It seems to be taken for granted that people want to make love. Almost the entire entertainment industry is based on the appeal of intimate togetherness: in novels, movies, commercials, and pop songs. At the same time, sexologists and couples therapists report that a steadily growing number of women, and recently also men, simply have no desire.
Your libido is something unspecific, but in principle, it always works the same way. Whether it’s about eating, drinking, or sex: When touched, sensors in the skin transmit impulses to the cerebral cortex. This in turn mobilizes the limbic system, i.e. the emotion and reward center in the brain. But how does desire arise specifically for sex? Where does desire begin, and where does arousal begin? And how does one influence the other? Scientists speak in this context of the “cerebral sex regulatory system” and admit to still knowing quite little about the external factors that influence our desire.
If a couple is planning a baby together, this can quickly degenerate into stress, especially if the desire to have a child doesn’t work out “right away. Sex quickly turns from a beautiful act of togetherness into a precisely timed compulsory exercise. It’s no wonder that the libido often wanes. Sometimes, however, there can be completely different reasons behind the lack of desire: Do both partners really want a baby equally? As a couple, talk to each other openly and as equals, and confide in each other about any fears and worries you may have!
Once the little ones are born, you are often simply exhausted and tired in the evening! Although this happens to many, if not all, young parents, it is unfortunately not talked about much in public. When the children grow up, there is a sudden risk for couples to sink into chaos due to work, household chores, homework, parents’ evenings, kindergarten parties, and other appointments. The “working mom” presented in the media, who seems to manage everything with ease, is not helpful. In reality, however, there is often little time for the couple to rest together. In such cases, it’s important to return to your shared togetherness. Take time for each other! Create beautiful moments, enjoy each other’s caresses, and be tender with each other. Organize babysitters, go out together, and treat yourselves to a relaxing weekend just the two of you. Away from the stress of everyday life, the libido will flare up again all by itself.
No one has to be in the mood all the time. No one really knows how often or how seldom normal is anyway. Facts and figures don’t help, they only provide information about the range of what is human: from never to several times a day. What’s more, it’s not the quantity that counts, and more often doesn’t mean better or more satisfied. When desire wanes, there may also be physical causes, for example, hormonal disorders such as androgen or estrogen deficiency in women. Side effects of medications, such as antidepressants, the pill, or IUDs, can also play a role, as can depression, stress and exhaustion, alcohol dependence, and serious physical ailments. From case to case, these possible triggers must be separated from the psychosocial environment, i.e. from the family, professional and emotional state of the affected person.
Unfortunately, there is no patent remedy for loss of desire, as the causes can vary greatly from woman to woman (and from man to man). In many cases, however, the causes of a decrease in libido can be identified and remedied! The right people to contact for a lack of libido are your treating gynecologist, family doctor, or an appropriately trained sex therapist.