BIRDS, BEES AND LOW LIBIDO
GIVING “THE TALK”
You don’t have to be in the raging hormone years of puberty to be infinitely curious about sex. As you get older, your body goes through changes that affect how you think and feel about sex. Some of them are confusing times. Things don’t always go how you’d like. You wonder what’s going on with your body. You might want sex, but nothing happens. You might wonder why you don’t want sex. Which is even more troubling. So you have questions. Certainly can’t ask your parents. There’s no class for adults called Sex Drive and What the Heck Happened to it. And this time, there’s no Louie in the schoolyard to fill you in. Nope, getting vague answers and a cookie didn’t work when you were a kid. Not going to work now. So we’ll try to tackle the tough questions around sex drive or lack of it, here.
SEX IS GOOD, RIGHT?
Always has been. Because of certain hormones, our bodies are hard-wired to want it. Due to all these chemicals moving in and around your body, desire can start pretty early; sometime between age 7 and 13 in girls, and 9 and 12 in boys. Just think back. As your hormones increased, your cheerleader or football captain lust increased with them. And that inner itch got more and more persistent. Your appetite for sex surpassed your taste for anything less spicy. Today, sex is out there everywhere. Name a video that isn’t Disney, and sex fills the screen. It’s a real turn-on. Or isn’t it?
HOW MANY TIMES SHOULD I HAVE SEX? WHAT’S NORMAL?
One study that appeared in the Archives of Sexual Behavior found that the average adult currently enjoys sex 54 times a year, which equates to about once a week. It found that only 26% of couples are hitting the once-a-week mark, with the majority of the respondents reporting less. Another study stated that married couples are having sex about seven times a month, which is a little less than twice a week. Yet another claimed that married couples are having sex about seven times a month, which is a little less than twice a week.
DO MILLENNIALS HAVE SEX ALL THE TIME?
For single millennials, the rise of dating and hook-up apps means access to sex has never been easier. In theory. In what an article in The Atlantic termed a sex recession, young adults–especially men—are now having far less sex than prior generations. “How can that be?” is probably your next probing question. Millennials are living in a time of chronic stress that has an unwelcome impact on their sex lives. College debt, job worries, working in a gig economy, living at home, worrying about their futures, and the rise of what has been called “the hustle culture” leads to chronic stress. Which triggers the release of hormones such as cortisol and epinephrine, which in high levels can cause decreased sex drive. Whatever your age, when it comes to sex, there is no normal. So if you’re not having sex with the frequency of everyone in the Bridgerton Netflix series, it’s NBD. If you don’t really want sex at all, it’s definitely worth questioning.
WHAT’S A LIBIDO? IS IT A GOOD THING?
Libido. One of those words people think they’ve heard of, but aren’t exactly sure. It’s actually pretty easy; libido=sex drive. Actually, it comes from early 20th century Latin, literally desire and lust.
DOES EVERYONE HAVE ONE?
Well, yes, they do. Just like those birds and bees. And practically every living creature. They’re just different in men and women. Study after study shows that men’s sex drives are not only stronger than women’s but much more straightforward. The sources of women’s libidos, by contrast, are much harder to pin down. Often for them, libido starts in the head before it heads south. The majority of adult men under 60 think about sex at least once a day. Only about one-quarter of women say they think about it that frequently. But thinking isn’t doing.
CAN YOUR LIBIDO GO PHHTT?
Waning libido doesn’t discriminate. As many as 43 percent of women and 31 percent of men have experienced sexual dysfunction, and one of the most common problems is low libido or a low sex drive, You’re just not feeling it. A low libido puts your “gotta get it” in stall. You feel like you’re in a permanent no-nooky slump with a perpetual “not now, I’ve got a headache”. For both sexes, low libido is one of the most common sexual issues, and it can affect you in many ways. Low desire may mean not wanting to have sex, but it also means not wanting to masturbate, having few sexual fantasies, and being worried about the lack of desire. The big question; how could this happen to me? WHAT DO HORMONES HAVE TO DO WITH IT?
