Perhaps you’ve always lacked those gotta-have-it-now urges that seem to be the norm up on the big screens. Maybe new-relationship energy has waned to a full blown sex-draught.
There’s such a lack of open conversations out there! It’s easy to buy into the thought that there’s a very special sex-potion that everyone but you has in abundance. In fact, 25% of men and 85% of women report that they never experience that out of the blue desire.
Good news is, there’s tons of awesome new desire-related research out there – check it out:
What IS a Low Sex Drive?
As the less-driven half in an awesome, but libido-imbalanced relationship, I can relate to the frustration you might be feeling. It can be such a source of discouragement to WANT to want something and not have a reliable path to get there.
Who usually has low sex drive?
In a classic Grease Lightning world, all the men want is sex and all the women do is resist. These days, all genders and ages are finally starting to share their reality. It’s not just the ladies, and it’s not bound to age.
A 2018 study shows that 34% of sexually active women and 15% of sexual active men had reported a complete loss of interest in sex for 3 months or longer. The majority here does fall to females, but let’s talk about what a huge number of fellows 15% still is!
Actually, a lot of the resources out there still use that female terminology – ANNOYING. So, while we’re waiting on research to join the wider representation-station, we’ve pulled together relevant info for ANYONE.
Looks Like, Sounds Like
Mayo Clinic decided on these general indicators of having a low sex drive:
- Having no interest in any type of sexual activity, including masturbation
- Never or only seldom having sexual fantasies or thoughts
- Being concerned by your lack of sexual activity or fantasies
That last one is a key takeaway here – Are you concerned about it? If your sexual functioning is going well for you, then we’ll give you the early summary:
You are quite normal and this article has served its purpose!
If your lack of sexual activity or fantasies is causing you concern, we have a message for you too:
You too are quite normal. You are a part of the 50% of the WORLD that is looking for some new ways to increase their sexual response!
When does a sex drive reach the low threshhold? The Mayo Clinic study used the term “seldom”, but that doesn’t get us any closer to a real number. Actually, I’m relieved. Everyone is so different and our circumstances change all the time – it’s relative!
We’re going to take this opportunity to paint a new Libido Landscape for you. Here’s the thing – there’s a fair amount of debate whether “sex drive” even exists.
Of course, you understand what we mean by the term – that itch we’re wishing would surface more often.
That term “drive”, though, implies an internal instinct and need to survive – like hunger. It brings all kinds of rigid numbers on what’s healthy and what’s not. What percent, how many days, how long etcetera. There’s an expectation with a “drive” that it will trigger automatically to sustain you.
Instead of thinking of it as an automatic drive, think in terms of external factors. They are either turning you on, or turning you off. Desire is not a spontaneous drive, but instead a response to the things around us.
What Can Affect Sex Drive?
Lack of Erotic Stimulation
It might be as simple as that. If there’s nothing around you turning the heat up, things are going to stay cold.
Aging and Hormone Changes
Hormones change for ALL of us as we age, and it can throw a whole new wrench into our usual mode of operation. Hormones affect libido, erectile function, and our ability to produce natural lubricants.
Stress is the sneakiest little sucker, and I’d venture to say, the MOST underrated factor in the hunt for desire. It can disrupt hormone levels and be very distracting. Who has brain space for arousal when you’ve got 12 of the world’s biggest issues to sort out?
As a side-note, some people THRIVE sexually in stress – it’s their release! All depends on how you function.
Chronic illness defined broadly:
– conditions existing for a year or more
– requiring ongoing medical attention
– limiting daily activities
Depression, anxiety, diabetes and heart disease are all on this list.
Disregarding fitness can pack a double-whammy here. It’s impactful on the energy level AND the psychological level.
The sex-perspectives we’ve been subject to are all impactful in how we experience it. Those shameful or negative views that we grew up in are susceptible to resurfacing at any time whether we realize it or not.
Quality of Relationship
Long-term relationships all have their ebbs and flows. There is a complex line to walk between a great feeling of closeness and the draw of seeing a partner as another.
Quality of Sex
Great experiences are prone to lead to more of those cravings! Poor associations, however can make it difficult to reignite that wishful flame.
Painful experiences are of-course going to put your brain on a solid red-light. Amp up that lube-usage and give your doctor a call.
MANY medications have side effects that alter sexual desire. Give the bottle a read and ask your doctor if other options are available!
