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What Exactly is Libido?

Feb 10, 2021

Every person is unique in terms of their sex drive and how much they desire sexual intercourse and activities. Different factors in our lives can decrease or increase our libido, which directly affects our sex drive! 

Libido Definition.

The libido refers to a persons sex drive, which is their desire to have or engage in sexual intercourse or sexual activities. When we say someone has a low libido, that means that they have less of a desire to engage, and a high libido means they have a higher desire and drive for sex or sexual activities. Since everyone is so different, there is not really a normal level for libido to be at. However, someone’s libido can change through the years, and not feel normal to them. It’s not impossible for two people with varying libido’s to have a good sex life, but remember that it may take work and adjustment. 

Why are some peoples libido’s higher than others?

There are many reasons that someone’s libido may be much higher than others. Studies have shown that those who are more active with exercise also have higher sex drives. So if you or your partner work out often, you may find that you have a higher libido. Another cause can be illicit drugs. Cocaine and other drugs are known to cause an increase in libido. Dopamine, which is a neurotransmitter, also directly affects the libido. Your dopamine levels can spike for many reasons, such as getting enough restful sleep, the foods you eat, exercising, listening to music, taking vitamins or supplements, and getting sunlight frequently. Higher testosterone levels in men are also linked to higher sex drives.

 

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So what are the causes of a lower sex drive?

Just like people with higher sex drives, there are many causes for lower sex drives. One of those causes in women can be menopause. Since menopause affects your hormones, it also affects the libido. Cultural and religious beliefs can affect your sex drive as well – if your religion or culture is known to be very restrictive or uptight about sex, and the education of it, it can cause a mental block that affects your libido. You may feel shame or disgust at the act of sex. Therapy can help this tremendously. Mental health conditions like anxiety or depression, as well as medications to treat these conditions, also have been linked to affecting your libido. If you are on a medication and you notice your libido decreasing, talk to your doctor about other options and ways to treat this. Your age and your weight also impair your libido. The older you get, or the heavier you get, the more you may find your libido decreasing. Other health conditions can also affect your sex drive. Heart disease, diabetes, and of course the treatments for these things all have an affect. Additionally, pregnancy is shown to reduce the libido. 

How satisfied are you in your relationship?

Satisfaction in the relationship can increase your libido, while dissatisfaction is shown to reduce it. Have open and honest conversations with your partner, and try to work through issues. Don’t bottle things up, as you may find that this increased frustration directly affects your sex life and sexual drive. Couples therapy can also help if you find that nothing is changing. 

 

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Did you know birth control can affect libido?

Contraceptives that are hormonal such as the pill, the shot, and the hormonal implant have all been shown to decrease libido. While this is not common for everyone, it is an option to explore if you notice a sudden change in your libido and sexual desire. There are so many options on the market that you can try to see if that remedies the situation. 

Can you increase your libido?

There are many methods and schools of thought to increasing the libido and reawakening your sex drive.

For example, you can try sex therapy. This can help when you are dissatisfied with the sexual aspect of your relationship, and also help you overcome any shame or embarrassment you may feel if you have cultural or religious beliefs regarding sex and pleasure. 

Get more sleep!

As simple as it may sound, it has been shown that when getting more restful sleep, women experience a higher level of sexual desire. If you are overworked or exhausted, it makes sense that you may not feel the same sexual desire or motivation that you felt before. A staycation, or even a vacation, can be super beneficial to reawakening that sexual drive you had previously. With life changes such as work schedules, children, and house work, it’s normal to need a day to relax and recharge. 

Try eating aphrodisiacs!

There are many foods such as strawberries, dark chocolate, and raw oysters that are thought to have aphrodisiac properties. Try going for a nice dinner, get some oysters, maybe a glass of red wine, and some chocolate covered strawberries. At the very least, you’ll have an enjoyable date night. If it works, you’ll have a great time at home as well. 

Exercise more frequently.

Exercise, such as yoga and cardio, and even mediation are known to increase your libido by increasing your dopamine levels. Try to incorporate exercise in to your daily life. Not only will you reap health benefits, but your sex life may benefit as well. On top of increasing dopamine, it may help you increase your confidence in your body. The more body confidence you have, the more likely you are to feel comfortable with being naked. 

So is there a such thing as a normal sex drive?

There really isn’t. You may consider your drive normal, while others may consider it high or low. It is important to remember that libido can be different from person to person, and even day to day for each person. Libido fluctuates, and you may find yourself very sexually charged one day, and totally uninterested the next. There is nothing wrong with that, and it is good to always remember that these things do change. 

However there are sexual disorders that can affect your libido.

Women may experience FSIAD (female sexual interest/arousal disorder). This is a sexual dysfunction that isn’t caused by medical conditions, or medications. There are many forms of treatment, which include counseling or even medications that help with drive. 

There is also such a thing as compulsive sexual behavior. Compulsive sexual behavior is an impulse disorder. It is characterized by a pattern of failure to control impulses related to sex. This can also be treated with sex therapy and counseling. 

Takeaways.

Our sex drives and libido’s vary so vastly from person to person. It is a spectrum, and there is nothing that is normal across the board. Reasons for fluctuating sex drives can also vary, such as medications, medical conditions, age, and hormoanl imbalances. Lifestyle changes and counseling can help. If you are worried about your libido, talk to your doctor to discuss your concerns and find the best course of action for you.

 

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