When your sex drive isn’t kicked up into high gear, you may wonder if you should worry. Libido is a person’s sex drive, and it varies between partners and from person to person.
Stereotypes do exist because you often think of teenagers with their raging sex hormones. However, sex drive is very personal. Likewise, your desire for sex could fluctuate based on factors such as your relationship status, stress level, and age.
How do you know if you’ve got a normal, high, or low libido? If something’s wrong, can you do anything to fix it? We’ll delve deeper into these topics to help you understand.
All About the Baseline (Define Libido)
You cannot analyze your libido and health without factoring in what’s normal for you. The term “normal” is an elastic word because it depends on your current baseline and what it’s always been in the past.
Though it’s often normal for lustful people to crave sex daily or more often, it’s also standard if you have low libido to have no interest in sex at all.
When you’ve always been into sex and now lose the urge, that’s when you should consider what’s happening in your body or mind. A change in sexual energy becomes an issue when you or your partner have a problem with it.
There’s no “normal” amount of time to desire sex or to do it. Some couples are just out of sync where libido is concerned. You may put on the moves every night, and your partner may pass on them.
Likewise, the idea that men often think of sex constantly is a myth. They do have dirty thoughts about 19 times per day, but that’s not necessarily “constant.” Plus, women focus on sex 10 times each day.
Overall, your libido is unique to you. However, if you feel that it’s swinging down or up the spectrum, there could be reasons for that. Let’s look into them!
Also Read: Male enhancement pills to increase libido. (My personal picks.)
What Is High Libido?
If you think about sex all the time, you might wonder if you have a healthy sex drive. Is it normal? Why is it high? Having a high libido isn’t a bad thing.
Just as it is with low libido, there’s no specific definition of a high sex drive. Even the meaning of “sex” varies based on who you ask. Is sex full-on penetration or oral?
Having a revved-up sex drive is only an issue whenever it leads to problems in life, both outside of sex and in your sex life. This is called hypersexual disorder, sexual addiction, or compulsive sexual behavior.
Here are some signs of high libido, which could be a problem:
You Can’t Stop – Whether you’re watching porn or having sex with strangers, you do it even while it negatively affects your life.
You Sneak Around – To get the sex that you crave, you feel that you can’t be honest with family members or loved ones.
It’s an Escape from Life – You use sex like someone who eats a whole pizza or reaches for a drink when they can’t cope with life.
You Do It Frequently – Though you’re having a lot of sex, it doesn’t do anything for you. When you’re done, you feel empty or unfulfilled.
As with people who have low libido, there are many things that might lead to high libido causes.
Some Health Conditions
Most people think that the honeymoon phase of new relationships is a psychological condition, but it’s not. This is where you stop life and work to have sex.
However, there are some serious mental disorders that may make sex a first priority. Sex is often a form of self-medication when people have anxiety. Unresolved shame, low self-esteem, and other feelings can increase a person’s desire for sex, too.
There could be psychological factors that lead to a high sex drive. If you’ve got uncontrollable and uncomfortable urges and engage in sex with no satisfaction, you could have a mental health problem. Likewise, those sexual urges are often intense enough to upend your lifestyle and relationships, which leads to hypersexuality.
Likewise, some women develop sexual issues where they can only have sex during their menstrual cycle. Since this is considered a fetish, it might be harder to find willing partners.
You should also think about your behaviors before and after sex. It’s normal to fantasize about a co-worker, but if you skip work to watch pornography online, that’s an issue.
Some drugs can lead to an increased libido. They are often stimulants that jolt the brain, such as caffeine, crystal meth, ecstasy, and cocaine.
Substituted cathinones will give users a boost of energy, a high sex drive, and feelings of connectedness. For example, Wellbutrin has a side effect of an increased libido. Doctors often prescribe it to help people quit smoking.
Also Read: Foods That Get You Hard
What Is a Low Sexual Desire?
