What on earth happened to my libido? February 08 2016
Let’s start with an official definition of libido: 1. Sexual desire. 2. The energy of the sexual drive as a component of the life instinct. So yes, Ladies, sex is a birth right!
The presence or lack of libido can be important to our quality of life. I learned this when mine took a nose dive for a year from a very high place. According to the American Sexual Health Association (ASHA) 1 in 3 women in the US experiences low sex drive (hypoactive sexual desire disorder). The ASHA reports “symptoms can include a decreased desire to have sex, fewer sexual thoughts and fantasies as well as sexual responsiveness”. Low libido also diminishes our allure, sexual charisma and can result in our sex lives taking a back seat to the business and stresses of daily life. It takes a toll on intimate relationships, reduces self-esteem, sexual organs can atrophy (if you don’t use it you lose it) and the many benefits of sex are missed out upon.
Have you noticed a shift in yours? Do you know what brings it up or down?
Mental, physical and environmental issues may negatively impact our sexual energies.
There are three major female life events when libido takes a hit; postpartum, perimenopause and menopause. Reproductive hormones fluctuate, causing symptoms like weight gain, mood swings, insomnia, vaginal dryness and an overall feeling of being off. These endocrine roller coaster rides can strip us of our sexy. Studies are also underway to reveal the effect of testosterone levels on female libido. Keep in mind, hormones are not the only reason, some women are not affected and there is help.
Caring for children or aging parents, financial difficulties, work stress or relationship issues can weigh heavily on sexual vivacity. Is your life running rough shod over you sapping you of time or energy to engage in sensual play? Alcohol, tobacco, anti-depressants and other meds can also take a toll. Are you medicating?
The brain is the largest sex organ of the body and feminine erotic energy is strongly tied to our heads and hearts. Our attitudes about sex and interestingly those of our peers, influence our sexual approach. What sensual and sexual permission do we give ourselves? Do you explore, experiment and ask for what you want? How is your communication with your lover(s)? Do church and state have a say in your bedroom activities?
Women are more emotional creatures of the two sexes, so our fantasies and how we feel plays a larger role in our libido strength. Self-love can absolutely impact our quality of sexual satisfaction. A friend’s relationship recently collapsed because his fiancé couldn’t get around being overweight. He loved her completely, but she let her self-deprecation and insecurity ruin their sex life and undermine their relationship. STDs and the physical manifestation of the disease and stigma attached to it can rob us of our desire to be desired too. Do you like your body and think you are sexy and desirable? Or do self-deprecate? French women have it down - they highlight and accentuate their best feature(s) and don’t give a second thought to the rest, thus oozing confidence and allure.
An interdependent blend of the physical, the emotional, the environment and mind set coalesce to generate our sex drive and how we show up as our erotic selves. Humans are highly sexual creatures, engineered to attract, desire, give and receive pleasure. You have the power to make it bloom or push it off the radar.
So should you care? In talking with sisters, friends and female colleagues, the importance of libido in one’s life greatly differs. It is a universal yet very personal thing. If yours is low and it bothers you or is negatively impacting your life, seek help. Managing low libido is something to be done with medical professionals; OBGYNs, Urologists, sex therapists or even religious counselors.
Next installment we will explore libido enhancing activities and ideas. Have a super sexy, intimately fit week even if you don't believe in the Hallmark holiday approaching.