ADHD After Dark : Better Sex Life, Better Relationship book cover
1st Edition

ADHD After Dark
Better Sex Life, Better Relationship

ISBN 9780367223939
Published July 16, 2019 by Routledge
388 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

This pioneering book explores the impact of ADHD on a couple’s sex life and relationship. It explains how a better sex life will benefit your relationship (and vice versa) and why that’s especially important for couples with one partner with ADHD.

Grounded in innovative research, ADHD After Dark draws on data from a survey of over 3000 adults in a couple where one partner has ADHD. Written from the author’s unique perspective as both an expert in ADHD and a certified sex therapist, the book describes the many effects of ADHD on couples’ sex lives and happiness, covering areas such as negotiating sexual differences, performance problems, low desire, porn, making time for sex, infidelity, and more. The book outlines key principles for a great sex life for couples with ADHD and offers strategies and treatment interventions where specific issues arise.

Written in a readable and entertaining style, ADHD After Dark offers clear information on sexuality and relationships and is full of valuable advice on how to improve both. This guide will be an essential read for adults with ADHD, as well as their partners or spouses, and therapists who work with ADHD clients and couples.

Table of Contents


Introduction: Good Sex is Extra Important for Couples With ADHD

Sex is Important

The Double-Edged Sword of Sex

How to Read This Book

Some Disclaimers


The Lay of the Land: Research Results

Introduction: Better Sex Through Statistics:

The ADHD Relationship Sex Survey

The ADHD Relationship Sex Survey

Take the Survey Yourself

Nice Numbers!

I Only Care if it’s Useful

Some Minor and Major Number Crunching

Remember, Everybody’s Got Something

It’s All Good

Cut to the Chase: Give Me the Important Lessons!

1 In Their Own Words

Non-ADHD Women

ADHD Women

Non-ADHD Men


In Conclusion

2 How ADHD Impacts Sex and Relationships

Surprising Findings

From Bad to Worse?

Early is Easy

Early is Easy in Bed, Too

Sexual Frequency

Masturbation to Make Up the Difference?

Sexual Barriers and Masturbation Frequency

Porn Use Frequency

Partner’s Porn Use Frequency

Sexual Barriers and Porn Use

Porn Use Feelings

Huh? Distracted Sex

Sexual Effort is Imbalanced, Too

Sexual Variety


Physical and Emotional Infidelity

Consensual Nonmonogamy

Barriers to a More Satisfying Sex Life

The Sexual Eagerness Cluster

The Big Three: Sexual Frequency, Sexual Satisfaction, and Relationship Satisfaction

Bridge the Divide

Take Away Lessons

3 Make the Most of Treatment

How Hard Are You Working At it?

I’m Working Harder Than You Are

Treatment Effort Matters More Than You Think

Maximizing Treatment Effectiveness

Take Away Lessons

Role Models: What Can We Learn From the Happiest Couples?

Beware of Negative Momentum

The Big Drivers of Satisfaction

Follow the Leaders

Take Away Lessons


Principles of Great Sex Lives 93

Introduction: Your Sex Life is Worth Working On

5 Sex Makes You a Better Person

Peace Sometimes Requires War

The Double-Edged Sword of Desire

Self-Esteem, Self-Acceptance, and Other-Acceptance

Between the Hammer and the Anvil

Take Away Lessons

6 Respectful Communication and Productive Negotiation

Be Accepting

From Thought to Action

The Importance of Being Good at Rejection

Take Away Lessons

7 It’s All Foreplay

It All Spills Forward

The Sex Funnel

Quality, Not Just Quantity

Take Away Lessons

8 Make it a Priority

Make and Protect Good Feelings for Sex

Make and Protect Time for Sex

Make and Protect Energy for Sex

Make It Happen

Take Away Lessons

9 Sex 101 (and 201, and 301 . . .)

Healthy Body, Horny Mind

Exciters and Inhibitors: The Sexual Gas and Brake

The Importance of Foreplay

Enjoy the Process

Most Women Don’t Orgasm Just From Intercourse

Share Your Toys

Fantasy vs Action

Sex into the Older Years

Everything is Better With Lube

Specific and/or Narrow Sexual Interests

Whips and Chains and Floggers, Oh My

Take Away Lessons

10 Taking Some Personal Time: Masturbation

The Ethics of Masturbation

Men Masturbate to Make Up the Difference (But Women Don’t as Much)

Are Sex and Masturbation the Same?

Is Masturbation Cheating or Criticism?

Masturbation as Path of Least Resistance

Masturbate Together

Take Away Lessons

11 What About Porn?

Porn Within Your Relationship

The Benefits of Porn

Some Things to Keep in Mind

If Porn is a Personal Problem

If Porn is a Relationship Problem

Porn May Be Problematic, But it isn’t Addictive

Take Away Lessons


Overcome Specific Issues 239

 Introduction: The Double-Edged Sword of Sex

12 When the Negotiations Break Down

Disagreements About Our Shared Sexual Repertoire

Disagreements About How Often We Do it

Difficult Sexual Negotiations

Seriously Irreconcilable Differences

Take Away Lessons

13 Problems With Performance and Pleasure

It’s All Connected

Genito-Pelvic Pain/Penetration Disorder

Erectile Disorder: Not the End of the World

Premature Ejaculation: Learn to Slow it Down

Delayed Ejaculation: Almost, Almost, Almost . . .

Problems With Specific Desires

Take Away Lessons

14 Problems With Desire: Not Enough Sex

Desire Downers: Many Potential Sexual Drains

What Does History Teach Us?

What Are Your Goals?

Start Slow

What About Asexuality?

