Is There Such A Thing As A ‘Normal’ Sex Drive?
One of the most commonly discussed sexual ‘problems’ is a low libido, or a low sex drive. Magazine articles often quote statistics about how often the average person has sex, but these are misleading and meaningless, as most people will be either above or under the average. How honest are people in sex surveys anyway…?
Instead of putting pressure on ourselves to live up to someone else’s idea of normal, it is more helpful to ask what is right for you. If you have a low sex drive but feel that this doesn’t impact on your quality of life or relationships, then it is not a problem. The same applies to people who have strong libidos; it’s a case of whatever works for you.
The other point that discussions about sexual desire often miss is that it is not a fixed state, but tends to fluctuate according to our hormone levels, stage of life, and overall physical and mental health. We live in a hypersexualised culture that can encourage us to believe that we are somehow falling short if we are not constantly feeling sexy.
The truth is that our sex drive is unique to ourselves and we should avoid getting too hung up about what is ‘normal’ and what is not. Having said all that, if you feel as though your wellbeing would be improved by a higher libido, there are plenty of ways that you can give it a boost.
The first step is to think about the potential causes of a low sex drive, especially if you previously had a higher libido and this is your preference. Physical causes could include a hormone imbalance, prolonged stress or fatigue that causes elevated cortisol levels, or medications such as certain types of antidepressant.
If you suspect that there is an underlying health issue at play, it’s always best to discuss it with your doctor, and essential before you consider stopping or changing any regular medication. Mental health also plays a huge role in sexual desire. If you are feeling low, have anxiety, or have suffered a trauma, then this can impact negatively on your sex drive.
Prioritising healthy lifestyle choices can sometimes be all it takes to relight our sexual fires. Regular exercise can give you more energy and self confidence, leading to you being in the mood for sex more often. Alcohol is known to dull our sexual response and make it more difficult to feel aroused, so try to limit your intake if you have been overdoing it.
If the issue is that you have become stuck in a rut, it can be helpful to spend some time exploring what really turns you on.
This is especially true if you are in a relationship, because you need to make sure that your own needs are being met. Spending more time on the build up to sex, maybe using props or watching erotic videos, can create a sense of anticipation and also strengthen intimacy and trust with your partner.
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