Let's Talk about Sex

Dude, Where’s My Libido?

By SuperShe Staff

Sex is awesome. But you know what’s also awesome? Not having sex. Some days, I would rather make sweet, sweet love to a pint of Ben & Jerry’s Phish Food while watching PEN15 than pretend to be mildly interested in what that lawyer on Tinder is going on about. And if you’re coupled up, there are those times when it’s hotter to turn on any movie starring Bradley Cooper than get turned on by your partner. 

If you’re bummed about not being a freak between the sheets as much as you used to—or as much as your partner wants—there could be a health issue to blame. Meds, such as antidepressants, anti-anxiety prescriptions, antipsychotics, beta-blockers, birth control pills, and opioids can potentially lower your libido, according to the International Society for Sexual Medicine. Mental struggles, such as depression, anxiety, low self-esteem and negative body image, might also make sex the last thing on your mind, as per the American Sexual Health Association (ASHA). And—not to worry you—diabetes, breast cancer, multiple sclerosis, and thyroid problems could also be culprits, says the ASHA.  

However, if you have a clean bill of health and still aren’t feeling horny, you just might have other things on your mind. It’s 2019 and we, women, are busy! Whether it’s focusing on work, supporting a social cause, or raising a family, we do things that matter, and—although it may be hard to believe—forgo sex for these dedicated efforts. 

“I need nine hours of sleep to bring my A-game to work,” confesses Emilia from NYC. “It doesn’t always happen, and, sometimes, making love is worth the six hours of sleep, but it can’t be an everyday thing. I have shit to do, you know?

In fact, stress and tiredness from the myriad responsibilities women balance these days is a common libido stomper, says Laurie Mintz, Ph.D., author of A Tired Woman’s Guide to Passionate Sex. But here’s some foood for thought: a 2017 study from The Journal of Management found that “sex at home increased both daily job satisfaction and daily job engagement as a function of increased positive affect.” Perhaps putting sex ahead of work at home every now and then will help you tackle those responsibilities and head off some of that stress that’s keeping you from canoodling in the first place. 

Having an off day can also derail your sex drive. “If I’m really bloated or uncomfortable, like I ate too much, I definitely don’t feel like having sex,” admits Kristina Roth, SuperShe founder.

Problems in your relationship might also be deterring you from stripping down and getting it on. “If my boyfriend and I argue, then neither of us is into the relationship as much, and we won’t have sex as often for like a month or two,” says Zoe, a 25-year-old creative director. And we totally get it — who wants to f@*k when they’re pissed at their partner? Unless, of course, angry sex is your thing (but not in a “Big Little Lies” kinda way).

Finally, the news alerts on your phone, like the latest mass shooting, could be cockblocking those dirty thoughts. “Increases in hate crimes, violence, and sexist politics can leave women feeling helpless, hopeless, stressed, and very turned off,” says Ruth Neustifter, Ph.D, a sex educator and relationship therapist. “Witnessing the destruction of our planet, including the resulting climate change, can have similar effects.” Women are strong, but we’re also compassionate and worried about what today and the future will hold. It’s as if doing something that feels good feels inappropriate in such a tumultuous time, says Neustifter, adding that it’s hard for people to push all that disaster aside and prioritize pleasure.  

News alerts or not, some might chalk up sexual disinterest to the fact that women have a lower libido than men. While there are studies that support this, we, at SuperShe—a diverse community of real women—put a giant red stamp of B.S. on the assertion. Our brains and bodies are far too complex and sophisticated to blame that ‘meh’ feeling on our dang gender. We love and crave sex, too! Excuse us, if it’s not the first thing on our mind in this big, crazy world.  

Sometimes, you just want to crawl into bed with your partner instead of on top. Of course, if you’re concerned about your sex drive, you should definitely consult a medical professional to make sure it’s nothing serious. But it’s the era of the modern, multidimensional woman; you’ve got stuff on your mind that isn’t about pleasing your partner or procreating. Cut yourself a little slack! And when you do find yourself struggling to get in the mood, remind yourself that it’s OK to crave your O’s even in these rocky times—and maybe, sometimes, it’s better alone (sorry, boo). In fact, that awesome feeling of release could be a very welcome distraction.

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