Top Myths About Low Sexual Desire

 Low sexual desire is a very common complaint among couples & individuals. Sex therapy at the Tri-Valley Relationship Therapy in East Bay can help you uncover what is holding you back from enjoying sex and restore your desire.

Low sexual desire is a very common complaint among couples & individuals. Sex therapy at the Tri-Valley Relationship Therapy in East Bay can help you uncover what is holding you back from enjoying sex and restore your desire.

This article was originally published on the Let's Talk Sex with Dr. Nagma V. Clark blog featured on Psych Central.

Low sexual desire or mismatched libido in a couple is the single most common reason I hear from couples who reach out to me for sex therapy. Despite the fact that the issue of low sexual desire is a very common complaint, a lot of misconceptions surround the issue.

There is confusion about what causes an individual’s desire to plummet, who is affected by it, what does the presence or absence of desire mean in a relationship and if low desire is even a real issue. To better understand sexual desire, here are some common misconceptions that I routinely come across in my sex therapy practice.

1. My desire is not normal-

This is the most common misconception about sexual desire. People with varying levels of desire often wonder if they are within the normal range. The truth is there is no agreed upon standard that determines that someone has higher or lower sexual desire. In other words, when it comes to libido- there is no “normal.” Everyone’s baseline libido is as unique as their individual self and bodies. It is perfectly normal to want sex once every month, once every day or never. The level of desire is problematic only if it is causing distress to the individual or the relationship.

2. Men don’t struggle with low desire or libido-

The idea that men don’t struggle with low sexual desire is a very frustrating & damaging misconception. The prevalence of low sexual desire among men is on par with women. In fact, there are plenty of women who report higher desire than their male partner and that is perfectly normal. This misconception is rooted in our societal & cultural scripts about male sexuality. Men are often stereotypically perceived as sex machines, always in the mood to have sex. Such stereotypes make it much more difficult for men to seek help because of fear of ridicule and shame.

3. If you are not in the mood, you are not attracted to your partner-

Desire and attraction are often confused as being the same thing. A lot of people who get stuck in the sexual rut of a long-term relationship struggle with low desire but their attraction towards their partner does not fade. And yes, you can have lower desire and still love your partner. However, this is not to imply that the connection between the two does not exist at all. Some people do lose interest in their partners because of varying reasons and once they end the relationship or meet a new partner, their desire peaks back up.

4. Low desire is a made up thing-

Many of my clients struggling with low desire have faced skepticism from their partners and other medical professionals about whether their low desire is all in their head or if it’s a tangible issue. Some of them had their partners question if they were having an affair while others were told by their physicians or gynecologists to just schedule sex and not worry too much about the mood. The reason for this is the complexity of desire- it can’t be cured by popping a pill and it is much more complicated to understand than the mechanism of an erection.

5. People with healthy desire are always in the mood-

Healthy sexual desire fluctuates not only throughout a relationship but also during the course of a day. If you don’t believe me, keep a daily log of your desire and notice if you see a pattern. Pick three points of time throughout the day- morning, afternoon & evening work best and rate your level of desire on a scale of 1-10. Record the data for at least a week. You will find that your desire fluctuates, depending on your energy and level of stress. Some people are more in the mood early in the morning whereas others experience a peak during the afternoon hours.

6. Low desire is caused by psychological issues-

It is true that the quality of the relationship and certain partner factors can cause the desire to dissipate. However, there is a long list of physical causes that can lead to lower desire among men and women. Cardiovascular problems, hormonal imbalances, chronic pain, depression, anxiety, side effects of anti-depressants & birth control pills, childbirth, surgery, low testosterone in males, sexual pain and chronic illness such as diabetes and PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) are all physical causes of low desire.

You can access this article and other articles written by Dr. Nagma Clark on the Let's Talk Sex blog on Psych Central by clicking on this link:

https://blogs.psychcentral.com/sex-talk/2018/05/top-myths-about-low-sexual-desire/

Written by: Nagma V. Clark, Ph.D., L.P.C.C. specializing in sex therapy,  couples therapy & marriage counselingpremarital counselingindividual relationship therapy LGBTQQI couples counseling at Tri-Valley Relationship Therapy, Inc. in the East Bay, in Dublin & Oakland.

If you or your partner would like to enhance your sexual connection or need help with a relationship issue or concern, sex therapy & couples counseling at Tri-Valley Relationship Therapy, Inc. in the East Bay can help. Dr. Clark has advanced & specialized training in sex therapy & couples counseling and she has helped many couples & individuals resolve their sexual concerns.

Call 925-400-3541 or email doctor.nvclark@gmail.com to schedule a free 15-minute phone consult or fill out the contact form and you will be contacted within 12-24 hours.