Growing up as women we often have lots of questions surrounding sex, sexuality, sexual health, the menstrual cycle, and basically anything that can be answered scientifically about the female body.
One of the questions we ask ourselves throughout our lives is, ‘is my sex drive normal?’. This is a question that is pretty difficult to answer, as not one woman is the same.
Libido refers to sexual desire or a person’s sex drive. Essentially, how often do you desire sex? A staff member from The NHS explains “There are many possible reasons for having a low sex drive (loss of libido). Treating the cause should help increase your sex drive.”
Not one woman is the same, so it’s difficult to pinpoint what is considered a high sex drive for women generally. Instead, the best way to acknowledge a change in libido is to compare your current sex drive to your previous sex drive.
Taking all factors into consideration, let's talk about a change of sex drive in women; both causes of said changes and tips to work through them in a relationship.
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You often hear the phrase ‘high libido’ or ‘low libido’ but you never really hear it being described as a ‘normal’ libido; that’s because there isn’t one, not really.
This is one of those instances where you should never compare yourself to other women, because there is no ‘normal’. Only what is considered ‘normal’ to you.
More often than not, women feel concerned about a decrease in sex drive, as opposed to an increased sex drive. Those that are concerned about a high sex drive generally compare it to their partner’s, and it can lead to anxiety within a relationship. This is often described as a mismatch in libido in a relationship and can cause many issues between partners.
A woman’s libido is constantly changing, and a lot of factors can certainly impact your libido. A few causes listed on the NHS website are: relationship problems, stress, anxiety or depression, sexual problems like erectile dysfunction or vaginal dryness, pregnancy, hormone levels, medication, contraception, and excessive alcohol intake.
If your sex drive is causing you concern, whether it's adding strain to a relationship or you’re simply concerned about your sex hormones, and you clearly feel as though you no longer have a healthy sex drive, then that is what’s important. If you yourself have any doubts about your sexual energy, it’s time to take action or to seek medical help.
A staff member from The Mayo Clinic explains how it’s normal for women to experience a change in libido; “Women experience this change in sexual desire, that goes from being more of a spontaneous sexual desire in younger years to a more willingness or receptive desire in menopausal years.”
There is no cause for concern regarding a high sex drive, unless this new high libido is causing problems either in your relationship or affecting your day to day lifestyle.
If you find yourself constantly obsessingover intense sexual fantasies, constantly experiencing sexual arousal or even acting inappropriatelybecause of your sexual desire then it’s probably time to find answers surrounding your new drive and find solutions in order to get back to ‘normal’.
For some, a high sex drive, although it may not feel normal, may not be problematic at all, it could actually be a blessing. If you’ve always struggled with libido and now have a much higher libido then this could be a great opportunity; helping you to advance sexually and to make the most of your increased sex drive.
The major causes for concern regarding libido are generally in relation to sexual dysfunction, sexual health or obsession. If you have no cause for concern then my advice would be to make the most of your increased sexual interest and enjoy your newly reactivated sex life, whether it’s with a partner or anyone else for that matter.
Some women actively seek to improve their sex drive whilst others just accept their change in sex drive as a natural part of their body.
When researching causes of a high sex drive for women, medically they aren’t specifically listed. This is because it’s not something that’s often considered a problem. If a problem did occur from a high sex drive, it would be regarding sex addiction. This focuses more so on psychology and acting on impulses.
Sex addiction isn’t rare. According to Mayo Clinic, “approximately 6% to 8% of U.S. adults could be classified as addicted to sex. This could be up to 24 million people.”
There are lots of support networks available for sex addicts, one of the more well known programs is called SAA, Sex Addicts Anonymous. This is a program that helps people to understand and overcome sex addiction. The website lists common elements that characterize sex addiction:
If you have no concerns sexually, and are simply looking for answers as to why your libido has recently increased, it’s likely that the answer can be found on the list of the causes of low libido.
The same way treating the cause of low libido can help increase your sex life, this may be an unintentional change in your life that has resulted in an influx of libido.
Of course, some women naturally have very high sex drives whereas their partner might have a lower sex drive, and this imbalance can cause problems in a relationship.
If both you and your partner have high sex drives, then it’s likely that you’ll both fulfill the other’s needs. However, when in a relationship dealing with a mismatched sex drive it can cause many deep rooted issues that will inevitably affect the relationship long term.