One of the biggest reasons “horny” disappears and libido languishes are hormones that are out of balance. It’s estimated that 70 percent of low sex drive cases are due to misfiring hormones. Testosterone and estrogen are key to maintaining a healthy libido. Other hormones which can influence libido in men and women include DHEA and thyroid. Since DHEA is the precursor to testosterone, inadequate DHEA concentrations in the body can lead to low amounts of testosterone and reduced sex drive. Also, an abnormally low amount of thyroid hormone may decrease sex drive by causing a slowdown in the metabolism of the reproductive organs.
WHAT’S WITH THIS TESTOSTERONE THING?
The hormone testosterone plays a big part in men’s health, but perhaps its most meaningful role is to fuel sex drive and performance. Testosterone levels tend to decrease with age. They peak by early adulthood and then can drop by up to 1% to 2% per year beginning in your 30’s. Today, more than ever, testosterone levels are under siege from sedentary jobs, stress, lack of exercise, and lack of sleep, to poor diets and lifestyle choices. Other factors can pull T levels down; antidepressants, blood pressure meds, and antihistamines. And yes, even too tight tightly whiteys. And as we’ve mentioned above, chronic stress (and who doesn’t have any, especially now?), plays a role. Anything that increases stress can cause decreased libido because the body reacts to stress by releasing cortisol. Cortisol decreases testosterone hence libido suffers. It’s a sex-free circle.
WHAT’S WITH THIS ESTROGEN THING?
Actually, it isn’t just estrogen that’s responsible for low libido in women. Nearly one-third of women aged 18 to 59 suffer from a lost interest in sex, and it’s not all in their heads. An imbalance of estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone levels can lead to a reduction of sexual drive and energy in women. Women are on a hormone roller coaster from year to year with more spikes than the post-Covid financial picture. Hormone levels fluctuate throughout their cycles. The 30s are a prime decade for baby-making where hormones go haywire through each trimester and then during breastfeeding, triggering a lack of desire. Hormonal changes are also on the charge in your 40’s. Perimenopause, menopause, and post-menopause can definitely hit the pause button on your libido. The older you get, the more all your hormone levels decline.
WILL I GET TO HAVE SEX WHEN I’M OLD?
First, accept old is arbitrary. Contrary to common myths, sex isn’t just for the young. There’s a lot of action going on between the sheets as seniors (we need to come up with a better word than that) continue to enjoy their sexuality into their 80s and beyond. There is no age limit on sexuality and sexual activity, according to the sexual research group The Kinsey Institute. The thing is, the drive to do it is often dependent on getting the hormones that can make horny happen, balanced. And give your libido a healthy boost.
IS THERE ANYONE I CAN TRUST TO LIFT MY LIBIDO?
That’s easy; Denver Hormone Health. At DHH, ask any and all questions about sex, sex drive, and sex drive that seems to have disappeared somewhere, with absolutely no embarrassing hesitation. DHH’s concerned and understanding experts want and encourage you to talk about this part of your life. And the first thing they’ll tell you is that if your libido is low, you don’t have to live with it. All those hormones we’ve been talking about, the specialists at Denver Hormone Health know all about them. How they can hurt you. And how they can help you. Comprehensive testing and evaluation will let them assess the problem and restore imbalances that kept you from shifting your sex drive into full throttle. Sex toys aren’t an answer. Nor are bizarre herbal remedies. Especially those libido lifters clogging the internet bandwidth. At Denver Hormone Health you’ll get straight answers you can trust, along with a personalized program of safe, natural bioidentical hormones you can trust to put the sizzle back in sex.
So, that’s “The Talk”. At least the adult one. Did you get all your answers? You can get even more by making an appointment at Denver Hormone Health now. (Gee, where was DHH when you had acne, stashed slutty magazines under your bed, and couldn’t talk sex with mom and dad for anything?)