When Desire is Lacking—And Also the Desire to Desire

If You Want to Want it

Where Do Solo Activities Fit?

Take Away Lessons

15 Secret Stuff With Other People: Hookups and Affairs

Fidelity Agreements: What is and isn’t Acceptable?

Preventing Infidelity

Surviving Infidelity

Take Away Lessons

16 Consensual Sex With Other People: Other Arrangements

Covering the Range

The Fantasy Versus the Reality

Not the Solution for Relationship Problems

Maybe the Solution for a Specific Problem

Communication—And Lots of it

Take Away Lessons

17 Lessons for Dating: Begin With the End in Mind

Lessons From Your Past

Lessons From the Survey

What Are You Looking For?

Dating Apps for the Impatient and Impulsive

To Tell or Not to Tell?

Survive and Thrive

Take Away Lessons

18 Final Thoughts

Appendix A: The ADHD Relationship Sex Survey

Appendix B: Provider Directories

Appendix C: Recommended Reading

Literature Cited


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Ari Tuckman, PsyD, CST, is a certified sex therapist and psychologist specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of ADHD in children and adults. A prolific writer and international presenter, this is his fourth book on ADHD. He also hosts the popular podcast "More Attention, Less Deficit" for adults with ADHD.


"Couples in which one partner has ADHD report much less satisfaction in their relationships and may be prone to higher rates of divorce than are typical couples. That is why this book is so important. It is the only one currently available that focuses on the most intimate aspects of a loving relationship among couples and that is their sexual one. With great wit, candor, and sensitivity, Dr. Tuckman not only presents the results of the first large-scale survey of sexual relations in couples where ADHD exists and what problems they may be experiencing. Just as important, he tells you what to do about it. As with his other books on ADHD, readers will find here numerous recommendations for how to improve the quality of their relationship despite one or both members of a couple having adult ADHD. I highly recommend this book not only for couples, but for couple therapists, adult ADHD coaches, mental health professionals who work with adults with ADHD, and students in training in these disciplines as it is the only one currently available that deals with this topic exclusively and in such rich detail."

Russell A. Barkley, PhD, clinical professor of psychiatry, Virginia Treatment Center for Children and
Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine, Richmond, VA

"In the very capable hands of Dr. Ari Tuckman, sex and ADHD finally get the attention it deserves! Whether you are a person with ADHD, or a partner of one, or just someone who finds themselves driven to distraction in this age of non-stop social media, there are incredibly valuable lessons in ADHD After Dark to help you get sexually focused."

Ian Kerner, PhD, sex therapist and best-selling author of She Comes First.

"Many couples impacted by ADHD struggle, and their sex lives show it. So they rightly ask ‘what will make our sex life better?!’Ari Tuckman, one of the top ADHD therapists in the world, knows. With research to back it up, he shares what strengthens the intimate lives of couples just like you. Read ADHD After Dark, and re-energize those intimate moments!"

Melissa Orlov, founder of and author of the award-winning book, The Couple’s Guide to Thriving with ADHD.

"Bravo! for Ari Tuckman's ADHD After Dark. It's about time that someone asked real people to talk about real sex and real ADHD and that's what Ari did, and boy, did people ever talk! The result is this hugely valuable, engrossing, and fact-filled book. Both serious and celebratory, this unique book is a gem, the first of its kind, and a true find indeed!"

Edward Hallowell, MD, author of Delivered from Distraction

"Dr. Ari Tuckman is a well-respected expert in the field of adult ADHD. He has the courage to write ADHD After Dark which advocates for awareness of possible effects of ADHD on sexuality and the couple relationship. He understands ADHD as an individual vulnerability, and urges the person and partner to be aware so that ADHD does not subvert sexuality. An important contribution to the ADHD community."

Barry McCarthy, PhD, professor of psychology, American University, Washington, DC, and co-author of Finding Your Sexual Voice: Celebrating Female Sexuality

"ADHD After Dark exposes the devastating impact of ADHD on the sex lives of intimate partners. An online survey provided the data from an extraordinary number of individuals impacted by ADHD - directly or through an intimate relationship. Combining his experience as a systemically trained sex therapist with his proficiency in treating ADHD, the author shares an array of clinical interventions for couples affected by ADHD. Any therapist working with ADHD clients will find this book invaluable for improving sexual intimacy and relationship satisfaction."

Nancy Gambescia, PhD, director, Postgraduate Program in Sex Therapy, Council for Relationships, Philadelphia, PA


"Tuckman’s latest book addresses an important subject that is not often talked about: the impact of ADHD on people's sex and love lives. His work begins an important and much-needed conversation, and it offers practical advice and guidance to couples that can help them effectively navigate challenges and foster happier and healthier sex lives and relationships."

Justin Lehmiller, PhD, author of the blog Sex and Psychology and the book Tell Me What You Want: The Science of Sexual Desire and How It Can Help You Improve Your Sex Life


"In this incredibly compelling book, Dr. Ari Tuckman adeptly combines original research about the sexual relationships, desires and habits of couples living with ADHD to help people find more happiness and connection. Written in a clear, friendly style, he’s not afraid to tell it like it is: asking probing questions and providing honest, thoughtful, and even humorous insights into how spouses can create and maintain healthier, more satisfying intimacy. Useful ‘Take Away Lessons’ at the end of each chapter summarize important points and give readers practical steps to apply immediately. ADHD After Dark offers a positive, non-shaming approach to sexual relationships that is a much needed and significant contribution to the field of psychology. As a family therapist, I will definitely be referring to it and recommending it over and over again."

Sharon Saline, PsyD, author, What your ADHD child wishes you knew: Working together to empower kids for success in school and life