So, I've got this male friend, right? Ever since we've known each other, his sex drive has been totally through the roof. During his teens, 20s, 30s and now 40s, he can easily have sex, a couple of times a day, every single day. When he's not able to do that, he's masturbating. While you might be tempted to think that he's got a closet sex addiction, he's done some self-work to see if that is indeed the case. From what his assessments have revealed, he doesn't seem to be (I worked with a porn ministry for almost a decade; I would agree). Yes, his testosterone levels continue to be quite high (which plays a big part in how often someone wants to have sex…or not).
However, the reality is that there are some people who simply and naturally have higher drives than others. It's not that anything is "wrong" with them; it's just the way that it is.
And just how can you know if you—or your partner—happens to be someone who falls into the "high sex drive" demographic? While there are plenty of layers to that question, I'll try and do a bit of an intro course so that you can gain more clarity in this particular area. Just so you can be confident in the fact that a high sex drive is all good while also recognizing the signs when you might want to take what's going on within you a little more seriously.
How Do You Know If Your Sex Drive Is High? If So, What Causes a High Sex Drive?
Let's start with the question that you're probably the most curious about. When it comes to whether your drive is normal or high, that kind of depends on the person. Probably the best way to explain it is, if you are in a relationship and you're having sex at least once a week (or four times a month), your drive is pretty normal. At the same time, desiring to have it more often than that can still be considered normal too. There are some couples I work with who get it on and in 3-4 times a week, easily. When things start to enter into super high territory is when, no matter how much sex you have, you can never really be fully satisfied—not just mentally but physically too.
What contributes to someone actually feeling this way? Many things. We already touched on one of them, which is high testosterone (or dopamine) levels (also, when a woman is ovulating, her sexual appetite can be insatiable because her hormone levels are surging). Beyond that, if you're someone who exercises and/or eats a lot of healthy carbs, that can also cause you to have a high sex drive because working out and consuming certain foods automatically creates more energy in the body. Other things that can boost your libido levels is your cortisol (stress hormone) levels being on the lower end, you not being on the pill (the pill can do a real number on your drive, if you're not careful), you having a high sense of sexual self-confidence and/or loving your body and, you being in a healthy relationship. Another thing to keep in mind is people who get no less than 6-8 hours of sleep every night also tend to have a higher sex drive than others because healthy sleep patterns support hormonal balance, especially in women.
If you're able to check one or more of these boxes and your sex drive does seem to be pretty off the charts, is it something to be worried about? No. So long as you're able to function normally (meaning, you are able to do your daily tasks without your libido distracting you), sex is not something that you run to in order to "get away from" other stuff that may be going on and sex itself makes you feel more peaceful than agitated (meaning, once you're done, you feel better rather than worse), whether you're doing it every day, every other day, or a few times a month, do you, chile. Do you.
How Do I Know If My Sex Drive Is Low? And If So, What Causes It?
The next question you might have is probably, so how do you know if your libido is low? In some ways, this also depends on the individual. However, some telling signs that apply across the board include having absolutely no interest in sex whatsoever or never really even thinking about sex at all. If that is the case, you should reflect on things like the kind of medication you may be on (antidepressants and ones that lower your blood pressure can definitely work against your drive); if you smoke or drink a lot (more than 1-2 glasses of wine a day can totally work against you); if you have arthritis, diabetes or heart disease; if you're pregnant or breastfeeding (both can put your hormones totally through it); if you've had a recent surgery; menopause (which decreases testosterone and estrogen levels in your system) and plain ole' fatigue. From a mental perspective, two other factors to keep in mind are if you are currently battling with depression or anxiety whether it's due to a hormonal imbalance or trauma; they also can directly affect your libido levels.
If any of these resonate with you, it's important to make an appointment, first with your physician to see if what is going on with you is physical. Then, if all checks out, make it a priority to speak with a reputable counselor, therapist or life coach. While it is normal for libidos to slightly decrease with age, a healthy and consistent sex life does not discriminate. You deserve to have one. If you're not, you deserve to figure out what the deal is.
What Are the Signs That Your Sex Drive Is Getting Out of Control?
Although I've already touched on this a bit, now that you know a little more of what directly contributes to a high and low libido, it's important to keep in mind that, even if you are "blessed" with having a high sex drive, there is such a notion as too much of a good thing. What I mean by that is, sex addiction is very real (if you're curious if you possibly could be one, you can take a quick quiz here). Also, it's important for me to reiterate that some people don't enjoy sex so much as they use it as a coping mechanism for stress or being unable to effectively handle challenges and problems (or because they can't seem to get a grip on feelings of loneliness). Some other things that can be directly attributed to a sex drive that is out of control is bipolar disorder (due to feelings of mania) and even dementia (because you're not always in control of your mental faculties).
Like I said at the top of this, defining a high sex drive is not as cut-and-dry as some of us would probably like it to be. What I would say is keep in mind that "high" and "out of control" are two totally different things. If you do consider yourself to be in the high category, so long as you're fulfilled, your partner feels safe and pleasured in your space (because a lot of addicts are pretty sexually selfish) and you're able to live like a responsible human being, consider your libido a true blessing. But, if you just read all of this and you feel like you now see that your sexual appetite is spiraling, seek some help.
Sex is designed to be used, not abused. If it feels more like the latter, get your mind, body and spirit back in balance so that you can enjoy it from a much healthier space. Because sex is a healthy thing—when it's used wisely. Make sure that you do.
Want more stories like this? Sign up for our newsletter here to receive our latest articles and news straight to your inbox.
Featured image via Giphy