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How to increase sex drive

Differences in sex drives: How to increase sex drive or sexual desire


Everyone seems to want that high sex drive! Many relationship issues people face come to report of having differences in how much sex they want. Sexual difficulties or sexual dysfunctions in relationships is rising – the most common issue for couples to seek sex therapy. However, your sex drive is not what you think it is. It’s a total myth – there is no such thing, as sex drive, because sex is not a drive!


The standard belief of sex drive, is that we suddenly just find ourselves having sex. You might see a sexy person on the street and think “Wow! I want to have sex!” That is called ‘spontaneous sexual desire’.


But there is also ‘responsive sexual desire’ – where someone might start to feel that they want sex only after sexy things are happening. You might have a date night with your husband, that evening your bodies touch skin to skin, and you suddenly say “Oh right, I like this person, I enjoy this”. Responsive desire is the anticipation of pleasure. Sexual desire emerges in response to pleasure.


Both are normal. Responsive desire does not mean you have low sex drive. You just most likely need more reasons to feel that “I want sex right now” or “I crave sex”. You do not need to suddenly “crave sex” to be a healthy person or have a great sex life.


Actually, everyone’s sexual desire/sex drive is responsive. It just feels more spontaneous for some and more responsive for others. How?


Stimulation always comes first. Whether it’s your partner’s touch on your body or the idea of your partner’s touch. If the context is right, stimulation feels good, and leads to sexual desire. If the context isn’t right, it can still lead to desire, but no sexual pleasure. This is normal, but sexual desire without sexual pleasure does not describe people who have great sex (or even good sex).


If you want spontaneous sex or in popular culture ‘a high sex drive’, you need to look for the contexts that facilitate it. To do this, you need to look at the relationship characteristics, partner traits or partner characteristics that create pleasure (even when you are not in the mood for sex. Sexual pleasure comes before sexual desire. You need contexts full of the things that make you feel pleasure even when you’re not in the mood for sex. What turns you on is what brings you pleasure.


Couples who have great sex, passionate sex in their relationships or marriages, are able to make sure they pay attention to creating pleasurable contexts for their partner. Sex is not just about tension and ambivalence. It is about creating the right context for sex to happen. For someone it might be cuddling and touch, slow kisses, affection and attention, which then leads to desire.

If you experience painful sex, speak to your GP or a medical specialist – hormonal issues may be a thing. But if you’re experiencing low sex drive/sexual desire issues, it is most likely not hormonal issues.

(The Lovers II by René Magritte, 1938, via MoMA, New York)


Contrary to popular belief, low sex drive is not caused by hormonal issues. Rather, stress, depression, anxiety, trauma, relationship satisfaction, attachment issues are found to cause low sex desire/low sex drive issues. Basically, your psychiatric history, psychosexual history and developmental history.


So if you have low sexual desire/sex drive, and there is no medical issue, all you need to do is change your context.


Low desire is a relationship issue. Low sexual drive/sexual desire versus a high sexual drive/sexual desire just means the two partners are different. Still, it’s the not these differences that are problematic, it is how the couple manages the conflict.  Bring this to a good sex therapist and they will tell you this!


For example, if you have the high sex desire you may feel rejected, undesirable, resentful and hurt because you always initiate sex. You might wonder “Am I sexually obsessed? I am compulsive? I am a sex addict? Do I want too much sex?”  If you have the low sex desire, you may feel pressured, judged, guilty and hurt and so will resist more. You might wonder “Is there something wrong with me?” “I am broken?”


Your good sex therapist, or good couples therapist will tell you, sexual desire isn’t the problem here. It is the context.


A helpful place to start from is to stop having sex. No sex, which may mean no genital contact and no orgasms. The purpose is to remove demands or expectations that physical contact will lead to sex. After having no sex for a while, you can start to increase intimacy of physical contact. The most important thing you should know about sexual desire is that it’s not what matters. Pleasure, sexual pleasure is what matters. If you create a context where you brain feels safe, fun, sexy and pleasurable, you can have great sex, sex worth wanting.



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