How to Increase Your Sex Drive
Jumpstart Your Physical Health
Exercise has all kinds of benefits, including in bed. Besides improving your self-confidence, it gives your body a trial-run by activating those vital areas for arousal. Body-awareness helps your ability to experience pleasure and working out builds that familiarity!
We’re all pretty familiar with the impact a good night’s sleep can have on our overall mood. A 2015 on Female Sexual Response really drives it home though. With one night of improved sleep, higher desire and better genital arousal appeared in one day!
A nutritious diet is always a good choice. Give your body the fuel it needs! Stick with foods high in protein, low in sugar, and colorful with a variety of veggies. These give you more energy and prevent some libido-depleting diseases down the road.
Nurture Your Mental Health
Let’s talk about self-confidence. Of course sex will carry some heavy baggage with it if you’re experiencing discouraging thoughts. Make a habit of recognizing and celebrating the things you’re proud of. It’s an awesome shift of focus to try out.
Relieving stress is another great way to clear some headspace for desire. Find the method that best suits you! Many achieve this through meditation, mindfulness, yoga, and exercise.
I’m an enthusiast of counseling or therapy – there’s really not a soul who WOULDN’T benefit from at least trying it out. Many of us have some unpleasant thought-habits that we’d like to move through. Try seeking out an expert!
Improve Relationship Quality
Guess what – open communication is HARD. And triple that when it comes to open communication about sex. But building a willingness to share and understand is so important in bridging any gap. It also brings helpful realizations to the surface before they’re past the point of no-return:
If ongoing or increased intimacy is a mutual goal in your relationship and it’s not happening spontaneously, try setting aside time for this.
Try a certain day and time every so often! Or it might just be deciding together to give each other a heads-up several hours before to get in the mood. It’s a trial and re-trial process.
Emotional closeness is a major contributor to intimacy. It’s no secret that lives get busier, filled with meetings or kiddos. If you’re not happening upon time to have fun together, start up date nights again! It may be the missing spark you were looking for.
Old habits die hard. OR they may just die altogether. The anticipation of something new and spicy might be the perfect motivator! Whether it’s a new position, new toy, new fantasies, we’re all for it. Sex positioners can be really helpful in achieving a new angle. Try some temperature play, or bring in a new type of vibrator to restore some intrigue. Throw something in there to shake things up a bit.
Here’s another tip – take your mind off the finish line for a bit and focus on the foreplay. Starting something with a very specific ending in mind can take away from the pleasure of the NOW. Go slow to build anticipation. It may just burn a memory into your brain that will stick around a while.
Taking some time to go it alone can also be helpful in discovering your newest turn-ons. Masturbation without the pressure of an audience can help you unlock new pleasures.
Another trick? Fantasizing or generating mystery. The world of mind-play is vast and REALLY important, especially in long-term relationships!
As you move along in your journey, pay attention to the distractions that arise – don’t let them slip by! Pain can be a huge turn-off and so can guilt. Whether physical or psychological, there may be an important deterrent that’s just been overlooked.
There’s actually little scientific evidence for libido-boosting foods. It’s less about flipping a magic sex-switch and more giving your body the proper nutrients.
One glass of red wine has been known to loosen things up a bit, but be sure you limit it to one. More can actually have a negative impact on sexual function!
Don’t be fooled by special pills or mystery-herbs claiming magnificent results. Again, there’s no magic sex-switch to flip, and many items like this are actually harmful. Do your research!
There are several different factors that may make sex a physically uncomfortable experience. For these cases Mayo Clinic lists varying options of hormone treatments. Ask your doctor if these are available near you!
Signs You Should Consult Your Doctor
Other Symptoms Appear Also
If a sudden decrease in sexual desire is paired with other symptoms, you may want to put a call in. Watch your sex-drive with new medications or after a recent surgery too. Abrupt shifts like this may be your body’s way of telling you something.
You should not experience pain during sex and should reach out to see what options may be available to you.
This may look like lowered self-esteem, a loss of social interest or long-term strains on your intimate relationships.
A Few Final Notes
Longing for a boost in your sex-drive is, for the most part, a VERY common feeling. There’s no one-size-fits-all formula we’re offering. Rather, we’re encouraging a journey of exploration. You’re sure to learn a WHOLE lot about yourself along the way and hopefully have a bit of fun!