There are many different ways to overcome an imbalance of libido, what’s important is that you actually want to work through your problems. Some people, when in a relationship with mismatched libido will then look elsewhere for sexual encounters to fulfill their sexual desirewhich will most likely end badly.
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Take the time to decide if you actually want to put in the effort and make it work with your current partner, if so, commit to this decision.
It is not something that will change overnight and will require hard work. The best relationships are worth fighting for, and no matter what form they may take, every couple experiences differences or disagreements; it’s just about understanding how to work through this that matters the most.
Step one in overcoming any relationship problem is acceptance.
It would be entirely unrealistic to expect that you and your partner would have no differences. Every couple experiences sexual problems at some stage in their relationship.
It’s important to acknowledge that nobody will be the exact same as you sexually, and that although you both have a mismatch in libido, this is something that you both want to work on.
Things aren’t going to change overnight, it’s super important to be patient with one another.
Patience is probably the most important thing when dealing with a difference in sex drive, as without patience you will only become frustrated with one another and disagree even further.
For example, if your partner has a lower sex drive than you, you might find yourself overthinking about the fact that you always have to instigate sex and how you don’t feel desired; and that’s okay. But actually, you need to give your partner a chance to step up.
You might consider a certain moment shared together to be highly sexual, whereas your partner might be completely unaware of this. When you learn to manage your mismatched libido, you will also learn how to send and receive signals, helping you to understand each other better.
Rather than jumping straight to confrontation, instead, take a step back and put yourself in your partner's shoes for a second. If your partner is distracted, it’s pretty unlikely that they’re going to assume that you want to have sex at that particular moment.
You won’t learn how to be patient and understanding unless you’re completely honest with one another and communicate your feelings in a clear, non-aggressive way. We often get ahead of ourselves and allow our emotions to run wild.
Even though you might feel hurt or insecure that your partner lacks intimacy, letting your emotions get the better of you will only mask what you’re truly trying to explain to your partner.
Keep your cool, think carefully about your differences and consider how you can suggest solutions that will help you to understand each other better sexually in the future. Then it’s important to remain consistent with this behavior.
A couple of days of showing clear communication and understanding is all well and good, but one disagreement can take away the positives of these days in a flash. Take baby steps, remain consistent and remind yourselves why you so desperately want to be able to make your relationship work.
Improving your sex life in your relationship will most likely not just solely come down to the sex. Sexual arousal is interesting, because although we are typically turned on by sexual activity itself, we can actually be super turned on by romance and happiness.
The same way if you were working on increasing your libido you should focus on your own health and well-being, when working on your relationship you should encourage affection in every aspect.
It can be easy to become complacent in a relationship, especially long-term, this is probably the biggest cause for a decrease in people’s sex drives. If your relationship doesn’t excite you, you’re not likely to be in the mood all the time.
Make the effort to reignite that spark, get those romantic juices flowing and then observe the positive way that encouraged affection will help your relationship and potentially even result in better sex, as well as increased sexual encounters.
This tip works for if you have the higher sex drive in the relationship or the lower.
Masturbation is amazing for pretty much everything and it’s so healthy for you! Not only does it reduce stress and help you to get better sleep, it allows you to become more in touch with your body.
If you’re struggling to work on your connection with your partner, the best place to start is to work on your connection with yourself first.
If you are struggling with an increased sex drive, not matched by your partner, this is a great way to essentially sort yourself out. We don’t need to rely on our partners to relieve sexual tension, when this is something we’re more than capable of achieving ourselves.
I actually think that the best sex lives in relationships are of those who masturbate regularly individually as well as experiencing pleasure together.
Sex is all about experimenting, experiencing pleasure and taking time out of your day to really focus on yourself in a positive way. If you’re struggling to feel sexy, masturbating is the absolute best way to help you back to your ‘normal’ sex drive, as it will help you to realize your sexual desires.
Make time for each other non-sexually. If you want to work on your relationship for the better, then don’t just spend all of your efforts concentrating on your sex life.
It’s important to encourage affection towards each other as mentioned, but it’s also important to date. Remind yourselves of why you’re attracted to each other, remind yourselves of the spark and dedicate time to the development of your relationship.
Private time is crucial to help with affection, and this will also give you more opportunity for intimate moments together.
