My Girlfriend's Low Sex-Drive

February 10, 2010 4 min read

Steven asks:

I recently read a post on here that you answered from a female whose partner had a very low and random libido. I have this problem with my girlfriend (22) who I've been with for about 1.5 years, she is never interested in sexual activity which includes running away at the first sign of any intimate contact, touching etc, so this means not even oral or masturbation, and I really really miss doing this for her. I know that she masturbates occasionally when I'm not around as she has a vibrator and it has moved it position in the drawer a few times and I've had to buy her batteries for it, although she won't admit using it! I am going out of my mind and so is she as she hates feeling like this, as she had a sexually active past absolutly fine. This also includes not wanting to kiss intimately as she worries this will make me want sex. Yes I'm a bloke but I really crave the closness of being naked and lustful with someone I love so much. She is not on any medication. Is there anything she can take to increase her libido?? We've tried counciling in the past but not really worked. At the time of writing this I have not had anything other than a hug from her for about 4 months now.

Really hope you can help, Thank you for your time.


Dear Steven,

It seems that the longer you are in a relationship, the more you have to work to keep that lustful fire burning. Humans are prone to habituation, where we become so familiar with something that it may not stimulate us the way it once did. This applies to relationships in a number of ways. For most people desire is associated with excitement, and when things are not new or in a state of constant change, feelings of excitement may be more difficult to achieve. If this is the case for your partner, you may want to consider adding new activities to your sexual practices.

As I always say in my posts, communication is the first step in resolving sex-related issues. One tip to follow is to begin this conversation OUTSIDE of the bedroom. Many people wait for something to trigger emotions strong enough to finally tackle the issue (i.e., you are in the bedroom and you make a move on her and she turns you down, resulting in a confrontation). The reason I say to do this outside of the bedroom and before an instance occurs is because sex-related problems induce extreme vulnerability. By taking the conversation out of context, perhaps both you and your partner will feel more comfortable talking about your concerns in a non-vulnerable environment.

You may want to start by discussing how the lack of intimacy between you and your partner makes you feel, including all other feelings associated with these emotions. Discuss any worries, concerns, insecurities, past traumas, likes and dislikes, etc. If she is open to it, this is where you may want to suggest adding new sexual activities into your playtime. Are there any new toys she may be open to trying? Any fantasies she would like to pursue? Because we are such visual creatures, maybe she would be interested in watching a sexy video with you to get in the mood (such as Marie and Jack, a great film for couples). Communicating about these things is key, and if you continue to avoid discussing your feelings about this lack of intimacy, you may only cause more damage to the relationship.

While communication may be number one in improving intimacy, there are a few other things that may contribute to your partner’s low-libido. As you probably already know, our sex-drives are primarily controlled by our hormones. If your partner’s hormones are off-balance, the same may apply to her sex-drive. Hormonal birth control methods (such as the pill, the patch, the shot, etc) have been found to affect the female libido, often times resulting in a noticeable decrease in sexual desire.  If your partner thinks this may be the cause for her low sex-drive, she may want to talk to her doctor about trying other forms of birth control such as a non-hormonal method, or even just switching the estrogen and progesterone dosage of what she is already taking.

In terms of medications and aphrodisiacs to increase libido, I always say, “to each their own”, as some people may be responsive to them, while some people are not. Many people agree that aphrodisiacs work because of the placebo effect, where the simple act of taking a drug/pill/herb/food which has been associated with increasing libido convinces them of its effectiveness.  And if this works for them, placebo or not, well than more power to them!

For more information and resources to spice up your sex life, you may want to check out the book, Never Have the Same Sex Twice by Alison Tyler, a great guide for finding new ways to keep that lustful fire burning.

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