When you’re no longer interested in any sexual activity, this can be a sign of low libido. Your idea of “getting it on” might be putting on comfortable clothing and watching Netflix while binge-eating.
If that’s the case, it might be time to dig into the cause of the low libido. Remember that different factors can affect people in various ways.
Check Your Health
No one is suggesting that you’re sick here, but medical issues might depress your libido and make it nonexistent. The stress, exhaustion, and pain of living with arthritis, cancer, diabetes, and other chronic illnesses can zap the desire for sex.
Your mental state can affect your sex drive, as well. A lost libido might be the first warning sign of depression!
When you take antidepressants to boost your mood, they might also reduce your sex life desires. SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) include sertraline (Zoloft) and fluoxetine (Prozac). There are also SNRIs (serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors), such as duloxetine (Cymbalta), that prevent the brain from absorbing the feel-good chemical called serotonin.
Those antidepressants will put a damper on your sex drive and make it harder to achieve orgasm when you do get into the mood.
If you think that’s the case for you, it might be wise to talk to your doctor about Wellbutrin (bupropion) because it will relieve depression without lowering your sex drive.
Ironically, the same method you use to avoid pregnancy might prevent you from getting into such a situation. About one in five birth control users have lost interest in sex, and roughly half stop using the pill because of this.
However, you must still stay protected while having sex, so you may want to consider copper IUDs. They don’t lower libido as much as implants, rings, and injectables.
We generally blame sex hormones for everything from mood swings to chocolate cravings. However, when focused on sexual desire (or not having it), estrogen, testosterone levels, and progesterone can be part of the problem.
Some women are all over their partners right before their menstrual cycle, and estrogen spikes are the cause of that. However, this can happen before and during the menstrual cycle or even after ovulation.
As women age, estrogen levels plunge, which is why sexual desire fades during menopause. They may also experience vaginal dryness, which often makes sex painful.
Sex hormones can also affect men. Testosterone levels are crucial for desire, and low amounts can cause libido to suffer. If men have significantly low testosterone levels, they may need hormone therapy to rev up their sex lives again.
When couples have issues with their relationship, it’s crucial to assess them and get back on track. A rocky romance will take its toll on the sexual relationship and lead to low libido.
Anything that could negatively affect the couple can limit lust. Poor communication, hurt feelings, anger, and boredom are the most common culprits for less sexual arousal.
Likewise, infidelity (cheating) can cause low libido for some people. It’s always best to be honest and open with your partner about your feelings.
Life Gets in the Way
Sex is often pushed to the low part of the list when it comes to priorities. You might be short on time, overworked, or exhausted. Though this doesn’t automatically mean sexual dysfunction, it can turn into that if you don’t make time for sex.
New parents are often susceptible to such sexual issues. Who feels sexy after cleaning up dirty diapers?
Things will ebb and flow, but there are ways to see an increased libido. You both have to work at it and create a positive relationship. Focus on your physical health, but also think about your mental health at all times.
Ways to Level Out Your Sex Drive
You might think you require a libido adjustment and don’t know what to fix. However, it depends on whether your sex drive is high or low and how much it’s bothersome to you and your partner.
Those in a relationship must think about how their partner feels. Are you out of sync with each other, or do things mesh well together?
If both parties feel okay about each other’s sexual function, things are likely fine. Don’t compare yourself to others, and focus on what works for you both as a couple.
DIY Options for a Better Sex Life
There are many things that can boost your sex life, especially if there’s nothing there now. First, it’s important to give both parties some extra time. Pencil in intimacy and sex – literally! Write it down with your other to-dos, such as work meetings, exercise routines, and more.
You may also consider using some natural aphrodisiacs. Avocados, bananas, and chocolate can put you in the mood. To spice things up, you might also use garlic or basil on your meal before sex.
Consider getting creative in the bedroom. Missionary is fine, but it can get boring at times. To bring more interest in sex, try Reverse Cowboy, Corkscrew, and Kinky Jockey. There are plenty of other positions, as well!
