When Bad Hygiene Affects Sexual Desire | #MyCounselorSays

Josh Spurlock


Ama asks, “How do you deal with it when your spouse keeps his body in such a way that results in low sexual desire?”

Read more to find out what Josh Spurlock, Christian Counselor and Sex Therapist, says about how hygiene affects sexual desire in men versus women, and how to communicate about sexual turn offs in marriage.

About the Author

This article is based on scientific evidence and clinical experience, written by a licensed professional and fact-checked by experts.

Josh Spurlock, MA, LPC, CST is a Licensed Professional Counselor and Certified Sex Therapists with over 10,000 hours of clinical experience. Josh specializes in Marriage Counseling and Sex Therapy. You can schedule an appointment with Josh for online counseling.

Video Transcript

(Transcript is generated by a software and may have discrepancies from the video.)


Welcome to My Counselor Online. I’m Cassie and this is My Counselor Says. My Counselor Says is where you submit a question, either for yourself, or for a friend,  and one of our incredible therapists takes their time and answers your personal question. So let’s go find out what My Counselor Says.

Josh Spurlock on How Hygiene Affects Sexual Desire Differently in Men and Women

Well, it’s a good question, and it’s one that I think a lot of women have. For the most part, men don’t experience the same degree of effect on their sex drive around hygiene as women do. That’s not to say that doesn’t matter to men at all, it’s just not the same as it is for women.

You know that men can come in from mowing the lawn, covered in grass clippings and sweaty, and see their spouse, find her attractive, and be interested in pursuing and engaging sexually, all kind of covered in ick and it doesn’t matter to them. They’re enjoying their spouse and want to connect with their spouse.

But, it’s really normal and common for gals to experience body odor, or lack of hygiene, as a real turnoff sexually. And so there’s a need to be able to understand that he probably doesn’t experience it the same way as you do, but that doesn’t mean that he doesn’t need to get into your shoes and understand how you experience it, so that you can have a mutually fulfilling sex life.

How to Communicate Sexual Turn-Offs in Marriage

It’s really a relational issue, and the need for us to be able to have communication; good, open, honest, candid communication with each other about difficult topics and sensitive topics like our sex life.

You want to try to approach it in such a way that communicates, “Hey, I’m not trying to attack you. I’m not trying to come after you. I just wanted to share with you how I experience you and how it affects putting on the brakes in terms of sexual desire for you.”

If you’re not able to have those kinds of candid conversations, you’re really going to want to connect with one of our counselors, that can talk to you guys and teach you guys how to have those communication skills. That way, you can talk through that topic and many others that can be difficult, over the course of a lifetime together. Thanks for the question Ama.


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