Why there is nothing wrong with not having a libido | Sex therapist Leigh Norén
When sex stresses someone out or overwhelms them with negative emotions, it’s easy to conclude that something is wrong with the lack of libido.
After all, their partner still wants sex, so they should too, right? But, the point is, if they don’t want to have sex and would rather be single, there isn’t necessarily something wrong with them.
There is nothing wrong with not having a libido.
A libido is not that isolated biological mechanism in your body that works one day and not the next.
That’s why jumping straight to biological causes, like wondering if hormones are out of whack, isn’t always helpful.
While biological factors impact desire, the causes of low libido in women and the causes of low libido in men far exceed biological and medical factors alone. The same goes for those of other gender identities.
Desire is both affected and made up of psychological, relational and cultural factors.
Factors that influence libido include:
How they feel about their bodies.
How happy their relationship is.
How stressed they are, in general, in life.
If they feel like they live up to society’s standards for sex and relationships.
If sex no longer looks like a fun, pleasure-filled activity, it’s time to go back to basics to understand the answer to the question, “Why don’t I want to have sex?” “
People usually don’t get excited out of the blue.
You need to be motivated to have sex, whether that motivation is to get closer to your partner, to play with power dynamics, or to release stress.
If the thought of having sex with their partner makes them worried or anxious, it’s important to take a step back and ask why. Do this on the assumption that nothing is right, because it probably isn’t.
Someone may just find that they don’t have a libido because sex has become all about stress, pressure, and performance.
It’s not just about “feeling in the mood” or not anymore, it’s about everything – beliefs about themselves, their partner, their sex life and their relationship.
These are the stressors of everyday life.
It is about the level of overwhelming in their work.
It’s about no longer loving their body.
It’s about not knowing what turns them on.
It’s about not being able to talk about sex with their partner.
In order to desire sex again, to want that intimate connection with a partner, to want to be horny and eager to go, sex has to shift from stress to pleasure.
Not wanting sex isn’t always about sex.
As a sex therapist and low libido coach, I have spoken to countless people from all walks of life who experience little to no desire. Sometimes people have tried a multitude of strategies to regain their desire.
Other times, they did nothing and did their best to avoid sex or physical proximity with their partner. Avoiding means not having to say “no” again.
But the point is, whatever strategy they have to get the desire back, it’s not just about what they do.
Articles often reduce the lack of desire or lack of libido to a list of symptoms and things to “fix”.
And while there are many ways to do this, if someone doesn’t want to have sex, they need to work on more than a few “fixes”.
Low sexual desire also concerns:
Whether or not they believe in themselves and their ability to feel desire again.
It is about whether they really want the help to make a difference.
It’s about whether they believe they deserve good sex.
And it’s about believing that there is nothing wrong with them and approaching desire and sex from a place of compassion and understanding.
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If it makes sense that they don’t want sex, then there really is nothing wrong with them.
If someone doesn’t want to have sex or don’t have a libido, they’re not weird or broken.
When you start to understand how complex desire is and dig a little deeper, you’ll realize that if someone doesn’t want to have sex, it usually makes perfect sense.
Why would anyone want something that stresses them out? Or something that seems boring?
With all my years of experience in sex therapy and online sex coaching, I feel confident enough to say: only the person who goes through it can decide if they want to regain their desire.
If this is you and you aren’t confident in your ability to do it now, borrow a few from mine. Yours will arrive soon.
And if you don’t want your desire to return, that’s okay too.
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Leigh Norén is a sexologist and writer, with a Master of Science in Sexology and author of The Desire Test. She has been featured in Women’s Health, Thrive Global, The Good Men Project, Elephant Journal, Glamor, and more.
This article originally appeared on LeighNoren.com. Reprinted with permission from the author.