‘You’ve lost that loving feeling?’ by Dr Rob Hicks
Libido and psychology
Call it what you will, poor libido, decreased sex drive, or simply a loss of interest in sex; it’s a common problem and usually easy to overcome.
21st century lifestyle
Fast-paced, high-pressured lives that many men and women lead result in tiredness and these are usually responsible for poor libido. If you’re at work early, back home late, and trying to attend to your family’s needs then all you may feel like doing once you have a little time is eat, watch some TV, and get off to bed - to sleep that is.
With so much going on it’s easy to be left without the energy or the inclination for sex, which often finds itself way down the list of priorities, and sadly sometimes even on the ‘to do’ list. The knock on effect is people themselves loose interest in sex because of this, or if it’s their partner who isn’t interested they end up not being bothered either.
There are other reasons why poor libido raises its ugly head. Medication side effects, anaemia, under-active thyroid gland, fear of pregnancy, the arrival of a new baby, children or in-laws always being around, dissatisfaction or problems with contraception, anxiety about sex itself because of erection difficulties or vaginal discomfort, depression, arthritis making the usual sexual positions painful, relationship problems, and for men low testosterone levels. The list of possible causes is long as you can see.
So how do you recognise the symptoms? There’s a loss of interest in sex obviously and there may also be little or no fantasising about sex. Sex may become routine, or a bit of a chore to get over with as quickly as possible, with little or no pleasure derived from it. A lack of arousal and erection difficulties often occur, which compound the problem. There may even be a lack of simple intimacy with sex avoided at all costs. For example, a person may stay up late watching TV or checking emails, only creeping into bed once they’re sure their partner is asleep.
So how do you overcomethe problem? The first step is to acknowledge it is a problem and to try not to feel guilty about it because usually it’s no-one’s fault. Talking with your partner helps by dismissing any suspicions and because this enables support to be provided. Any underlying cause needs to be identified and treated – your doctor can help here - and once treated this invariably brings libido back. Relaxing, not becoming over-tired, cutting down on alcohol, keeping active and exercising, and eating a healthy diet to ensure enough energy providing B vitamins and libido boosting zinc, can help to increase libido where stress and fatigue are responsible.
Massage with jasmine or rose oil, cuddling and kissing before trying to have sex, or using supplements such as ginseng may also help boost libido. All in all, a lack of libido doesn’t have to last forever. With a few simple steps taken, it usually soon comes bouncing back.