Some women feel very little, if any, energy for sexual connection. Low libido does not make you non-sexual. You are a sexual being by creation. If you have a low sex drive, there are many possible causes:
- First, you may think you have low sex drive because you desire it less frequently than your husband. Men and women are made differently. We each have a hypothalamus, located deep in the center of the brain which monitors many activities such as hunger, thirst, sex, and sleep. The pre-optic area of the hypothalamus, which is the area of the brain most involved in sexual and mating behaviors, is 2.2 times larger in men than women and has twice as many cells. Also, men have over ten times the amount of testosterone as women. So, as God designed our brains, men are made to think about sex more often and be more visually stimulated, but a woman’s drive can be equally strong, though different.
You may compare yourselves to women you see on television or in the movies that seem more sexual or to friend or other women as you listen to their conversations. It’s interesting to note that almost 30% of women think they have a lower sex drive than other women. That’s a lot of women. There are great expectations laid on women about being sexually attractive and it may have worn its way into your own self-concept. When we compare, we often feel ourselves coming up short. Try to not let others or media define you.
- Prior trauma. If your first experience of sex was unwanted or if you have had traumatic sexual experiences, you likely have some negative associations that go along with sex that can be affecting your sex with your husband. Out of shame you might push away sex now even if your husband is a safe sexual partner because what you are really pushing away is a potential feeling of shame. “I’m not a bad girl so I’m not interested.”
A traumatic past sometimes causes you to dissociate during sex. You can retrain yourself to stay connected to your body. Practice being naked together without sex. Look into his eyes. Coach yourself to be emotionally and mentally present. Ask yourself, “What would I like him to do?” Redirect your attention to what may be pleasurable. You may have to work to stay present and connected. You might also benefit from seeking the help of a qualified therapist.
- Physical and emotional health. Exhaustion, poor body image, resentment, distrust, discomfort due to early messages or experiences, past abuse, pain, depression can also contribute to the feeling of being sexually depleted. The help of a qualified therapist can be vitally important to helping you overcome these hindrances to your enjoyment. Low libido can also be medically induced by certain medications, diabetes, thyroid disease, etc. which is why it is advisable to see a doctor if it is persistent. Hormone changes can also affect libido. Estrogen levels drop during the transition to menopause. This can make you less interested in sex and cause dry vaginal tissues, resulting in painful or uncomfortable sex. Although many women still have satisfying sex during menopause and beyond, some experience a lagging libido during this hormonal change.
- Sexual inactivity can also cause low libido. Research has shown, the more you do it, the more you desire it. Pamela Madsen, in her article for Psychology Today, “Sex: The More You Have, The More You Want” says, “If you do not stir the pot of your sexual being – you can become dormant just like a hibernating bear.
Often, for women, inactivity has to do with distraction. We are busy multi-taskers who take care of many people and have many roles and responsibilities. We don’t prioritize sex with our husband’s and we believe they should tolerate our neglect. The truth is, the bond between husband and wife suffers when we neglect sex for an extended time. The bonding hormone, oxytocin, is not activated and the closeness between partners takes a hit.
You are beautiful and “wonderfully made.” (Psalm 139:13) God designed sex to be a gift to you He wants you to unwrap. If you have been wounded in this very tender and vulnerable area and it is affecting your sexual relationship with your husband or wife, I urge you to get help. Sex is not an afterthought. God didn’t say, “I’ve got to make a way for them to procreate so guess they’ll have to do this yucky thing.” No, sex is deeply wired in you. One whole book of bible, Song of Solomon, is an erotic dialogue between a man and his bride. Sex is beautiful and He wants you to enjoy his gift and enjoy it freely.