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Not Tonight, Dear: Why Women Lose Interest in Sex 
 
by Rita Templeton August 09, 2005

Has your desire ditched you? Has your libido left? When your bedroom becomes a bored-room, it's time to investigate why your sex drive has taken a leave of absence.

It hasn’t always been this way; there was a time (probably lots of times!) when you couldn’t wait to hit the sheets with that special someone.  But now things are different, and you can’t really put your finger on why.  Maybe you’re tired from chasing the kids around, balancing work and home life, trying to fulfill your civic obligations.  Maybe it’s just a passing phase, a “dry spell,” so to speak.  All you know is that sex seems like just another task to mark off the list, and you’re somewhat saddened by the change in your attitude toward your intimate life.  When – and, more importantly, why – did sex become a chore?

What is low sexual desire?

I know, you don’t need me to draw you a diagram here; isn’t it obvious what low sexual desire is?  The answer to that question is both yes and no.  Many people believe that the frequency of their sexual encounters indicates the level of desire or satisfaction with their sex life, but this isn’t completely true.  No matter how infrequently you have sex, if it’s working for you, you’re fine.  Remember, it’s quality that you’re striving for – not quantity.  There is no “gold standard” for how many times per week, per month, or even per year that you should be having sex.  It varies widely from couple to couple. Even the frequency of intercourse in one long-term relationship can change from month to month, depending on circumstances; this is completely normal.  If you and your partner have one sizzling sexual encounter a year, and you’re both happy with it, then you’re doing fine in the desire department.

Another thing to consider is whether you are truly bothered by your apparent loss of interest in sex, or if it’s your partner that’s doing the complaining.  If you feel that your sex drive is healthy, but that you don’t need sex as often as your partner seems to, then your issue is more about compromising with your partner than about trying to change your sex drive. As the old adage goes, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” 

True low sexual desire is when a woman is experiencing a dramatic drop in her libido, a marked difference in how much she wants sex now compared to how much she used to want sex.  Not only has her desire for sex dwindled to practically nothing, so has her fantasy life … as a matter of fact, so has anything in her life that involves aspects of the erotic.  It’s causing distress and difficulties in her personal life and interpersonal relationships.  She desperately wants to feel sexual again, but she just can’t.  That’s low sexual desire. 

In technical terms, it’s called hypoactive sexual desire disorder, or HSDD.  According to recent statistics, a whopping one-third of women from ages eighteen to fifty-nine suffer from low sexual desire.    

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