New sex therapy clients often begin with questions about a non-existent sex drive, also known as low libido, or hypoactive sexual desire disorder.
There are many causes of this common condition:
- Sleep patterns
- Life changes like menopause, a new baby, new job, moving or a death in the family
- Low self-esteem or body image
- Weight changes
- Substance abuse
Is the Problem Physical?
If you don’t often think about sex, don’t masturbate, and are distressed by the situation, go see your primary care physician first.
They will do a pelvic exam to see if changes such as the thinning of genital tissue, vaginal dryness or painful intercourse may be the cause of your issue. They may order blood tests to check for thyroid problems, high cholesterol, diabetes and/or liver disease, which can all lower the libido.
You may need a new antidepressant; several can impair the sex drive.
If everything checks out physically, it is time to see a sex therapist.
Desire, Sex Drive and Communication
Are you able to talk to your partner about your sexual wants and desires? Does your partner validate these needs and make an effort to meet them?
If your low libido is a result of unproductive communication patterns, sex therapy can help by teaching you to interact without blame, anger, guilt, shame or fear. It provides tools for reconnecting, starting with exercises that build physical closeness without intercourse.
If one or both of you are mad at or resentful of the other person, it can be understandably difficult to get in the mood for sex. Whether you see a sex counselor together or individually, therapy can help you get to know your erotic self, see your part in the difficulty, and make changes to get the intimacy ball rolling again.