Sex drive, also known as libido, varies from one individual to the other. When a person experiences low libido, this is defined as a decreased interest in sexual activity. One person may even go through varying levels of libido during their lifetime, and that is okay too. It can be difficult to experience a lower sex drive when the message men constantly receive from society is that they should always be up for having sex. This can make the subject a rather uncomfortable one to talk about, and many men may actually feel ashamed to talk about it. However, if are experiencing a low sex drive and this is something which causes distress to you or in your relationship with your partner, know that there are professionals who are ready to listen to you and support you with the matter.
Causes of Low Libido
There are a number of factors which may contribute to a person having a lower sex drive, some of which are physical, while others may be psychological. At times, it can be a single factor causing it, while at other times, it can be a multitude of factors coming together which are contributing to the problem.
- Low testosterone: Testosterone is a hormone that has multiple important functions in men, including the growth of facial hair and body muscle, sperm production and sex drive. Although low testosterone is uncommon in young men, it is definitely possible and can interfere with one’s desire for sex.
- Depression: One of the main symptoms of depression is a person losing interest in activities they once found pleasurable. One of these could be experiencing a decrease in sexual drive. It is also important to note that if you are taking medication for depression, low libido could also be a result of the side effects from the medication.
- Low self-esteem: The way that one feels about their own self may affect their level of confidence as well as their body image. This may in turn contribute to experiencing a lower sex drive. It is likely that if you think of yourself as unattractive or undesirable, this may affect your wellbeing and may make you want to avoid sexual activity altogether. Low self-esteem may also be linked to anxiety about one’s sexual performance, which may also affect a person’s libido.
- Lifestyle factors: Factors such as exercise, smoking, alcohol and drug use may all be contributing factors to a person’s lack of libido. Lack of exercise as well as overexercising are both known to be causes for lower sex drive. On the other hand, moderate exercise helps to control one’s stress levels, leading to a healthier sexual drive. Excessive smoking, alcohol and drug use are known to be linked to reduced testosterone levels, which as described above can lead to one experiencing difficulties with sexual arousal and drive.
Experiencing a decreased sex drive over a prolonged period of time may affect one’s physical and emotional wellbeing. It may also contribute to increased tensions and conflict with one’s partner in a relationship, and therefore it is a matter that is not to be taken lightly. There are a number of possible treatments available for managing a problem with one’s sex drive. These may include: healthier lifestyle choices, a possible change in medication, as well as counselling.
If you are experiencing a low sex drive and you feel that this may be impacting your wellbeing, you may want to visit your doctor to discuss this issue and see if any physical factors may be contributing to this difficulty. If on the other hand you think that your low sex drive may be caused by psychological factors, speaking to a mental health professional such as a psychologist or counsellor may help you to address the underlying issues associated with your low libido. Improving your diet, getting regular exercise and managing your stress levels may also help to improve your sexual drive.
If you think that you can benefit from professional support on this issue you can reach out here.
Pamela Borg is a counsellor who enjoys working therapeutically with adults experiencing various issues. These include general mental health and wellbeing, gender, sexuality, relationship issues.
Gibson, G.A. (2015). Rev Up a Low Libido. Retrieved from: https://www.webmd.com/men/features/revving-up-low-libido
Murell, D. (2019). Low Sex Drive: Common Causes and Treatment. Retrieved from: https://www.healthline.com/health/low-testosterone/conditions-that-cause-low-libido
Stritof, S. (2021). Causes and Treatment of Low Libido in MenRetrieved from: https://www.verywellmind.com/potential-remedies-for-male-low-libido-2300704