If you’re used to having a certain amount of sexual desire — often thought of as sex drive or libido — it can be distressing to notice that it’s lower than usual or nearly gone. Changes in desire can take a toll on your confidence, relationships, and mood. When this happens, it’s important to remember that what you’re experiencing is completely normal. Sexual desire varies from person to person and throughout your lifetime.
Still, that doesn’t mean you have to simply wait and hope for change. While it’s important to accept the place you’re in, it’s also possible to look at what might be behind your shift in desire and, if you want, to try to address it.
Low sexual desire can come from psychological causes, physiological causes, or a combination of both. Psychological causes include depression, relationship dissatisfaction, and stress. Physical causes relate to underlying health problems. This means that if you do notice a change, it’s important to talk to your primary healthcare provider to rule out or tackle anything more serious that might be going on.
When you’re ready to try other tactics, here’s how to increase your sexual desire.
Practicing mindfulness is a leading way to get present in your body and your desire. The more you build moments of mindfulness into your day, the easier it will be for you to get in touch with your sex drive. Visit the Lover app to learn how to get started with better mindfulness for better sex.
Address Relationship Problems
The erotic is only one part of your relationship. It can be tempting to focus on it to bring back desire into a relationship, especially because that’s where it feels most acute. But if you’re feeling emotionally disconnected from your partner or you’re dealing with other issues together, addressing them first can make examining your erotic connection easier and more successful. You may benefit from seeing a therapist together.
Try Coreplay, Not Foreplay
In partnered sex, focusing on activities that aren’t penetration with a penis can be a way to build desire and arousal before you move to have sex. Sometimes desire is responsive rather than spontaneous, so engaging erotically even without feeling excited about it at first can give you the chance to let your desire build. Bonus: it can also make sex better and hotter for everyone.
Afterward, practicing aftercare reportedly increases the sex drive for next time.
In solo sex, experimenting with different touches, styles, and fantasies is a great way to explore how to access your desire. Most of us don’t think of it that way, but good masturbation can transform your sex life.
Practice a Healthy Lifestyle
Before making any changes to your medications, talk to your healthcare provider.
Many medications can have a negative impact on your sexual desire. If you think this might be the case for you, check in with your healthcare provider to see what they suggest.
Though testosterone is only one part of the picture of sexual desire, low testosterone is often a scapegoat for low sexual desire. Testosterone generally declines for all men as they age, either as a result of aging processes in the body for cis men, or as a result of natural prescription adjustment for trans men. However, if you’re concerned about an abnormal lack of desire, your testosterone levels can be one area to check on. Note that if you have a penis, drugs that improve your erection (such as viagra) won’t change your sexual desire. They’re just short-term boosts that can help with erectile dysfunction.
Seek Professional Support
If you’re not sure how to address your low sexual desire, a professional might be able to help you find a good place to start. Changes in sexual desire can be distressing, and one-on-one guidance can help you overcome the psychological factors before you get too stuck in a negative feedback loop.
Not sure whether you’re ready to commit to sex therapy? Try out the chat tab in the Lover app to text chat with a sexpert instead.