Low Libido

What is Low Libido?

Libido is synonymous with the term sexual desire. By definition this is an interest in being sexual and in having sexual relations with oneself or with a mutually consenting partner. It is normal for desire to vary and change across the lifespan of a person or a relationship. The medical term for low libido issues in men is Male Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder.

The lowering or lack of erotic thoughts or fantasies is often a sign of low libido issues. It is important to remember that what constitutes a normal sexual desire varies across individuals, relationships, and cultures. However, low libido issues can greatly impact an individual’s quality of life and/or intimate relationship.

Sexual desire can change in the same man and at different stages of his life. For example is it common for desire to somewhat decrease throughout the sexually active years (puberty, adulthood, middle age, late adulthood). It may also change due to various life situations like having children and being under stress at work. Low libido and mismatched sexual desire is one of the most common intimacy problems facing couples. If your level of sexual desire is concerning you or affecting your personal relationships there is help available.

What causes Low Libido?

  • Past or recent physical or psychological trauma
  • Anxiety about performing in the bedroom
  • Unmanaged depression and stress
  • Relationship issues:
    • Distrust
    • Over dependence
    • Criticism
    • Contempt
    • Blame
    • Defensiveness
  • Medications: Many medications can lower libido including antidepressants (SSRIs) and anti-seizure medications.
  • Medical conditions:
    • Arthritis
    • Cancer and associated cancer treatments
    • Diabetes
    • High blood pressure
    • Coronary artery disease
    • Neurological diseases
    • Hormonal imbalance
  • Shame about one’s sexual desires and/or erotic fantasies
  • Obesity and a sedentary lifestyle
  • Alcohol or substance abuse

Treatments for Low Libido

  • Talk with your partner about sexual needs, wants, dislikes, boundaries, and desires. Read more on Tips for Talking With Your Partner.
  • Practice the Sensate Focus Technique with your partner: This is a common and well-researched treatment for many sexuality and intimate relationship problems.
  • Explore ways to create more fun and pleasure in bed with personal lubricant, sexual education, toys, and erotic novels.
  • Make lifestyle changes such as healthy diet and exercise.
  • Find a licensed therapist that specializes in relationship, and/or sexual issues.
  • Talk to your doctor about hormone therapy.
  • Seek treatment for depression, anxiety, or other mental health issue.
  • Seek treatment for an existing medical condition.