George and Tina were married for twenty years but never had sex. (They had fumbled with it during their honeymoon, and found that neither was particularly interested in it.) They told friends and relatives that sex wasn’t important. What was important was love and companionship. Sex, they maintained, was overrated—blown all out of proportion by the media.
In recent years, more and more therapists, marriage counselors, and sex-therapy clinics have been reporting cases of marital abstinence—cases in which either one or both of the partners claimed to be simply not interested in sex. In some instances those couples (like George and Tina) were never interested. In others, they either gradually or abruptly lost interest. Indeed, lack of interest seems to be the fastest growing sexual malady today.