One day you want all the sex, and the next day, not so much. You think you just need more sleep or for stress at work to calm down. But as time goes on, you’re just not that interested in sex — or you find it hard to get turned on. Your libido has tanked, and it’s a problem.
Why did this happen? How can you fix it? And will pulling out your go-to sex toy help — or set you back at all?
We talked to Dr. Kim Langdon and asked her help in understanding what low libido is and what you can do about it.
What is Low Libido?
Dr. Langdon, an OBGYN with Medzino, explained that low libido, also known as low sex drive, is officially known as “hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD). The exact definition of HSDD is “Persistently or recurrently deficient (or absent) sexual/erotic thoughts or fantasies and desire for sexual activity.” A person with HSDD feels little or no interest in sex, but they do not have negative emotions associated with sex itself.”
This might mean that at one time you had a higher libido and now it’s lower than usual. Or you may be someone who has always had little or no interest in sex. Some people may experience low libido and be fine with it. Others, though, often wonder what’s wrong with them, where their sex drive went, and how they can get it back.
Causes of Low Libido
There are many causes for experiencing low libido, according to Dr. Langdon, including a “lack of hormones such as testosterone, progesterone, and estrogen.” Beyond that, the list is extremely long of what might decrease your sex drive. “Depression, anxiety, chronic disease, fibroid tumors of the uterus, medication side effects from high blood pressure meds, cancer chemotherapy, relationship problems, thyroid disorders, lack of partner, or partner that is not responsive” to name a few.
If a low libido causes problems for you, you may have to work through several potential reasons to find the reason. Of course, it could also be a combination of multiple things. Start with the known issues — mental or physical illness, new medications, or relationship problems. If those aren’t the causes, it may be time to investigate further.
Reduced sex drive can also be caused by the sex you’re having — or not having. “[Low libido] can be a result of erectile dysfunction because if the experience is unsuccessful or less than rewarding, then the desire for it decreases,” says Dr. Langdon. “[Alternatively] women who do not orgasm may think, “Well, what’s the point?” It’s kind of like an aversive stimulus. We tend not to want to do things that give us distress or that do not cause pleasure.”
What Can Be Done About Low Libido
Because the causes of low libido vary so much, so too do the remedies. Dr. Langdon offers a multitude of options, some you’ll need to discuss with your doctor. “You can have hormone therapy, whether that’s oral, injectable, or topical,” says Dr. Langong. “Alternatively, you can use erotic movies, sex therapy, and/or couples counseling. Finding the cause is crucial, and sometimes multiple therapies must be combined.”
Low Libido and Sex Toys
Sex toys are our thing, so we had to ask. “Anytime there is the use of a sex toy, then libido or sex drive may improve,” states Dr. Langdon, “but it may lead to continued sex toy use rather than having sex with a person.” Meaning you may decide you’d rather get it on with your toy than with a partner — which is only a problem if that’s not what you want.
“[Sex toys] do factor into arousal,” continues Dr. Langdon. “It’s possible that people with low sex drive do not even seek out self-pleasure and…It’s like, ‘Use it or lose it.’ Gynecologists often tell patients that the best way to keep the sex life going and the act pleasurable is to do it more often.” If sex toys make that easier or better then you’re probably on the right track.
Low libido can happen to anyone, and for a variety of reasons. Sometimes it’s temporary, and sometimes you need medical intervention. The important thing is not to panic over it, and to realize it can get better. Using your favorite sex toy can help, as can talking to your partner about what’s going on with you. You’re not doomed to be sexless forever, though you may have to work with your doctor or get creative to find what puts you back in touch with your sexual self.
Have you ever experienced low libido? Did your sex toys help you deal with it? Let us know in the comments below!