People of all genders can experience varying levels of desire for sexual activity. Some people do not feel sexual attraction or desire at all and may identify as asexual. Others may be in a relationship where their natural set point for sexual desire does not match that of their partner. Mismatched sexual desire is extremely common in intimate relationships. Sexual desire is essentially subjective; what may be defined as low desire for one person may feel like high desire for another.
Low sexual desire may be a consequence of another sexual problem. If erections have become unreliable or ejaculation is occurring too quickly or too slowly, this might lead to an avoidance of sex and a consequent drop in sexual desire. If sex is painful or penetration is difficult it would be understandable for general sexual desire to reduce. It is important to identify the root issue of the desire problem first to guide effective treatment.
As in all sexual problems, biological factors can be at play, such as low testosterone, the menopause, general health and lifestyle problems and the impact of medications . It is important to visit your GP if your interest in sex has changed and you are distressed about that change.
Medical treatments for low sexual desire problems vary depending on the underlying causes, but might include taking a medication or making changes to medications you currently take, or addressing alcohol or illegal drug use. Medications and substances that can cause low desire include some antidepressants, certain high blood pressure medications, diuretics, antipsychotic medications, anti-seizure medications and alcohol.
There are many psychological causes for sexual desire problems, including:
A professional sex therapist will complete a full assessment to identify the main psychological causes of your desire problems and will then support you, through a series of cognitive and behavioural processes, to establish a level of sexual desire that you are happy with.
Remember, sex therapists are specialist trained counsellors and we talk about sex and sexual issues all day long. Don’t let embarrassment stop you from getting the help that you need and that works.