For couples who are  having  severe sex problems, Dr.  Berger often prescribes a six –week ban on intercourse.  For the first three weeks, they’re  to schedule half-hour lovemaking sessions, five times a week, in which they  refrain from touching either genitals or breasts.  “The  idea is to relax and enjoy the pleasure of being  close without any expectation  that intercourse  will take place,” he writes.

In the following three  weeks, genital and breast touching is permitted but intercourse is still avoided.   After  that, the couple may enjoy intercourse – and often,  even men with erection  problems are ready to go at this point.  If not, they return to caressing  - consult a professional therapist for direction.

Many men who are fully functional but whose  desire has ebbed  find that a regular exercise   programme miraculously jump-starts their sex drive.  Being  in shape makes  you feel better  about yourself, more relaxed  and arousal – more alive.

“Exercise can release  hormones that counteract stress and provide feelings  of mastery and well-being,” says  New York City  psychologist Allen Elkin, Ph.D., a certified sex therapist and corporate stress consultant.  “Even   modest  physical  activity helps.  Take a walk at  lunch.  Use the stairs instead of the elevator.  Park  a little farther from the front door of the office.”

As for all the stress gadgets marketed  in those  glossy paper  catalogues, Dr. Elkin says, “Men  love machines, so biofeedback monitors and galvanic skin response meters  can be useful in the early stages  of stress-management training. But  once they can recognize  their own machinery.”

Remember, sex is not one of life’s challenges.  It’s  supposed to be fun.  Of course, fun can be elusive  - you know when you’re having  it, but  if you try too hard, you won’t.  still, it seems pretty clear than if, instead  of stress, you bring to bed with you a willingness  to play, your body will respond instinctively.  Sex is one of the few years where we adults are allowed to play.  Take advantage of it