Book Review: Sex Starved Marriage: A Couple's Guide to Boosting Marriage Libido

Book: The Sex-Starved Marriage: Boosting Your Marriage Libido: A Couple's Guide

Author: Michele Weiner-Davis

Genre: Non-fiction, self-help

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Publication Date: January 8, 2004 (Reprint Edition)

Additional Information: Available in paperback (224 pages), e-reader

Michele Weiner-Davis has a message for couples who are having problems in their sexual relationship. JUST DO IT!  Have more sex.

She says if you aren't feeling sexy, to do it anyway. She writes about "DINS" couples - double income, no sex - and the desire gap in many marriages. She apparently doesn't think it matters why someone feels the way they do about sex. What matters is for a spouse to take responsibility for meeting their mate's sexual needs.

Weiner-Davis has stated in an interview that sexual desire is lacking in at least half of the population. Having sex is something couples have to schedule or plan for by flirting more, initiating sex more, and paying more attention to one another. She believes it is one of the keys to good intimacy that keeps a marriage going strong. 

The author is a therapist with "Divorce Busting" clinics  and a former Oprah regular. She offers a frank and reassuring guide for couples struggling with the "desire doldrums."  In this book, she states "Unsatisfying sexual relationships, are the all-too-frequent causes of alienation, infidelity and divorce." With partner's libidos rarely being equal, many marriages have a low-desire spouse and a high-desire spouse.

Weiner-Davis gives advice for both, with many examples of how the solution-focused advice has panned out for couples she's worked with during her time helping numerous marriages. Her tips are down-to-earth and make sense. 

Written in three sections, for those with low desire, for those with high desire, and for couples to work at together, the author encourages couples to begin mutual care-taking, open conversation and rekindling courtship.



  • Straight forward, practical and honest advice
  • Relatable case examples
  • Solution-focused
  • Good for both partners


  • May frustrate a spouse with an uncooperative mate
  • Professional help may still be necessary


  • "It is estimated that 1 out of 3 couples struggle with problems associated with low sexual desire."
  • "One study found that 20% of married couples have sex less than 10 times a year!"
  • "Complaints about low desire are the #1 problem brought to sex therapists."
  • Don't bury your head in the sand. Ignoring the problem isn't healthy. You need to get help.
  • Talk about what you need.
  • Don't keep score. Stop the blame game. It's a couple problem that requires change from both of you.
  • Don't wait to feel lusty.
  • Men's testosterone, a primary hormone responsible for sexual desire, peaks at 7 to 8 in the morning.
  • Hi octane partners, share feelings and focus on what turns your spouse on, not just your desires.
  • Low libido partners, just do it. Frequent sex may help jumpstart your sexual desire.

Overall, The Sex-Starved Marriage is definitely worth a read for anyone struggling in this circumstance!

Purchase on Amazon: The Sex-Starved Marriage

*Review updated by Marni Feuerman