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Article: Libido



What is sex drive/libido?

Your sex drive or libido is the feeling or desire to engage in sexual activity. Libido is not stagnant and can change depending on mood or circumstance.

Is my sex drive normal?

As a therapist, I don’t typically use the word “normal” to describe anyone’s libido. I believe that when it comes to sexual health, we want concrete answers, but we don’t always get them. There is no standard for how much sex is considered healthy. Some people desire to have it more than others and vice versa; both of these options are okay. An important factor to note is that if you feel distressed by how much you are engaging in sexual activity or what kind of sexual activity you are engaging in, it is important to speak with a therapist or someone that you trust.

How can I improve my sex drive/libido?

A few tools that I instruct my clients to practice include forms of mindfulness, identifying your “turn ons,” and taking care of your body. When it comes to improving sexual libido, there is no one size fits all. It is important to ask yourself why you feel like your libido is “wrong” or “different.” Is it because you fall into a gender category that society claims should be turned on all the time? Or is it because you have had a negative sexual experience, which impacts the way you view sex and your body?  If you would like to improve libido, I suggest you start by being curious as to why you believe yours needs improvement. If there are any organic reasons, for example, medication side effects or physical illness contributing, then please speak with your doctor.

What if my sex drive is different than my partner’s?

It is very common to have a different libido than your partner. Communicating this topic requires a level of vulnerability because it can be sensitive. Sometimes the person who has a higher sex drive might feel rejected or abandoned if their partner does not want to engage. On the other hand, a partner who has a lower sex drive may feel obligated or not enough. If the difference is libido is causing significant distress within your relationship, then it may be time to seek a couples counselor or additional support. It is not healthy or fair to expect that your partner matches your libido but that does not mean compromise is off of the table!

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