The Truth About Libido – And how to get it back
What is libido?
To make something kinky boring, you could say that libido is basically nothing more than nature's biological mechanism that ensures humans reproduce and pass on genes. It all boils down to our animal nature, especially when it comes to our desire for sex and the desire to reproduce.
People are born with different sex drive.
There are both men and women with either a high or low libido. Sexual desire is controlled by different substances in our body and brain and those fluctuate and affect libido at different stages in our lives.
Women produce the hormone, prolactin while breastfeeding which reduces dopamine levels in the brain. Dopamine is a "desire" related substance that makes us want to do things that are nice and comfortable.
When the dopamine level decreases you may experience low sexual desire, being more tired, not having any energy to deal with anything.
Men often have a higher libido than women because of their higher level of testosterone. The female libido is also affected by testosterone.
In England women who have their ovaries removed and experience early menopause get testosterone patches to help them increase libido.
Libido in the "Falling-in-love"relationship
Most people have higher than usual sexual desire during the "falling-in-love"-phase. This feels fantastic because you are in sync with each other. But it can also lead to huge disappointment once things return to normal. Many couples will feel frustrated and often the high libido partner starts to wonder "is something wrong with me?".
Often it's the person with the highest libido who sets the agenda for the amount of sex in the relationship. This inequity of desire results in many discussions and arguments and playing the "it's your fault"-game which under no circumstances will help with increasing libido, not for him nor for her.
Blame and guilt are poison to desire. The best way to move forward is to consider it a mutual problem, a mutual responsibility, a mutual project. But when you do not understand the underlying reasons for low libido, it can be really tough to find solutions which work. Furthermore it's foolish to believe you can reach a point where your libidos match all the time.
It's more about how you deal with the differences than trying to get matching desire for sex.
Libido can be worked with
In my clinic I work with a lot of people who believe that libido "just is what it is" and that nothing can be done about it. If only sexual desire was part of sexual education in school, I believe a lot of relationships would benefit greatly.
There are always reasons why libido goes up or down so you can do something about a decrease. Since the libido is affected by both internal and physical reasons as well as by outer and external reasons, it's important to thoroughly look into what is causing low libido.
If you focus on the wrong area it will likely cause further frustration and despair. If you do understand your own libido and the mechanisms behind it, it's neither rocket science nor difficult to learn to regulate your desire and furthermore if your partner also knows which buttons to push, then we're talking!
Many sexologists in the media have recommended just "doing it" even when you don't want to. I strongly disagree and in no way recommend that! It's not only often way more damaging to your emotional life and relationship but also very much to the ability to regain your libido for the long term.
Typical causes for lowered or lacking libido
So libido is basically nature's way of making us reproduce and nature's way of ensuring we pass on our genes. Neither our brain nor our bodies are up to date with the current world and still believe we're living on the plains in the Stone Age.
If you see the sex drive and your sex life this way, it becomes much easier to work with.
Are you in a place where you're able to take care of more children?
Yes or no?
If not, then your libido is probably quite low! Are you chronically exhausted or tired because you have babies in the house taking up all your energy?
Do you therefore fall a sleep "quarter past the children have been put to sleep"?
Nature thinks: "she doesn't need more children right now" - and ergo the big L. is lowered. If you're a stressed out man, you'll also find yourself in the high risk end of it affecting your libido negatively.
How's your relationship?
If you bicker, have too many conflicts, are unsatisfied then it will definitely affect your sex life.
1. Talk to each other - with good and respectful communication you can get really far. Remember that there are logical reasons for decreased sex drive. Go on a joint discovery and help each other solve the causes of it.
2. You have to be honest even though it's hard. If your partner's gained 30 pounds and you really don't desire him or her anymore, then it's important to say it aloud even though it can hurt your partner. Your reduced desire for him or her hurts as well.
3. Seek professional help if you cannot solve the problems together. One single phone or Skype session with a well trained sexologist can be enough to map out the issues and set up a concrete plan of action for you.
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