If you are struggling with a mismatch in libido, do not feel embarrassed to have to plan intimacy.
This is where a lot of couples give up on their relationship sexually. They feel as though their sex lives become boring or non-existent, and rather than dedicating specific time to work on this they do nothing and watch their relationship worsen. Of course, this won’t give you any positive results.
You may think that planning intimate moments and taking away spontaneity won’t help, but believe me it’s the best way to get the spark going if you’re struggling to find time to have sex with each other.
Planning intimacy also encourages excitement. You can have days of foreplay, teasing one another, sending erotic messages or images and allowing yourselves to get excited for when you finally have time to lay your hands on one another.
One of the main reasons that we allow mismatched libido to take over is because we allow our lives to get in the way of our relationship.
This is why it’s super important to dedicate time to one another, and to plan sexy moments together. You can talk about your desires, perhaps plan onexperimenting with something new such as role play. It can only improve your sexual experiences.
Then, as it becomes more natural, you will eventually stop needing to dedicate sexy time to your partner as you will both fall into a routine of passion and wanting.
If you feel as though you’ve tried everything and your mismatched libidos are really getting in the way of your relationship, then there is always the option to seek professional advice.
This might be a medical professional, or couples therapy, whatever will work best for you and your relationship.
Sex therapy can help you work through sexual problems, because a lot of the time decreased libido is due to your mental state.
Do your research, and see what you think will work best for you.
Relationship Hero provides online counseling. You can find specialized coaches to help you work through your sexual problems and help you both reconnect, sexually and romantically.
Both men and women generally decline in libido as they age.
For women, this is mostly due to hormone changes during menopause. Most women experience menopause between the ages of 45 and 55, although some women undergo premature menopause; this is usually due to health conditions or may even be induced by medication.
Hormone changes during pregnancy also affect libido and for some women they find it difficult to find time for sex after having children, this can cause somewhat of a dry spell.
Your libido tends to be at its highest when you’re in your 20s. This is typically when females are the most sexually active as they tend to be in and out of relationships, constantly changing their minds and doing the best they can to enjoy themselves.
Everybody is different. Some women have more sex when in a committed relationship, whereas others thrive sexually when they are single and can have multiple sexual partners. Whatever the preference, typically women are most active in their 20s as this is when their sexual hormones are at their peak.
According to The National Library of Medicine, “Sexual desire is typically higher in men than in women, with testosterone (T) thought to account for this difference as well as within-sex variation in desire in both women and men. However, few studies have incorporated both hormonal and social or psychological factors in studies of sexual desire.”
Meaning that although generally men are considered to have a higher sex drive than women, there are a lot of other factors to be considered that aren’t often accounted for in existing studies.
It’s important to not overthink someone’s gender when questioning their sex drive. For example, if you have a low libido and your male partner has a high libido this isn’t necessarily just because he’s a man.
In fact, a lot of relationships that experience problems with a mismatched libido come from women having a higher sex drive.
Before taking libido supplements it’s always advised to speak to your doctor, do thorough research or have a conversation with your pharmacist.
Libido supplements are generally safe, however, they are known to have side effects such as causing low blood pressure, fatigue, nausea, and dizziness.
There are also lots of other options to try to change your libido before relying solely on supplements. Most of these options help contribute to a better lifestyle and mental state and should be attempted first for sure. It’s never a bad idea to take time to work on your own well-being.
If you do want to try using supplements then certainly speak to a professional first.
There is no such thing as a normal sex drive, only what is considered normal to you.
Libido can be very complex, or it can be very simple. What’s important is that you are happy with your own sexual desires, and if not, you know how to work through this dry spell.
An increased sex drive is usually a good thing, and doesn’t tend to cause any concern health-wise. Actually, it can show that you are feeling better in relation to mental health and well-being, and even better in physical fitness.
Although it is generally considered that men have a higher sex drive than women, this is something that should never be assumed. Every individual is different, and so many contributing factors can affect your sex drive from social factors to health factors.
A mismatched libido in a relationship, although it seems really difficult to overcome, actually comes down to understanding your partner and showing a willingness to work together to better your relationship. Many relationships thrive, regardless of their mismatched sex drives because the most important thing is that you can satisfy yourself sexually first.
If you have any advice for women struggling with a change in libido, please feel free to comment. As always, share with a friend in need!
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