Loss of Desire

Loss of desire is quickly becoming a common problem among couples, with around 1 in 5 people being affected by this problem in their lifetime. This can affect both men and women, and is seen by some as a consequence of the hyper active pace at which our society runs. Sexual libido is not only affected by being attracted to your partner, but also other factors such as money woes, stress and illness.

For many couples starting out in a relationship it can seem that they can’t get enough.  But desire does ebb, and this can cause worry and feelings of inadequacy for both partners. However, it is possible to recapture your sexual desire. By identifying the cause you will be a step closer to overcoming the problem.

Why has my sexual desire decreased?

Loss of sexual desire can cause both partners to experience negative thoughts about their attractiveness. Because of this it can be extremely difficult to recapture the sexual appetite you once had. It may be caused by problems such as erectile dysfunction, as discussed in the ‘Difficulty Responding Sexually’ section, or may be down to other issues:

  • Relationship trouble – There may be an underlying problem you are afraid to discuss, but which is having an adverse affect on sexual desire. For some couples it can be a dislike of their partner’s hygiene, dress sense or feelings of resentment. There are also cases in which some couples state that they feel too close to their partner, and that it is like having a brother or sister. These problems can be solved through communication and being truthful, with therapy also a good way to help address any underlying issues.
  • Stress – Stresses such as money woes or difficulty balancing work and home life can affect sexual desire. Communication is key, with a therapist also able to help you to discuss your problems in an effective manner.
  • Low self-esteem – If you are uncomfortable with the way you look then it can be difficult to become sexually aroused. This can also affect your partner’s confidence if you hide the problem. Communicating your insecurities and building up a level of trust with your partner can help you to combat this problem. A therapist can assist you in addressing and overcoming any body issues you may have.
  • Apprehension – Due to circulating stories of sex being painful for women and other negative ideas about sexual intercourse some people can have trouble becoming aroused. The prospect of becoming pregnant, catching an STI or the after-affects of pregnancy can also cause you to fear sexual activity. Such difficulties can be solved through communication and the help of a therapist.
  • Depression – If you are experiencing feelings of depression then this can have a major impact on sexual desire. This will not only affect you as an individual but also your partner. If you are experiencing feelings of depression then your local GP can offer advice. Also, a therapist will be able to help you get to the root of your depression.
  • Alcohol & Drugs – Both drug taking and alcohol consumption can cause your sexual libido to ebb. Some men, for instance, believe becoming drunk will help them overcome their shyness when approaching women and having sex. However, this will likely cause you other sexual problems such as erectile dysfunction. The desire for your next hit, if you do take drugs, can also cause sexual desire to be forgotten. Some prescription drugs, such as antidepressants, can also affect sexual desire. A therapist can offer advice on how to tackle such problems.
  • Illness or disability – A recent illness or disability can cause problems in the bedroom and in other areas of a relationship. By addressing any problems you may be experiencing you can help one another through this life changing event. Therapy is also available should you require a helping hand.
  • Menopause – This is a condition typically affecting women around the age of 50 – 55, and is the body’s way of ending the menstrual cycle. This can cause astrogen and estrogen levels to decrease, which in turn causes sexual desire to drop. There are medications available to increase estrogen levels. However, a lowering of sexual desire during the menopause is likely to occur whatever you do.

How can I increase my sexual desire?

Loss of sexual desire can seem like a problem there is no coming back from. With our hectic lifestyles if can be difficult to make time to address such problems, which only leaves any difficulties being expressed through other means in a relationship. Through communication, changes to your lifestyle and, if necessary, through the help of a therapist, you can overcome any difficulties affecting your sexual desire.

  • Therapy – Although therapy can seem like a daunting prospect it can be a great help. A psychosexual therapist can help you to discover whether loss of sexual desire is caused by stress, a medical condition or any other underlying circumstances.
  • Learn to relax – If you are not comfortable then sexual arousal can be difficult to achieve. Have a bath or do whatever it is you usually do to relax. Taking deep breaths can also help to calm your senses.
  • Fantasy – Thinking of something else to combat any negative thoughts you usually experience during sex can be of great help.  
  • Changing your environment – If your bedroom is a pigsty then it can be extremely difficult to become aroused. A change in décor can help. Also, if there are kids screaming in the hallway or the dog is barking then this can decrease sexual desire.
  • Discover what you like – Finding out what really gets you aroused can help to improve sexual desire. Only by communicating your desires to your partner can they know what you like.
  • Increase your heart rate – Getting your blood flowing before having sex can help to increase sexual responsiveness for the following half an hour.
  • Try something different – Role-playing or trying different sexual positions can help to boost your sexual desire.
  • Don’t rush into sex – If you are rushing into sex then there may be no time to get aroused. Try kissing, touching and oral to take your time and build up your levels of sexual desire.
  • Exercising pelvic floor muscles – A therapist can teach you this technique. It is a good way to relax the vaginal muscles and get blood flowing to the genital area. The technique is recommended to be carried out a minimum of three months.

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