I am not sure when or how it happened but there was a point sometime a few months ago that my sex drive took a dive. I’m not sure if it was gradual or overnight, I just realised that that part of me who would have taken any steps to get my satisfaction — one way or the other — suddenly was gone.
A lot happened and I was trying to make sense of it all.
I met someone at the beginning of the year, who just by existing for one night in my life, cured me of my previous heartbreak. He gave me back the hope that I can date, I can have sex, I can find someone attractive. And also he proved that I can feel attractive, that I am a woman a thousand per cent, and most importantly that sex can be good even if you are not in love (and if you say otherwise you never had that level of magical chemistry and connection that I had).
I even fell in love with him (or maybe fell in lust), but it passed after a few days. We are still in touch, but the distance of being at two separate ends of the continent is not helpful and having totally different lives and lifestyles is not convenient either. Besides, we are not in love to make moves towards each other, so it’s not happening. Maybe it was meeting him, that my libido disappeared.
I always have a crush (or several crushes) — who intrigue me, but this time, they are also just very mildly interesting. I am not even chasing them, not fantasizing about them. I don’t think about them enough for that.
And I had a few dates too, but they were mostly just awkward chats that either got boring or turned into an abusive misogynist rant.
I am not even fully sexless, I do have sex, I have friends with benefits — although it’s more benefits than friends. It’s not bad. It’s simple, it’s satisfying, it’s respectful. But it doesn’t shake me up.
And honestly… if I had to choose between a night spent with sex or a night spent with writing… I would choose writing.
What’s wrong with me?
Researching what causes a drop in libido, I came across quite usual and plain reasons.
- Exhaustion, lack of time,
- Physical or mental health issues,
- Anxiety when having sex with a partner,
- Lack of pleasure,
- Lack of attraction with the partner,
- Lack of feeling comfortable with the partner,
- Previous trauma triggered or unprocessed,
- Body image issues,
- Low self-confidence,
- A feeling of shame or embarrassment around sex.
I crossed out a few possible causes and added a few.
Lack of time and exhaustion can be true, I am overworked and tired, trying to make ends meet and write enough to eventually make ends meet from that.
I do have some anxiety issues, but it’s not related to sex.
I have body image issues, but honestly… it never stopped me from enjoying sex.
But the rest? I can’t even relate to. Lack of attraction with the partner, feeling uncomfortable with the partner, lack of expected pleasure — this requires a regular partner.
And I don’t have that!
I don’t even have a specific partner to make me uncomfortable or attracted or triggered.
It feels hopeless to know I should have a regular partner for my problems to be even justified.
Being single, not having a relationship, which optimally means also having occasional sex-partners, has it’s perks — like you can hook up with whoever you want, you can enjoy someone else’s close company without sex, you can have crushes or even fall in love without causing a massive problem in a monogamous relationship.
But it also has some serious problems that can lead to or can cause decreased libido:
1. Lack of familiarity
Not having a regular partner means that you don’t really have time to get to know each other. Even a string of casual dates will limit your experience. You don’t have crazy sex every day, for weeks — it’s too casual to wanting to see each other that much. It has a timestamp on it, and the unwritten rule of it is that you are not part of each other’s lives. You are missing out on the familiar feeling of certainty — that they know what they do, they know you and your body, and they care. Even the most experienced lover can fall into mechanically-pleasing mode — and it’s satisfying but soulless.
2. Lack of communication
If you don’t have a long term partner you don’t get to discuss sex and eventual problems as you would in a relationship. Either because you don’t care that much or it’s way too fragile to argue about it. Communication is the backbone of good sex. Communication before, during and after. With a casual one, you can get your dose of pleasure, but it might not mean to communicate about it.
3. Lack of spontaneity
If you are single and you have kids like me, your dates are really not spontaneous. Have you ever called anything spontaneous that requires at least three re-scheduling, 3 hours of chasing babysitters, pleading with your mum and cancelling due to some last-minute changes (think about popcorn kernel up in the nose, projectile vomiting and scream-fits)?
The thing is, when I am in the mood, there is no one to come over. When I am miraculously available there is no one to reply my calls or texts — and I end up being the desperate, clingy, needy one — once in 6 weeks. Way to kill the spontaneity, right? And there goes my libido hand in hand with spontaneity.
4. Lack of intimacy
Casual dates are great. Sex dates can be perfect. Friends with benefits — it can be really brilliant. But none of these gives you a sense of belonging when it comes to sex. I don’t know about you, but for me, the best sexual experiences were with people I connected with, with whom we shared not just lust but love. The fact that I could care about them, I could love them, I can listen to them and talk to them after sex — because they cared and I cared and we wanted to spend the night and at the time spend the life too — gave it an extra feeling of intimacy that cannot be replicated by strings of casual dates. Casualness can have some intimacy, but real intimacy needs time and trust.
5. Lack of real trust
I left this one for last because for good sex trust is not a prerequisite. You can have magical, cosmic, mind-blowing orgasms even if you haven’t established a trust or even knowing each other’s first names. It’s all possible. It is possible to keep sex on the physical level, but it’s so much better to have a multi-layered experience. Trust builds that multi-layered-ness. Trust builds intimacy.
But trust needs time. And when you don’t have time and you live between sex-dates and some FWB dates — the time is what you get between 10 pm and 3 am, if you are lucky. Time is a luxury that couples have together and can’t appreciate enough. Time and trust are things you don’t know how precious they are if you don’t have to do without it.
So, I want my sex drive back.
I want to have it, enjoy it, cherish it.
I want familiarity, communication, spontaneity, intimacy and trust. Just like therapists would suggest dealing with the drop in libido.
If I can get it through a casual encounter, bring it on, I am all for it. But if it has anything to do with needing a non-casual, non-temporary relationship, then I need to stop blaming myself and make peace with it, until someone worthy comes along. To stay.
Until then… I’ll deal with my quasi-sexlessness and I hope my low libido will pass.