Dealing with loss of libido

September 23, 2018 6 min read

Remember those glorious days in your teens when your hormones were all over the place and even looking at a white wall made you so horny you couldn’t function? weren’t those amazing? 

In adulthood, with new concerns such as work pressure, rent and bills, school work, body issues and the unbearable heaviness modern living can bring, sometimes you lose your libido. 

Those insane thoughts about sex become a lot less frequent and less demanding action. Science says that men think about sex every five seconds, but that’s an average number, and for each average, there’s the lower part of the spectrum which we’ll talk about now. 

Sexual desire gaps and mismatching libidos are a real test for a relationship since it’s a common saying in relationship phycology that sex is about 20% of a good relationship when it’s good, an 80% when it’s not.

source: memecruch

Here are a few quick tips for trying to navigate these risky waves, divided into several main topics. 

Identify the problem:

How often you have sex isn’t necessarily a good gage of understanding the sex drive of your partner, since if the desire is there and there’s a clear anticipation for sex but other circumstances are preventing it - it’s just misfortune.
A real loss of libido is determined by a prolonged lack of desire for sex, lack of anticipation for the act itself and lack of connection. It’s also often that one party (the one with the higher sex drive) will be the initiator and the other party might feel uncomfortable or pressured. 

Remember it’s not your fault:
If my partner wants to have sex and I’m not feeling up for it, I would never ‘blame’ him for my lack of desire, since I know what’s going on in my head and it’s simply a specific time where I am not in that particular mood. However, when I’m feeling frisky and my partner doesn’t, I’ll always blame myself and assume it’s something I did wrong because I’ll feel rejected. Not so healthy, ha?

That’s why I’ve explained to my partner that if I am putting myself out there and asking for sex, I need explicit confirmation and a clear explanation if we end up not having sex. It wasn’t a comfortable conversation, but this makes sure I’m getting the correct feedback so my head doesn’t spin out of control. A prolonged sense of rejection will also create a feed-back-loop where you ‘know’ and ’assume’ your partner’s response, so you stop trying. 

This act of being very clear is preventing this for us. 

source: tumblr

Give compliments and be affectionate often: 

This issue was covered in some of my previous articles, but it’s extremely important to maintaining a healthy sex drive. If you make your partner feel desired, they will want you. Another thing that can be overlooked in long-term relationships where couples end up losing desire is that they feel too comfortable with each other.

Keep some mystery in your relationship. If you fart next to each other, if you talk about your bowel movements and go to the bathroom next to each other, floss, stop shaving, burp, only wear house clothes and feel like you don’t need to make an effort, the sexual tension is not going to be there. 

People lust over unattainable figures when you feel so comfortable that describing your poops become the norm, you give up some of the magic and mystery. My personal best advice in this case, is to make yourself feel good for yourself and for your partner and make your partner feel desired and wanted. 

source: al-xma

Get medical advice: 

A loss of libido can also indicate an actual health problem. Happy, healthy adults should want to procreate. It’s in our genes. Our sex drive, as much as it’s an epic pleasure source, it’s also an important evolutionary tool.

If suddenly you or your partner lost interest in sex, it can be due to hormonal changes which can affect other parts of your life for the worst, it can be a side effect of medication, it can be environmental, can be linked to food intolerances and more. Airing on the side of caution is a good rule in this case. 

Create a stressless environment and ditch bad habits: 

If you’re open and honest and are able to talk openly about the issue, you should focus on identifying triggers. 
Both for lack of desire, and for little glimpses of it. If you’re able to identify small instances where there are flutters of emotion even in an overall sex lacking period, try and focus on the behaviours that caused those, talk about it and find ways to create more of those instances. 

Just like this, find the opposite. If there is anything that is specifically off-putting and you’re able to identify as damaging to the process of the libido restoration, try and do your best to avoid that behaviour. 
When talking about it, be very mindful of making sure you’re only talking about the exact behaviour itself and not the person and specific actions and not the person itself, since this can be very hurtful to the party trying to change.

Additionally, try and be mindful that when in a relationship, lack of libido is also accompanied by guilt and stress, since no one wants to leave their partner unsatisfied. Talking openly and consistently making the person know you’re aware it’s not their fault and that they haven’t done anything wrong, can help reduce feelings of guilt and shame and help with speeding up the process of gaining back their sex drive. 

source: Eye of scottie

Remember these things come in waves, a good relationship can survive any wave if you’re open and honest and are willing to talk about the uncomfortable topics and remember to have fun with each other regardless of the bedroom. 

A time of low sex drive can be a good time to work on your friendship, learn something new together, go exploring and create new experiences so that later, if the wheels turn and you find yourself in this case, you know your partner will be there, be supportive and will make you feel loved.

Laura Patrick
« Laura is a freelance writer visual artist and science nerd. She is passionate about self development and personal growth and spends most of her free time reading scientific papers about the human experience and summarising them so that you won't have to. » All posts →