A low libido is only a problem if you or your partner experience it that way. If you want to work on a higher libido, you will come across all kinds of false solutions such as eating oysters and Spanish fly during your Google search. If you want to know what really works if you want to increase your libido, both as a person with a penis and a person with a vagina, read on.
Sex is seen by many as a basic human need. But have you ever seen someone go crazy after a month of no sex? Not really huh. Still, you (or your partner) may experience a low libido as problematic.
Is that the case with you? Don't grieve, we are here to save you from your lowered sex drive.
What causes low libido?
Temporarily less desire for sex is quite normal. You don't feel like pasta pesto every week, do you? Or in a half marathon? If your lower libido persists for a longer period of time, it is advisable to first investigate the solution in yourself before you can start working on solutions.
Common causes are:
- Stress and busyness
- Little attention for each other and for yourself
- Body insecurity
- A period of hormonal change, such as hormonal fluctuations during the menstrual cycle, menopause, pregnancy, breastfeeding, starting or stopping hormonal contraception, undergoing a gender transition, and so on
- Fear of pregnancy or an STI
- Not having a quiet, nice place, or being afraid that children or others will hear you
- Ideas about sex from religion, culture or upbringing
- Bad experiences with sex in the past
- Illness or libido-lowering medication use
- Relationship problems
Both people with a vagina and penile people can suffer from decreased sexual desire.
What can you do yourself to increase your libido?
“Don't complain, make sense” was the headline in an article in LINDA in 2003. A decade later she titled her book “Then make sense”. But it does not work like that. First, you only make sense if you feel like making sense. Do you understand. Second, it is much better in the long run to address the underlying cause than to stick a Band-Aid by 'just doing it'.
1. Investigate the cause
If you know the cause, it is easier to deal with the lowered sex drive. For more serious causes, such as a negative self-image and excessive stress, it is advisable to talk to your doctor.
2. Talk about it
Talk to your partner about your, his, her or their lowered libido. And what you can do together to solve this. Also talk about ways of having sex other than penetrative sex. Because there are so many more ways to have sex than penis-in-vagina or penis-in-anus.
Stress, busyness and fatigue are the main causes of a reduced libido. So make sure you relax enough and try to resume your sex life as soon as you have found it.
Now we are not psychologists, but from experience we know that mindfulness and meditation are good methods to relax. Or maybe a holiday or a weekend away works for you.
4. Take care of yourself
When you feel good about yourself, you are more likely to find yourself attractive, feel less insecure, and feel sexy. And that you want to share this feeling with others by getting naked.
We are not talking about creating a 'perfect body', because there is no such thing. We're talking about enough sleep, good and healthy food, enough exercise, doing enough fun things (with friends), dressing nicely so that you feel good.
5. Masturbate more
Sex leads to more sex. A good way to kick your sex life back into high gear is to start with yourself. This way you can feel like it again, without expectations from your partner or uncertainty.
This will also help you figure out what turns you on so you can discuss it with your partner.
6. Provide sexual stimuli and communicate about this
Getting excited works differently for everyone. There is even a good chance that there is a difference in the way you get a sex drive and the way your partner gets turned on. Talk about this with each other, so that you can grow together in this.
Such a stimulus can be a touch, smell, conversation, seeing a certain item of clothing or body part, a kiss. But also a memory, sexual fantasies or porno or porno film. Also, many people find it exciting to see their partner excited. So don't just focus on your own sexual stimuli, but also on each other's.
7. Take it easy and try other forms of intimacy
If you have a low libido, the pressure can increase: as soon as you try it together once, it must and will work. This often works in the opposite way. The high pressure makes it more difficult to get excited.
8. Use tools
If you're worried that things are going a bit rough (literally), that can reduce your sex drive. In that case, lubricant offers a solution. It's easier to stay aroused when you use lube, which will keep you in the mood next time.
For people with a penis, delay gel is an option if they want to help their partner enjoy sex. Because if one comes quickly, it can reduce the sex fun for the other. With delay gel you prevent this and you can take your time for each other.
Finally, stimulating gel can help make bed play extra fun, both for people with penises and people with vaginas.
9. Plan your sex
It may not sound very sexy, but if lack of time is your reason for having less sex, planning is a really good solution. And knowing in the morning that you are going to have sex in the evening can be super exciting!
What is little sex?
Why the worldwide obsession with the number of times people have sex? We really wonder. What is 'a lot' or 'little', decide for yourself. Fine if six times a year is enough for you. Also great if you want to chain every day.
If you can't stop yourself from Googling how often the average Dutch person has sex, take the results with a grain of salt. People tend to exaggerate their sex lives.
If your libido is low, it could be for several reasons. Stress, fatigue and lack of time are common. Uncertainty and hormonal causes are also common.
If you want to increase your libido, first look for the cause of your lack of sex drive. Talk to your partner about this and take care of yourself. What can also help: masturbate more, try other ways of sex than penetrative sex, focus on sexual stimuli, use aids and plan your sex.