Why is libido so fickle sometimes?

Waterfall

I haven’t had sex in about two months. I know: shocking, right? I am a sex blogger who doesn’t have sex. There used to be a time when I would rather have died than admit I don’t really have sex. Especially since people are quick to point out that sex is super important to a marriage.

A low libido is nothing unusual. It’s something that a lot of women (and men) struggle with. My blogger friend Elle devotes her whole blog to understanding libido. But it’s still a subject that carries with it a fair amount of stigma. We don’t like to admit it when we hit a dry spell in our sex life.

Lots of factors can affect our libido. Being poorly, lack of sleep, stress, are all detrimental to our sex drive. In my case, we recently moved house and we have a new puppy, so stress and lack of sleep have killed everything. It’s not just my libido: I have also not been writing as much as I would have liked.

We often underestimate how much stress and lack of sleep can ruin our lives. And when it comes to sex, it’s sometimes almost as if common sense is thrown out the window. When we experience a change in libido – especially a change for the worst – we often overthink the cause of this. My husband tends to start worrying about whether I don’t find him attractive anymore, or whether he is no longer good in bed. But the real reason is much simpler: I am dead tired at the end of the day and only want to sleep. (Admittedly, having a little puppy sleeping in our room is not very conducive to sexy times either.)

When a dry spell continues a bit longer than we’d like, we start to worry even more. This adds more stress to our life, which is really not helpful. I know I am guilty of that too. Even though I can barely make it through the day from sheer exhaustion, I still feel guilty that I haven’t had sex for so long. Surely I should be able to make some time somehow?

In this particular dry spell – which is the first in many years for me – it helps that hubby is feeling the same. We are both exhausted and run down, so he doesn’t mind that we go to bed early or cuddle with a movie. The funny thing is that we both sometimes say to each other “wow, we really should have sex again”, but neither of us is in the mood to actually do something about it.

Society put a lot of pressure on people. Having a healthy sex life is deemed good for your relationship, and of course, that is true. But seeing articles claiming that having sex less than once, or twice, a week is detrimental to your relationship is not helpful when you go through a dry spell. It’s normal to have times in your life when you don’t want to even think about sex. We aren’t machines and our bodies are heavily influenced by all sorts of hormones, which change when you are stressed or lack sleep.

It’s funny – or not really funny, rather interesting – that hubby tends to feel guiltier for not wanting sex than I do. I guess we are conditioned by society to believe that women have a lower libido than men. Men – manly men – want sex all the time. They think about sex every second of the day and they would not say no if a woman proposes sex. Or so we are led to believe. Of course the truth is far from it. Men experience lower libido at times just as much as women. And making a man feel guilty about that will only make things worse.

I do miss sex. It’s not that I don’t want it at all, it’s just that my body cannot muster up the energy to actually do the deed. Even masturbation takes too much out of me, so yes: this dry spell is really dry. But as with anything in life, this too shall pass. We will be more settled in our house, our puppy will sleep through the night and my energy and libido will come back. Until then, hubby and I spend a lot of time together, so we don’t completely lose the intimacy we crave. We snuggle a lot, hug and kiss and have long chats.

I am certainly looking forward to getting back to our wild, passionate nights, and the first time will be all the better due to this dry spell. So it will at least be good for that.

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2 thoughts on “Why is libido so fickle sometimes?”

  1. “Men experience lower libido at times just as much as women. And making a man feel guilty about that will only make things worse.”

    I agree with you. There’s a real stigma for men in saying they don’t want to have sex and it can be hard for them to admit, I also think that women contribute to that sometimes. My partner and I have worked really hard to combat the ‘expectation’ of sex on either side that’s ingrained in us… If I want it and he doesn’t, I have to consciously control my reaction and not take it personally (which makes him feel guilty)- just like I don’t want him to make me feel guilty for not wanting sex. As you build a practice around this it seems to take the guilt out of it + becomes easier to get past.

    I do think it’s a reality we don’t always acknowledge that stress can kill your desire for sex. However, I’ve also found that once I let go of the ‘UUNGH why am I so stressed and why aren’t I having sex’ mentality, things get better. Like, try not to beat yourself up about it! The guilt is not helpful- as you know 🙂

    Something that has helped is when my partner and I take PIV sex off the table and instead try and build intimacy and enjoy touch, which feels like a much more achievable goal than sex, when you are stressed. We get naked/into underwear and just hang out in bed, relax together with a film, maybe give each other a massage and enjoy non-sexual touch. Once we’ve done that for a couple of days + become close again, the stress tends to dissipate, so that sex suddenly happens without us trying. It’s something about removing the barriers to intimacy that arise from stress and bringing back a feeling of closeness and play, without any pressure. I wonder if you have any time/space for that!

    1. Something that has helped is when my partner and I take PIV sex off the table and instead try and build intimacy and enjoy touch, which feels like a much more achievable goal than sex, when you are stressed. We get naked/into underwear and just hang out in bed, relax together with a film, maybe give each other a massage and enjoy non-sexual touch.

      I agree and thank you for reminding me. We often do this too, just “fool around” and see where that will lead us with no pressure for it to lead to anything. And that usually does lead to more :-). We just have to break through this cycle of not wanting to do anything at night…

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