When I work with people in relationships, a question that arises often in my sessions is: “Are we sexually compatible?”. There are a lot of reasons why people would ask me this – differences in libido, in sexual preferences, desires, different ideas what good sex...read more
Do you have a high libido? A low one? Is your libido somewhere in between? Is it always the same? Does it keep changing? Does it depend on particular circumstances? If so, what is it influenced by? And can you even define your libido if someone asked you to?…
For most of my life, I was convinced I had no libido.
I never desired sex. In my 20s, I was curious about it but mostly because I wanted to know how different people “did it”. When single, my drive for sexual encounters was firmly based in my head – it was an intellectual desire to explore sexually, to learn more, to experience a variety of fun and pleasurable encounters in the bedroom.
But once in a relationship, there was nothing more to explore, sexual intimacy with a partner always felt the same and I had no more drive to do it. Worse still – because I was very repressed sexually, I didn’t actually know how to derive any significant pleasure from it for myself and would have sex only to satisfy my partner. After all, people in relationships were meant to have intercourse, right?
When I discovered Tantra and began to heal my sexuality, things started to shift.
I started to experience sex as orgasmic and amazing and I started to want it. Yet, I could go on for months without it, never having the quality of my life diminished by lack of sex. When I did desire it, it was mostly in the context of meeting someone special and sharing hot and passionate moments together. So it seems that the sex drive itself wasn’t really just about sex – it was a desire for connection and shared intimacy with someone.
We’ve learned to understand libido as a sexual drive, as a biological need that demands to be satisfied.
Yet, judging from my own experience and from everything I’ve heard from my clients, this definition seems inaccurate.
A lot of couples that come to me for sessions talk about mismatched sex drives and frustrations born from it. And I teach them to navigate this tricky territory and to consciously and purposefully create erotic connection and intimacy in their relationship. And I do not change their biology! I simply support them in shifting toxic beliefs, unhealthy ideas or healing wounds in their relationship and eroticism.
People who claim to have high libido, might experience its drop when they’re overwhelmed by stress or fatigue. People who claim to have low libido, can desire sex with every inch of their bodies at particular times of their lives.
Besides, do we even know what exactly a high or low libido is?
Or do we tend to define it in comparison to others, as in – one partner in a relationship has a higher libido than the other one, or a person who used to have a lower libido than they do now…
On top of that, our beliefs and ideas around morality, pleasure, our bodies and genitals affect how we experience libido. Sexuality is a universal aspect of who we are as human beings, yet it’s treated very differently in different parts of the world. This results in very different approaches to sex and sexual drive.
People all over the world experience wanting sex for a variety of reasons…
… for connection, for loving expression, for touch, for pleasure, for orgasms, for power, for money, for procreation, for entertainment, etc.
So, if libido can be affected by where you were born, what beliefs you grew up with, how stressed or tired you’re currently feeling, the state of your health, the state of your relationship, etc. plus by a wide variety of reasons that drive your desire for sex in the first place, is it really fair to call it a biological drive?
Yes, a part of it is biological and driven by our hormones. But to leave it there seems incorrect. It seems to me that it’s more of a complex network of needs, desires, conditioning and other types of motivators that come together to form this thing we call libido.
It’s not just something we experience – libido is something we’re actively co-creating with our bodies, emotions and minds.
And only when coming from this perspective, we can begin to understand what a sex drive really is, what affects it and how we can influence it.
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