Do You Have a Normal Sex Drive? How to Tell and What You Can Do About It
Whether you fear your libido is too high or too low, wondering whether you have a normal sex drive is a perfectly natural and fairly common occurrence. Here we will examine the topic of libido, how it can affect your sex life and relationship and how to determine whether your level of sexual desire is normal and healthy for you.
Libido Changes Can Have Negative Effects
Your sex drive affects much more than what happens in the bedroom. In the case of low libido, which is by far the most common type of libido problem, your lack of enjoyment during sex can take away a lot of pleasure from your life, leaving you feeling bored and dissatisfied. Having less sex with your significant other can also drive a wedge into the relationship, and not even just because an opportunity for mutual bonding has been taken away. When your partner has a higher libido than you, he or she may feel rejected, unattractive or frustrated when you are never in the mood.
Though far less common, a "too-high" libido (also known as hypersexuality) can pose just as much of a problem. Hypersexuality can make your partner feel used or annoyed if you constantly ask him or her for sex. It may lead to an addiction to adult entertainment and a compulsion to seek out sex at any cost, even if it means cheating on your partner or spending far more money than you should. Your work performance may even suffer, if your hypersexuality is severe enough that you play hooky from work in order to satisfy your urges. Only a professional can treat hypersexuality, and this may involve a combination of psychiatric and hormonal interventions.
It is important to remember that regardless of whether you feel your libido is too low or too high, it is really only when you or your partner are unsatisfied with the amount of sex you are having that your level of sexual desire may begin to affect your relationship in a negative way.
Do I Have a Normal Sex Drive?
It's natural to want your sex life to measure up to everyone else's, even if comparison with others isn't the best psychological habit to have. There aren't any reliable statistics on how often the average person has sex, since every survey produces different results and even so-called "sexperts" may disagree on the topic. Fortunately, it's quite simple to tell for yourself whether your sex drive can be considered normal. Simply ask yourself, "is my libido an issue to me or my partner?"
Whether high or low, if your libido isn't a topic that bothers you causes any problems in your life, chances are it's perfectly normal. There is a wide degree of variation in people's natural baseline sex drives. However, if your sex drive does indeed cause you problems, that is when you have real cause for concern. Potential problems can include relationship problems due to your sex drive, reduced self-esteem or other psychological problems, financial problems and career problems.
In the case of low libido, there is another level of subtlety to be considered when deciding whether you have a normal sex drive. That is to consider whether your sex drive has always been at the low level it is now, or if there has been a noticeable decrease from what it once was. If you have always had a low sex drive, there are methods you can use to increase it to get more enjoyment out of sex, but ultimately your libido is probably normal for you. However, if your sex drive has decreased, there is probably a cause behind this that you can pinpoint. Especially prior to age 45, a significant decrease in sex drive is usually not typical.
Causes of Low Libido
Low libido can have a wide variety of causes. There may even be multiple factors at play if you've experienced a dip in your sex drive. Often, your desire for sex can be decreased by a physical health problem, such as a hormone imbalance, adrenal fatigue, diabetes or obesity. Mental health problems can influence your libido as well, so if you experience depression, anxiety or poor body image, you might be at risk. Life circumstances also take a toll on one's sex drive, including relationship problems and other forms of stress.
Hormonal birth control pills have become immensely popular since they were made available to the general public in the 1970s. Unfortunately, they carry a range of side effects, one of which includes lowered libido. This is because taking birth control pills will raise your levels of sex hormone binding globulin by four times. This globulin binds to the sex hormones, rendering them unavailable for use by your body, thus lowering your sex drive. This remains in effect even six months after you stop taking them. Other medications, such as anti-depressants, are also known to decrease libido.
Solving Libido Problems
There are a number of natural solutions to help regulate your libido.
- Eat plenty of zinc-rich foods, like seafood, beef, wheat germ, green leafy veggies and cashews. Zinc promotes testosterone production, thus boosting your sex drive.
- Take a maca supplement. Maca is proven to boost libido. You'll find it more effective if you take it alongside other libido-boosting supplements like L-arginine and ginseng.
- Seek relationship counseling if relationship problems are either causing or are caused by your low libido.
- Regular exercise will improve mental and physical health as well as circulation, which are all important factors in your ability to become aroused.
- Get plenty of sleep to ensure you're not too tired to be in the mood. This also decreases your stress levels, further boosting sex drive.
- Consult a doctor if you suspect you have a hormone imbalance that's causing your low libido.