Libido problems – Three big reasons it is low or non-existent ❗
You probably know it!
The thing about libido.
Sometimes it's high, sometimes it's low and sometimes it's completely gone!
Sometimes for VERY long periods of time!
GOSH! GASP! OH NO! HELP!
It's as though the libido has a mind of its own.
But it DOESN'T!
You're just not conscious of why it comes and goes and all the levels in between.
This is why I receive a steady stream of emails and clients with this precise issue.
Some women come to me because their partners have given them an ultimatum to finally get a handle on their libido or the relationship is over.
Other women come to me because they are sick and tired of having sex "to keep the peace" and consequently creating more problems in the relationship.
Yet others come to visit my clinic because they miss feeling desire.
Sometimes they do feel some kind of desire, just not towards their husband.
Sometimes they feel desirous of their husbands in the morning intending to act on the urge later in the day, but as soon as he steps in the door in the afternoon, it vaporizes.
I don't recall ever having a single first clarifying session with a woman without having to reach for the big box of tissues (and almost be ready to order a new huge box for all the tears).
Maybe now you're thinking "What's a clarifying session?"
I'll tell you...
The very first session I have with new clients that is experiencing libido problms is a longer than usual session that is used to clarify the issue a couple or individual come to see me for.
We look at why the issue exists and determine our objectives for what we need to do.
In the end he/she gets homework.
Libido problems often creates other problems!
It is SO incredibly emotional to have a problem with your libido.
Those are the sessions where the most tears are shed.
Luckily, most of them are from relief: "OMG, you know exactly how I feel! I thought I was the only one in the world who felt like this."
Or "Maj, this is exactly how I feel and you're telling me that I'm perfectly normal?!".
Maybe even this one:
"I never stop moving around the house to avoid physical contact with him because then I'm worried it's going to end in sex. I'm worried that he'll be aroused from a hug or a kiss and frankly I don't have the energy to deal with it. And when he does get aroused, he'll be so disappointed when I reject him and then it's all bad and I feel guilty, stressed, inadequate and really really sad. So that's why I figure it's better not to be intimate or physical in any way shape or form to being with."
This results in months of no form of physical contact.
No kisses, no cuddling, no lying together on the couch, no goodbye hugs, nothing.
That's hardly the right way to go.
You know that but you really don't know what on else you can do!
Yes, you're quite normal if you experience issues with your libido, whether you're man or woman.
There is always logical reasons for the libido to be low!
You need to know that there's always a logical reason or reasons.
And as soon as that's been figured out, then you can turn things around and actively change things to get your libido back.
That is why I've dedicated this guide to tell you about the three big reasons, according to my clinical experience, that your libido is very low or even missing and has a mind of its own.
1) It´s all about your energy level
This rule applies to everyone:
The desire to have sex is either a surplus or a deficit phenomenon.
What that means is that if you have surplus in your life, then you have a desire for sex.
Similarly, if you're in great deficit, then you want sex - as a rule of thumb.
If you're in surplus - and a lot of women will fit into this one - then your Stone Age brain is telling you that NOW is the time to reproduce, NOW is the time to kickstart the biological processes, NOW is the time to flaunt your big red monkey butt in front of the biggest gorilla of the group and be fertilized, mated, banged…
If you're feeling scarcity - and here men are usually more guilty than the women - then sex can become exactly THE ONLY PLACE where the stress of everyday life can be shut out and where you can let off some steam.
Often sex and desire in a situation of stress is VERY ego-based.
Women in these situations can feel like, pardon me for the expression, they are being used as a masturbation doll...
A man or woman can also find that their desire is impacted by both these scenarios.
When all is good, you want to have sex but if you're a little worn out, not so much. However, when you're super stressed, desire kicks in for the release of stress.
So maybe now you're more aware of what you need to do to increase desire?
2) You have eaten to much "cake"
Maybe you know the story about birthday cake?
The one that taught you that when you're C-O-N-S-T-A-N-T-L-Y being fed cake, well then it's pretty tough to know when you really feel the desire for a slice.
And it's exactly the same with sexual desire and libido.
Unsurprisingly, in most instances it's the person with the highest sex drive who "decides" what is a "normal" sex drive in the relationship and who in some way or other sets the "standard".
Please elaborate Maj!
Okey dokey, here goes:
Lets say that after having given birth twice, you don't really have a very high sex drive or you have libido problems...
You're tired, exhausted, have a ton of things to do and would perhaps much rather sleep than bang!
- and YES that is the reality for a lot of women.
Or maybe you're a man who really doesn't have the energy for sex because things are really bad at work and the frustrations are running wild in your head.
Maybe you're too exhausted to be "the guy who's constantly active" in bed and really don't want sex!
Still, the desire is there a little...
Sometimes you feel it inside.
Maybe when you're watching a romantic movie or when you see a hottie on the street, the desire pops up suddenly.
In this case we're talking about a lowered libido not that it's "completely gone"! (even though it's sometimes interpreted that way).
That's the way it is with libido from time to time.
Our sex drive waning is often a symptom pointing to something else that isn't working well or needs to be examined further and adjusted.
For example, a dreadful job is taking all your energy which is sapping your desire or an you're an overworked mother with a newborn etc.
