’t mean the idea might not worry them a bit. What if they have a casual hookup who accidentally gets pregnant? What if they’re not as ready for a kid as they think they are? What if they’re not meant to be parents at all? Perhaps these potential dads are overthinking their future roles so much that the actual babymaking process is more anxiety-inducing than fun.
  6. It makes you wonder how they’d feel after kids. Everyone knows that life gets crazy once you add babies into the mix, so if these men are already hesitant to have sex before kids enter the picture, there’s no telling how it might change once they actually become dads. It’s completely possible that their sex drives might plummet further once they’re busy with fatherhood duties… or maybe the reverse would happen and their libidos would spike after feeling like their perceived “mission” was complete.
  7. It kind of adds another stress factor into becoming a mom. No matter how much you want to become a mom, it’s no secret that your individual life, as well as your relationship, will be drastically rearranged once you get pregnant. Moms already have a million things to juggle on a daily basis, and having to deal with incompatible sex drives is something else they might have to consider before they have babies with a man who’d make a great dad but has a much lower libido than they do.
  8. Culture might have a significant impact on the survey results. OK, to be fair, all of the participants in this study were from Italy, so it’s hard to tell if the rest of the world would produce the same survey results. It’s possible that Italians might feel more cultural or familial pressure to start families than their US counterparts, which might make sex feel more like an obligation. It would be interesting to see what factors would predict a lower sex drive in other countries as well.
  9. It’s too early to jump to conclusions. Another reason to not despair is that this study only featured 300 participants, so basically the size of a somewhat large high school graduation class. Even the researchers who performed the study said that the small sample size means that we shouldn’t generalize the results, but rather that the findings should be considered for future research purposes. Let’s just keep our fingers crossed and hope that those 300 guys were outliers.
  10. If you’re concerned, talk with your partner about it. Is the desire to have kids really a predictor of sexual desire in men? Eh, maybe, maybe not. But if you have concerns that your partner’s desire to become a dad is affecting your shared sex life, communicate your worries and see what’s going through his mind. There are a lot of factors that can decrease a person’s sex drive, and if you feel like your partner’s is lacking, the best thing you can do is try to get to the root of the problem.
Averi is a word nerd and Brazilian jiu jitsu blue belt. She's currently hanging out in Costa Rica with her cat and a lot of really big bugs.