Low Libido: I’d Rather Have a Cup of Tea

Hi Shush Life,

Being aroused is something I rarely experience. I can watch porn, but it doesn’t do anything for me. I’d rather have a cuppa, to be honest. I’m not sure why my libido is so low. Is there anything that I could do or anything that could be affecting me? Thanks.

Hi there,

Thanks for getting in touch!

This is a common question. Some people just have a lower sex drive, and it might not be a problem. Others experience low libido for a specific reason, and it might cause issues in their relationship, for example. We don’t know your age, if you’re taking prescribed medication, or if you have a stressful job. We also don’t know if the lack of sexual arousal is recent or if your libido always has been low, but we’ll do our best to give you a helpful answer.

All sexual desire starts in the brain with two receptors; the Sexual Excitation System and Sexual Inhibition System. Excitement and inhibition. Or as Emily Nagoski, author of Come As You Are calls them: Accelerator and Brake. The accelerator gives your body all the signals why it should turn on to sex, and the brake notices all the signals why it shouldn’t. Let’s start off by looking at the most common causes of low libido.

Causes of low libido

Many culprits can be responsible for low arousal:

  • Stress and anxiety are terrible for your sex life. It might be time for some lifestyle changes or speaking to your GP for advice.
  • Hormones can cause low libido. If you are pregnant or have recently given birth and are still breastfeeding, hormone levels can play havoc which your sex drive. Give yourself a break – your libido will likely come back in time.
  • Medication often causes drops in libido. Grab that cuppa and settle down to read the leaflet that comes with any medication you take. If it lists a low libido as a side effect, it’s time to book an appointment with your GP. They may be able to switch you to a medication that doesn’t affect your sex drive.
  • Relationship issues: Are you happy in your relationship? Are you both satisfied with the sex you’re having, or are there conflicts in the bedroom? Are you communicating effectively? Couples counselling can be helpful if you’re struggling.
  • Sexual pleasure – use it or lose it! Do you masturbate? If you’re not getting regular pleasure, your body forgets to ask for it. Setting aside time for yourself is self-care. Treating yourself to a bottle of lube and a vibrator might be all you need to rev up your motor.
  • Painful sex. It makes perfect sense that you don’t want sex if it hurts. There is only one thing for this: Book an appointment with your GP or gyno. Painful sex needs to be investigated.
  • Menopause is notorious for causing low libido. Lower levels of sex hormones negatively affect your interest in sexual pleasure. Again, a trip to the GP is in order.
  • Excessive amounts of alcohol can reduce libido. If you’re shortlisted for Caner of the Year, your body is due for a break.

Purple rabbit-style vibrator with pink lovehearts around the tip

How to boost your libido

Rather than waiting for your body to tell you it wants pleasure, try giving it some to see what happens. If watching porn doesn’t float your boat, maybe reading erotica or listening to a sexy story will? Try different ways of getting both your mind and your body to tune in to sex.

We mentioned trying a vibrator earlier. Having something buzzing away on your clitoris can help to get the juices flowing. We’d recommend trying something with a deeper type of vibration, as that will also stimulate the internal clitoris.

Feeling great about yourself also helps. Regular exercise is helpful for all of us, even if it’s hard to get off the sofa and into a pair of trainers. Finding something you enjoy doing will help. You don’t have to go to a gym if that seems dull or scary. How about going for a walk or swim a few laps in a local pool instead? Once you get into a habit of doing some sort of movement, you’ll soon find you start looking forward to it. The exercise releases endorphins, or happy hormones. You’ll feel strong, and both your physical and mental health benefit from this. Getting the blood pumping helps with libido, so it’s a win-win!

We hope this helps! xx

If you want to boost your pleasure, our online sex course for women is an excellent place to start.