Libido is generally associated with sexual drive and the desire to engage in sexual activity. When one’s internal health is off, it may affect many parts of one’s health including their sexual health. The vast reasons why many men don’t want sex are endless. Some decreased libido situations accompany other types of sexual disorders. While some men may experience erectile dysfunction, others may not have an issue with performance just desire.
Reasons for Low Libido
For instance, the number one reason why one has a low libido is because of medication. SSRI-type antidepressants as well as antihypertensive drugs for men with high blood pressure can be the culprit. These drugs are notorious for having sexual side effects.
Another reason for a low sex drive is fatigue often caused by stress. However many doctors are skeptical of this work-related stress as a reason for a low libido. One doctor, Mark Epstein MD, a Manhattan psychiatrist, even mentions drugs and alcohol has a main reason for a low sex drive if an illness isn’t present in the body. Some illnesses associated with a low libido include kidney and liver failure, cancer, chronic lung disorders and depression. Low testosterone is another reason for a low libido and hormone replacement therapy may help replenish those levels in the body making overall health, not just sexual health, better overall.
Many doctors say that communication is a major problem in relationships relating in a loss of desire. It’s important that a couple discusses what they expect in terms of frequency and sex. What is normal for her may not be for him and vice versa. Sex should not be viewed at in a self-centered way, but as a way to connect with a partner intimately.
The New York Times reports that Viagra has become popular in Spain where many men believe in having a continued virility. The reason for this being that Western-style work ethics and a party culture has both affected these men’s sex drive.
Symptoms of Low Testosterone
As mentioned before, low testosterone can be a major factor in a low libido. Some of the most common symptoms or signs of low testosterone include: difficulty achieving erection, hair loss, fatigue or lack of energy, loss of muscle mass, increase in body fat, decrease in bone mass and mood changes. A doctor can conduct a blood test in order to check one’s levels and help come up with a treatment option for those suffering from hypogonadism.
Revving Up a Low Libido
Many individuals believe that gift giving is a valuable task when someone is not as interested in sex as the other. This means they are willing to do things that are sexually stimulating for their particular partner bringing them to orgasm. This can be when a wife is interested and a man’s mind is elsewhere or a way for one’s wife to get you into the mood. This coffee syndrome, a time when you host a dinner party and ask for who wants coffee and once the whiff of the coffee is in the air, everyone wants it, comes into play. Oftentimes when the sense of sex is in the air, an individual will be more willing to partake in it. This works great for men who are suffering from a low libido and still want to satisfy their wife.
Is Martial Anger a Culprit of your Low Sex Drive?
For many couples that have been together for a long time, anger can affect one or both partners’ sex drives. Ultimately sex is an experience where one strips themselves away and becomes one with their partner. This can be a difficult experience for someone who is angry at the person they are supposed to be intimate with. Couples therapy is a great way to get through these obstacles. In order to jumpstart your sex life during this time, it’s important to recycle some of the anger into the sexual experience. This aggressive element of sex will make the situation pleasurable and is an outlet to get rid of this negative energy.
National Average for Sex Drives
Ultimately there are none, so there is nothing to compare to in terms of determining if a man has a low sex drive or not. Many believe that it is normal for individuals to have sex twice a week, however another person may say that isn’t enough and not “normal.” Honestly what is normal for one couple may not be for another and it’s important to communicate freely about one’s expectations. Whatever the national average for sex drives isn’t as important as satisfying and keeping the person next to you in bed happy.
Recognizing Low Libido
For many, low libido is a new problem that can have both an emotional and physical cause. For others they may have had this issue for their entire life and their brain is hardwired for these thoughts. When low libido is an ongoing problem, this is known as hypoactive sexual desire disorder. This means that there is a general and long-lasting lack of desire for sex and no sexual fantasies. Those with this disorder experience distress about their low sex drive. In many situations, low libido happens for no reason and occurs out of the blue in healthy relationships.
Low Libido in Women and Men
This condition is just as prevalent in women as in men. For women, low sexual drive is one of the most common sexual issues, especially for aging women. Low desire may equate to not wanting to have sex, not having fantasies, not worried about their lack of desire or not wanting to self-pleasure themselves. For men, aging is a major factor in low libido. Many studies have found that men with high testosterone in their blood will have a higher sex drive, but those levels drop as a man ages. Researchers believe that 10% of men in their forties have some type of sexual dysfunction, however up to 80% of men over 70 experiences this.
Getting at the Root of the Sexual Desire Problem
For many women, what drives sexual drive is complicated to understand. Some reasons include:
- Birth Control Pills: This argument is still being debated, but there is much evidence to prove that contraception lowers free testosterone levels, which is related to hypoactive sexual desire disorder. It’s also believed that when a woman is using birth control that she is more relaxed and doesn’t worried about getting pregnant and that should improve a sex drive, but that isn’t always the case.
- Menopause: A woman’s estrogen levels (and really all hormone levels) decrease fast during the years leading to menopause and during menopause. As a result, she may experience vaginal dryness and pain during sexual activity, all of which contribute to a lower sex drive naturally.
- Family problems / Stress: The stress of having a household to run can contribute to a lower sex drive. Counseling with one’s partner may help lower stress levels and improve overall sex drive.
- Aging: While the hormonal changes play into a woman’s sexual desire or lack thereof, one study has found that men between 40 and 70 found that erectile function and sex drive were directly affected by their testosterone levels.
- Depression and Anxiety: Both of these mental illnesses can have a huge impact on one’s sex drive. Also many commonly-prescribed antidepressants tend to cause a larger drop in one’s sexual drive for some patients.
- Trauma: Negative sexual experience obviously causes a chance in desire for sexual activity. However working through these emotional issues can help restore one’s sexual drive.
Should You Live With Low Libido?
While you can live with this condition, you shouldn’t have to. Sex brings pleasure to your partner and yourself and is proven to lead to improved health and lower stress levels. If you have an issue regarding low libido, it’s important to communicate these issues with your partner and your doctor to look for any physical causes which may be affecting your sex drive. There are many easy steps to take to rekindle your sex drive and to enjoy sex again.
Solutions for Low Libido in Men
If you have already had a full medical check-up and your low libido is not due to an illness. It’s time to try other things to get your sexual desire back for you and your partner. Things like getting enough sleep, eating a healthy diet, exercising, limiting alcohol consumption and talking to your partner about your issue all can contribute to an increase in sexual desire. Don’t expect immediate results, but with the determination for change your low libido issue can diminish over time.