Did you know that your sex drive changes as you age? Your sexual appetite in your 20’s may greatly vary from your sex drive in your 30’s, 40’s, 50’s, and beyond. There are normal changes to sex drive, and changes to your sex drive that can be related to physical illness or ailments. These can exacerbate the ever-evolving sex drive you already have.
The age-old question, of course, is what is sex drive?
Sex drive is a person’s desire to have and engage in sexual activities. It sounds so simple, but most scientists still can’t figure out exactly what creates sexual appetite or how to even measure it in a quantifiable way. While we all know that hormones play a role in our sexual drive, we don’t really know how big of a role they actually play. However, there are other factors to sexual desire. For example, our psychological mindsets can affect our sexual drive as well. Social standards, cultural standards, and physical health also affect our sexual drive and libido.
While testosterone seems to be a primary cause of arousal and sex drive, it’s not positive how much it affects it. It can vary from person to person. Some men who may have what’s considered a lower testosterone level, may have completely normal sexual drives, while those who may have higher levels of testosterone may experience sexual problems. Medical issues, mental health, and overall physical health are important contributing factors to keep in mind.
Drugs such as cocaine are also shown to affect the sex drive, as they are stimulants. People who regularly exercise may have higher sex drives, and this regular exercise is thought to keep their sexual appetites more active and regulated as the years go on. Obesity is thought to lower sex drive, and potentially cause or contribute to sexual dysfunctions.
Sex drive during pregnancy
Pregnancy and giving birth to children has a huge impact on your body and your hormones. This also affects their libido. At some point, libido may be much higher. As the second trimester and third-trimester progress, sex drive may be much lower. Additionally, once you give birth, breastfeeding and raising a baby can take up the majority of your energy that may have been spent on sex before.
Sex Drive in our 20’s
In men, testosterone tends to be extremely high in comparison to later years. Since testosterone is higher, sex drive and libido are also typically higher in men in their 20’s.
In women, their 20’s tend to be a time where they are figuring out what kind of contraceptive that they are looking for, and what works best for their body. This can actually affect many women’s overall sexual health and wellbeing. If you do feel like you’re experiencing negative side effects from your birth control, talk to your gynecologist about alternative options.
Sexual Appetite in our 30’s and 40’s
For men, their 30’s seem to be a career-focused time in their lives, where they are more stressed and less likely to be as sexually active as they were in the previous years. With family stress, career moves, and major life changes, many men may experience a decrease in their sexual drive.
For women, it’s thought to be the exact opposite. It seems that women from the age of 27 to about early 40’s experience their sex drive at its highest while in this age range. It’s also a time where many may be looking at a relationship to move on to the next step of their lives.
Sex drive in our 50’s and beyond
For men in their 50’s with great physical and mental health, many experience another spike in their sexual drives. Others may experience ED (erectile dysfunction) and have to take medications to combat this. Erections may be happening less often, with less firmness. And less satisfaction. It’s important to speak to your doctor if you are experiencing symptoms like this.
For women, around age 50, they may begin to become much more interested in sex, but this is around the time that menopause typically begins. With menopause, estrogen levels begin to drop. This tends to contribute to vaginal dryness. It also is the largest cause of hot flashes, anxiety, weight fluctuation, and sleep issues. Speaking to your gynecologist about different medications and specific lubricants for those experiencing the symptoms of menopause.
Is there a “normal” sex drive?
As far as science is concerned, it does seem like there really is no such thing as a normal or ideal sex drive. What’s normal to one person, may not be normal to the next. Some may be satisfied with having sex once or twice a month, while others may crave and desire having sex every day, sometimes even multiple times a day! This is why it is so key to remember that there is nothing weird or wrong with someone who has a completely different sex drive than you. However, if you are concerned about your sex drive, it is good to remember that there are options out there. Talk to your doctor about the different treatments that you can try. Scientific advances have made so many things possible. From testosterone treatment, Viagra, and even sex therapy, there is bound to be something that helps or alleviates the feelings you may be experiencing. It is important to keep an open mind, and make sure your partner is also aware of what’s happening so that you are able to tackle this together.
How to handle evolving sexual appetites
It’s important to talk to your partner. Communicate your needs and your desires, and see what theirs are as well. Talking it out and knowing what you both crave can help you evolve as a couple while these stages of life change. This can also help you maintain an engaged relationship with each other. Communication, and open conversation about your needs, can be the determining factor to how well a relationship withstands the test of time.