Masculinity is so entwined with sexuality that men can feel very threatened and vulnerable when they lose interest in sex. Around 15% of men will experience a loss of libido at some point in their lives, but it is still a difficult subject for them to talk about. When your sexuality is so closely linked to your gender identity, losing interest in sex almost feels as though you’ve lost a part of yourself. However, in most cases of libido loss the cause can be identified as physical or psychological, and treatment can be sought accordingly.
Causes of libido loss
There are a number of physical reasons that might explain why a man has suffered a loss of libido:
- Low testosterone – levels of testosterone in men fall by about 1-2% each year as they age. If you’ve recently had low energy levels and poor concentration as well as a loss of interest in sex then you may have low testosterone levels.
- Erectile dysfunction – men with ED may find that they still have sexual desires at the start, but their inability to get an erection may cause anxiety and lead to them avoiding sexual situations.
- Obesity – being largely overweight can lower testosterone levels, which can then lead to a lowered libido. Obesity is also associated with heart disease and high blood pressure, conditions that are also associated with a lowered sex drive.
- Medications – some types of antidepressants, as well as some medications used to treat enlarged prostate, and high blood pressure can lower the libido.
- Performance anxiety – if a man places too much pressure on himself, i.e. believing that his partner wants sex every night, he may become overwhelmed with anxiety, fearing that he’ll let them down if he can’t perform. This then leads to a loss of interest in sex.
- Stress – pressures at work, or stress at home can play on a man’s mind and cause him to lose interest in sexual activities.
- Depression – in addition to the side effects of medication that a man may be prescribed for depression, the illness itself can cause a loss of libido. Depression affects sleep patterns, appetite etc, and makes the sufferer feel worthless, i.e. not worthy of sexual affection.
- Lifestyle – we’re all so busy nowadays that it can be difficult to fit in adequate time for a sexual relationship, which can lead to stress and loss of libido. Other lifestyle factors that affect sex drive include drug use, smoking, and alcoholism.
- Health – there are a number of health conditions that can have a direct affect on libido, including thyroid disorders, cancer, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, and diabetes.
- Relationship problems – loss of libido can be indicative of underlying problems in the relationship. This could be things such as a lack of trust after infidelity, a controlling partner, arguments about finances, or a traumatic sexual experience in the past.
How to boost libido
One of the best ways to boost your libido and get your sex life back on track is to talk it out with your partner. If it’s down to a relationship problem or stress at work then talking can really help. If you think it’s a physical reason then speak to your doctor who may be able to help. Meanwhile, here are some things you could try…
- Get active – Exercising helps to get the blood pumping around your body and increases your levels of endorphins which make you feel good. If you get out of breath during sex or aren’t as strong or flexible as you’d like to be then taking up exercise can help you to get in shape and feel better in yourself, which in turn will make you look and feel more attractive.
- Explore fantasies – Take some time to think about what you want from your sexual relationship, and explore your fantasies with your partner. Try watching erotic films or reading erotic fiction for inspiration, then let your imagination do the rest!
- Make time for sex – Spontaneous sex was great in your youth, before your family and responsibilities came along. Planning a sexy evening together gives you both something to anticipate. Maybe you could exchange flirty texts or emails during the day to build the desire up.
- Try new things together – Spice up your lives outside of the bedroom too. Try going out with friends or throwing a dinner party. Watching how your partner interacts with others will remind you how interesting and exciting she is, and hopefully you’ll remember why you were attracted to her in the first place!