To get back to the birthday cake story - what sometimes happens in this case is that you never get to act on your desire to run down to the nearest bakery and get a sumptuous cake because your partner constantly is bringing home cake for you.
Both Wednesday night, when you didn't want cake, then Friday night, when you ate one slice and feeling guilty about it because you didn't really want the cake right?
And then again Sunday night you get served another slice again.
Maybe your partner even asks you if you don't like cake anymore...
All of a sudden you find yourself wondering if you still LIKE CAKE at all.
You really never feel your own craving for it because you're always stuffed relative to how much cake you can eat right now.
And maybe you start to doubt whether it's normal to feel this LOW DESIRE for cake!
What if we remove the cake?
Completely… for a period of time … what happens then?
Yes, some have discovered that they in fact WANT cake so they run down to get it and offer the partner a slice.
Perhaps not as often as the partner would like but there is a desire for it.
Some discover that they want cake but don't want to share it with their partner.
In this case maybe the cake recipe needs some adjusting.
Some discover that they want both the small cake appetizers - translation: kisses, hugs, holding hands, lying close together etc.- AND cake after not having any for a few weeks because that makes you miss the cake!
So reason number 2 as to why the libido, according to you, has a mind of its own is that you're simply being approached too often at times when your desire is low for no logical reason.
This can actually lower the libido even further because you constantly feel pressured, feel guilty and think "somethings wrong with me" etc.!
Here's a tip!
Make a pact with your partner that you're going to "promise not to initiate sex and force-feed you birthday cake" for 4,6 or maybe even 8 weeks.
In that time you will also look to enhance the relationship, love, time for each other and romantic activities AND working on strengthening your friendship AND working on getting you more energy - if that is one of your low libido problems that is.
Then miracles may actually happen - yesiree!
I have witnessed it all in my clinic where I've guided couples through the process AND BELIEVE ME - something will happen!
3) When the brain plays a (libido) trick!
It's autumn in Denmark (north Europa) and as usual, I've begun to feel a little lethargic.
You might know the feeling of being lethargic for long periods of time.
Or you understand feeling as though you're living inside a bowl.
The days pass.
You get up, work, come home, cook, do laundry, watch tv, go to bed etc.
There are no real highs or lows.
Maybe you've experienced these periods in the first years after giving birth, in exceptionally hard times at work, in negative and highly dysfunctional relationships etc.
Our body is a machine.
There's oil, gasoline, mechanical parts etc. and if we do not treat it right, get it checked, tighten the bolts when needed, well then things start to fall apart!
Then you move around like you're in a fog.
A state resembling mild depression where the desire to seek out the things that you enjoy disappears.
And yes, that is lack of dopamine!
The number 3 reason why libido goes down is that your levels of dopamine in the brain are low.
Simply a lack of dopamine!
You're often hit by it after a severely strained period in your life or if you're sleep deprived- e.g. with new fathers!
Breastfeeding mothers experience this differently because breastfeeding enhances the production of the hormone prolactin.
Prolactin and dopamine are, according the American scientist Dr. Judith Reichmann, inversely proportional to one another.
That means that when the prolactin levels rise, dopamine levels go down.
Dopamine is the neurotransmitter in our brain that makes things important and meaningful to us, as well as affecting the brain centre for rewards.
When dopamine is released into our brain, we feel good and in many cases it motivates us to do the things that further release dopamine.
The same goes for super strained periods...
Dopamine level drops and you become inactive in so MANY areas - actually science is talking about "Post dopamin depression"!
The longer you're in this state, the more lethargic and inactive you become.
You no longer consider what would be fun or feel good.
You're out of the good dopamine cycle in the brain, and you've become inactive and no longer seek out the things that would help release dopamine.
And of course you no longer feel very much desire for sex.
Because you don't look forward to things, including sex, why on earth should you desire it?
It's pure logic.
If you want to get back in the game, you have to consciously work on doing "good" things.
Things that used to make you happy.
Direct your focus towards enjoyment and seek it out.
Furthermore, you can boost your dopamine levels by exercising regularly.
And yes, you have to tell your partner about it so they can help you on your way back to a more fun life.
It's about dopamine not about "you've become boring and dull".
Let´s sum up!
Three big reasons the libido it is low or non-existent:
1 - It´s all about your energy level
2 - You have eaten to much "cake"
3 - When the brain plays a (libido) trick!
I hope my guide helped you a little bit - If you have any questions or comments, you are more than welcome to write below.
Take care of yourself, the love and the libido.
Maj Wismann – Clinical sexologist and relationthip therapist with own clinic since 2006
Read more about libido, sex drive & sex life:
****Have you been in a situation like this where your libido was low or gone? Have you experienced this in your partner? Please share your experiences (and lessons) in the comments below. Remember, your comment might help someone else! And as always, thank you for sharing.
Please do remember that libido problems is a very vulnerable topic, so please keep your words positive and loving. Thank you. Please remember to keep a nice tone. ALL negative comments will be deleted immediately. I wish to create a positive and supporting space where we can support each other, and I therefore have a zero-tolerance policy towards rudeness, condescension, negative inputs and disrespect.