One of the most important things you can do is talk to your partner. Let them know what you like and ask them what brings the most pleasure.
Libido doesn’t start in the bedroom. Exercise will often make you feel frisky, but it also relieves stress and helps you feel good about yourself. Likewise, getting plenty of sleep gives you the energy necessary to be a good lover.
High libido rarely causes complaints unless it doesn’t match with a partner or is part of a sexual compulsion. If there is an issue with high or low libido, it’s wise to talk with your partner. Consider visiting with a sex therapist to get even more support.
Stimulate the Sex Drive
In some cases, a lost libido requires medical intervention. The fix might be simple, such as stopping the use of prescription drugs that dampen the sex drive.
Medications like Vyleesi (bremelanotide) will turn up the fire, but they have adverse effects. The treatment requires a shot before sex, which is rarely a turn-on for either person.
Other medications can work, but they take a while to build up in your system or might have bad side effects, such as blood pressure drops or fainting. It’s best to speak with a doctor about which drugs will work for you.
Hormone therapy is another option. Estrogen comes in pill, ring, and cream form, which might boost your sex drive because you no longer have to deal with painful sex. Men can find supplements to raise their testosterone levels. Ask a primary care doctor or OB/GYN for more advice.
See a Professional
If your sex drive has quickly halted, mention it to your doctor the next time you see them. It’s often awkward to talk about your sex life, but they’ve seen it all before and might have a straightforward fix.
However, if past traumas or relationship issues are taking their toll, you need to find out what the underlying problem is. Talk to a therapist who specializes in sexual behavior or couples therapy.
In some cases, you can resolve relationship problems alone. However, a sex therapist or psychiatrist will often address thorny issues so that you and your partner communicate more efficiently. They can also determine what might affect sex drive in one or both parties and address compulsions that cause emotional distress for you or your partner.
What to Expect at All Ages
Sexual function isn’t tied to a timeline, but there are general hormonal shifts and other things that occur each decade that can affect your libido. Let’s learn more about them.
The late teenage years are when a person’s libido is the highest. However, that doesn’t mean you can only have a pleasurable and fulfilling sex life at this time. There’s often a lack of information about sexual health topics, and older children don’t have the mental acuity to know what’s real.
A person’s hormones will often lead them to more sexual desires at this time. However, communication, body image, and relationship issues might not make them very satisfying.
Stress can kill a person’s sex drive, and people in their 30s often have children, aging parents, household responsibilities, and other things to contend with. That said, this is also the decade for making babies.
Pregnant women often have hormonal fluctuations after and during this time, which means less interest in sexual intimacy.
Regardless of sexuality or gender, testosterone levels often dip in this decade, so there’s less friskiness happening.
For women, this happens from perimenopause. However, the male sex drive is lessened because of the natural aging process.
Regardless, this decade can often bring more fulfilling sex and a higher interest in it. For example, the kids are leaving the home, you have less financial stress, you’re more comfortable with your partner, and you feel good about your body.
Most men start taking Viagra at 53, which suggests that it might be hard to maintain an erection during this decade. Likewise, women go through menopause at 51, which leads to less interest and a lower sex drive.
However, getting the proper medication or using vaginal moisturizers can ensure that people still have orgasms at this age!
60s and Upward
Starting in the sixth decade, a person’s sexual desire really lowers. However, there’s no rule saying that sex can’t happen in your 60s. Often people get divorced at this time, so they’re swept into a whirlwind romance that skyrockets their sex drives. Others learn new ways to have sex with long-term partners that are more pleasurable.
Sexual Desire – The Bottom Line
It’s time to throw away the idea of a normal sex drive. It’s a highly personal subject. In a sense, a low/high libido is only a problem if it affects your daily life, causes stress, or hurts your relationships with others.
If those things apply to you, it’s best to determine the root cause. Talk it out with your partner and doctor, or see a therapist. It’s important to understand that your sexual desire can change throughout the years. Therefore, you may wish to spice things up and focus on your mental and physical health.