I have helped many people who have had less libido than they or their partner wanted. My video coming out later this month will discuss this in more detail. I will also be writing an article that goes into relationship dynamics that contribute to sexual desire issues in more detail. There can be a variety of factors that can cause someone to have less sexual interest including:
1) Hormonal influences
2) Medication Side Effects
3) Childhood or adult trauma especially sexual trauma
4) Situational stress –i.e.- losing a job, death in family, etc.
5) Relationship issues (See below)
6) Family of origin issues (See below)
7) Gaps in sexual knowledge
8) Fear of pregnancy
There is help for all 8 of the above possible factors and sometimes there are multiple factors at work.
# 5 above, relationship issues is a broad category that can include but is not limited to:
- Lack of emotional connection between partners (usually but not always the female is more affected by this)
- Inadequate conditions in the sexual environment conducive to sexual desire such as insufficient romance, insufficient down time as a couple and lack of understanding of each other’s different sexual needs
- Unresolved conflict that leads to distance and/or hostility between partners.
# 6 above, family of origin issues that lead to this problem usually has to do with coming from a family of extremes. Either the family of origin was emotionally disengaged and detached or the family of origin was emotionally enmeshed or overly engaged. In the first situation, the person coming from a family like that has a difficult time being open and pulls back because he or she is uncomfortable and untrained in how to tolerate the (sometimes) emotional mess that couples inevitable experience. This kind of person can wall off as a way to cope with these intense emotions and ultimately cut off his or her sexual desire.
In the second situation, the person comes from a family where it was so enmeshed; he or she could not even experience his or her own individuality. I find this to be more of a problem with men. My theory is that these men have had an overly needy or dominating mother who could not allow him to fully develop his “differentiated” self.” This person then gets committed to a female and the idea of sexually merging is akin to getting “swallowed up” again by a needy or aggressive female. (This does not mean that the wife or girlfriend is needy or aggressive; it could be a projection from the man). His low sexual desire serves the purpose of protecting him (unconsciously) from being taken over. It is his way of “feeling his own skin.”
As previously mentioned, I will be talking and writing more about this common and significant problem. I have given hundreds of talks on this topic to professional groups such as physicians and therapists as well as in community centers and other venues. I have helped thousands of individuals and couples challenged by this problem. Feel free to contact me and see how I can help.