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What Exactly Is A High Sex Drive, Anyway?

Ever wonder what causes a libido to skyrocket and...what doesn't?

Sex

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?

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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?

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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?

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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.

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ACLU By ACLUSponsored

Over the past four years, we grew accustomed to a regular barrage of blatant, segregationist-style racism from the White House. Donald Trump tweeted that “the Squad," four Democratic Congresswomen who are Black, Latinx, and South Asian, should “go back" to the “corrupt" countries they came from; that same year, he called Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas," mocking her belief that she might be descended from Native American ancestors.

But as outrageous as the racist comments Trump regularly spewed were, the racially unjust governmental actions his administration took and, in the case of COVID-19, didn't take, impacted millions more — especially Black and Brown people.

To begin to heal and move toward real racial justice, we must address not only the harms of the past four years, but also the harms tracing back to this country's origins. Racism has played an active role in the creation of our systems of education, health care, ownership, and employment, and virtually every other facet of life since this nation's founding.

Our history has shown us that it's not enough to take racist policies off the books if we are going to achieve true justice. Those past policies have structured our society and created deeply-rooted patterns and practices that can only be disrupted and reformed with new policies of similar strength and efficacy. In short, a systemic problem requires a systemic solution. To combat systemic racism, we must pursue systemic equality.

What is Systemic Racism?

A system is a collection of elements that are organized for a common purpose. Racism in America is a system that combines economic, political, and social components. That system specifically disempowers and disenfranchises Black people, while maintaining and expanding implicit and explicit advantages for white people, leading to better opportunities in jobs, education, and housing, and discrimination in the criminal legal system. For example, the country's voting systems empower white voters at the expense of voters of color, resulting in an unequal system of governance in which those communities have little voice and representation, even in policies that directly impact them.

Systemic Equality is a Systemic Solution

In the years ahead, the ACLU will pursue administrative and legislative campaigns targeting the Biden-Harris administration and Congress. We will leverage legal advocacy to dismantle systemic barriers, and will work with our affiliates to change policies nearer to the communities most harmed by these legacies. The goal is to build a nation where every person can achieve their highest potential, unhampered by structural and institutional racism.

To begin, in 2021, we believe the Biden administration and Congress should take the following crucial steps to advance systemic equality:

Voting Rights

The administration must issue an executive order creating a Justice Department lead staff position on voting rights violations in every U.S. Attorney office. We are seeing a flood of unlawful restrictions on voting across the country, and at every level of state and local government. This nationwide problem requires nationwide investigatory and enforcement resources. Even if it requires new training and approval protocols, a new voting rights enforcement program with the participation of all 93 U.S. Attorney offices is the best way to help ensure nationwide enforcement of voting rights laws.

These assistant U.S. attorneys should begin by ensuring that every American in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons who is eligible to vote can vote, and monitor the Census and redistricting process to fight the dilution of voting power in communities of color.

We are also calling on Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to finally create a fair and equal national voting system, the cause for which John Lewis devoted his life.

Student Debt

Black borrowers pay more than other students for the same degrees, and graduate with an average of $7,400 more in debt than their white peers. In the years following graduation, the debt gap more than triples. Nearly half of Black borrowers will default within 12 years. In other words, for Black Americans, the American dream costs more. Last week, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, along with House Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Maxine Waters, and others, called on President Biden to cancel up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt per borrower.

We couldn't agree more. By forgiving $50,000 of student debt, President Biden can unleash pent up economic potential in Black communities, while relieving them of a burden that forestalls so many hopes and dreams. Black women in particular will benefit from this executive action, as they are proportionately the most indebted group of all Americans.

Postal Banking

In both low and high income majority-Black communities, traditional bank branches are 50 percent more likely to close than in white communities. The result is that nearly 50 percent of Black Americans are unbanked or underbanked, and many pay more than $2,000 in fees associated with subprime financial institutions. Over their lifetime, those fees can add up to as much as two years of annual income for the average Black family.

The U.S. Postal Service can and should meet this crisis by providing competitive, low-cost financial services to help advance economic equality. We call on President Biden to appoint new members to the Postal Board of Governors so that the Post Office can do the work of providing essential services to every American.

Fair Housing

Across the country, millions of people are living in communities of concentrated poverty, including 26 percent of all Black children. The Biden administration should again implement the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, which required localities that receive federal funds for housing to investigate and address barriers to fair housing and patterns or practices that promote bias. In 1980, the average Black person lived in a neighborhood that was 62 percent Black and 31 percent white. By 2010, the average Black person's neighborhood was 48 percent Black and 34 percent white. Reinstating the Obama-era Fair Housing Rule will combat this ongoing segregation and set us on a path to true integration.

Congress should also pass the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act, or a similar measure, to finally redress the legacy of redlining and break down the walls of segregation once and for all.

Broadband Access

To realize broadband's potential to benefit our democracy and connect us to one another, all people in the United States must have equal access and broadband must be made affordable for the most vulnerable. Yet today, 15 percent of American households with school-age children do not have subscriptions to any form of broadband, including one-quarter of Black households (an additional 23 percent of African Americans are “smartphone-only" internet users, meaning they lack traditional home broadband service but do own a smartphone, which is insufficient to attend class, do homework, or apply for a job). The Biden administration, Federal Communications Commission, and Congress must develop and implement plans to increase funding for broadband to expand universal access.

Enhanced, Refundable Child Tax Credits

The United States faces a crisis of child poverty. Seventeen percent of all American children are impoverished — a rate higher than not just peer nations like Canada and the U.K., but Mexico and Russia as well. Currently, more than 50 percent of Black and Latinx children in the U.S. do not qualify for the full benefit, compared to 23 percent of white children, and nearly one in five Black children do not receive any credit at all.

To combat this crisis, President Biden and Congress should enhance the child tax credit and make it fully refundable. If we enhance the child tax credit, we can cut child poverty by 40 percent and instantly lift over 50 percent of Black children out of poverty.

Reparations

We cannot repair harms that we have not fully diagnosed. We must commit to a thorough examination of the impact of the legacy of chattel slavery on racial inequality today. In 2021, Congress must pass H.R. 40, which would establish a commission to study reparations and make recommendations for Black Americans.

The Long View

For the past century, the ACLU has fought for racial justice in legislatures and in courts, including through several landmark Supreme Court cases. While the court has not always ruled in favor of racial justice, incremental wins throughout history have helped to chip away at different forms of racism such as school segregation ( Brown v. Board), racial bias in the criminal legal system (Powell v. Alabama, i.e. the Scottsboro Boys), and marriage inequality (Loving v. Virginia). While these landmark victories initiated necessary reforms, they were only a starting point.

Systemic racism continues to pervade the lives of Black people through voter suppression, lack of financial services, housing discrimination, and other areas. More than anything, doing this work has taught the ACLU that we must fight on every front in order to overcome our country's legacies of racism. That is what our Systemic Equality agenda is all about.

In the weeks ahead, we will both expand on our views of why these campaigns are crucial to systemic equality and signal the path this country must take. We will also dive into our work to build organizing, advocacy, and legal power in the South — a region with a unique history of racial oppression and violence alongside a rich history of antiracist organizing and advocacy. We are committed to four principles throughout this campaign: reconciliation, access, prosperity, and empowerment. We hope that our actions can meet our ambition to, as Dr. King said, lead this nation to live out the true meaning of its creed.

What you can do:
Take the pledge: Systemic Equality Agenda
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