I desire to move to a bigger house. My only desire is a long vacation in Europe. I have zero desire to get out of bed on a Monday morning. That dinner out left much to be desired.
How many times have you thrown out the word “desire” in your everyday conversations in a bit of a dramatic way?
It is a great word to use to emphasize just how much you want or yearn for something. Or, just how much you have a strong feeling for (or against) something. When it comes to talking about our sexual desire, however, most of us tend to lean the opposite way, though. We feel awkward, uncomfortable, and somewhat embarrassed vocalizing the needs around our desire.
Why is that?
Maybe it’s because when there is something off with our desire (aka our sex drive or libido) we would rather just brush it under the bedroom rug and ignore what’s really going on. The thing is: Desire levels can fluctuate, but when yours is out of your own range of “normal,” it can affect nearly every aspect of your life— including your relationships, your mood, and your health.
If you find yourself having more negative feelings toward sex, there’s a chance you could be experiencing low desire.
According to a study published by the Journal of Sexual Medicine, here are some signs to look for:
1. A Decreased Desire to Engage in Sexual Activity
Without sexual desire, the idea of having sex with your partner seems unappealing. You never initiate sex or even feel receptive to advances. In an otherwise good relationship, you may still have sex with your partner for the benefit of the relationship, but you want to want it again.
2. A Lack of Sexual Thoughts and Fantasies
Female sexual desire shows up as sexual thoughts, erotic fantasies, and daydreams. Women with low libido experience fewer thoughts that make them interested in sex. You may miss the flutter that used to come with anticipation or sex-related thoughts about your partner.
3. Distress or Interpersonal Difficulty
When you have no drive or urge to have sex, you may feel extreme anxiety, sorrow or pain in a relationship. Your lack of desire may make you feel disconnected from the person to whom you are close.
Desire is a fundamental aspect of sexuality, and it is uniquely yours. It’s more than just that excitement or butterflies you feel when you think about your significant other, it’s a strong connection that makes you want to be with them in every aspect of the word.
What ultimately matters is your personal satisfaction with your own level of desire.
If you’ve experienced a drop in your sex drive and are feeling upset or stressed by it, you could be suffering from a medical condition called Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder (HSDD). It’s estimated that one in 10 females suffer from HSDD1 (next time you’re getting your nails done, think about how many people in the room that could be), so it’s very common. The good news is, you have options, and living with low libido doesn’t have to be permanent.
Visit Right to Desire to take a sex drive quiz and learn more about your level of desire.
- Shifren JL, Monz BU, Russo PA, et al. Sexual problems and distress in United States women: prevalence and correlates. Obstet Gynecol. 2008;112(5):970-8.