What is Libido? (+ How to Improve Yours!)

If you are looking to gain an understanding of what libido is, how to improve your libido, or how to help a partner to increase their libido, you are in the right place. In this article, we will discuss the definition of libido, factors that influence libido levels, and how to maximize yours!

What is the meaning of “libido”?

The term “libido” refers to sexual desire and drive.

Many people want to know exactly how many times they should be having sex each week, to determine whether or not they have a healthy libido. Unfortunately, it isn’t quite that simple. A healthy libido looks vastly different between every individual, making it practically impossible to calculate what “normal” looks like.

While some people may find themselves desiring sex daily, some may only find themselves desiring it once a year. However, whatever is natural and comfortable for you, is normal.

What happens when we are unhappy with our libido levels? Perhaps you wished that you desired sex more often- for whatever reason. There are ways to increase libido levels. Keep reading to find out what they are!

But first, let’s check out what factors influence libido.

What factors influence libido?

The interesting thing about libido is that it is unique to every individual, and it is made up of multiple different factors.

Some factors may weigh heavily on one person, while barely having any impact at all on another. Go through the following list, taking note of which categories are most significant in your life right now:

Social Factors

  • The emotional intimacy of the sexual relationship can have a profound impact on sexual drive.
  • Societal norms and roles
  • Influences of media on what a person’s sex life should look like

Hormonal Factors

  • Heightened testosterone levels have been thought to increase libido levels, making it common for males to have a higher natural sex drive than women (Van Anders, Sari M)
  • It has been suggested that the fluctuating hormones associated with a female’s menstrual cycle impact libido. (Brown, S.G. 2011)

Other factors

  • Stress releases the hormone “cortisol” in the body, which suppresses sex hormones, therefore suppressing sex drive.
  • Physical insecurity can lead to stress and other troubling emotions, negating sex drive altogether.

Ways to Improve Libido in Women and Men

As easy as it would be to say that eating more dark chocolate would increase your libido, the most beneficial thing that you can do is to address the factors that are influencing your libido, one by one.

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do I have an emotionally gratifying, trusting relationship with the partner I will be having sex with?
  • Am I satisfied with my role in society? My career?
  • Have I perceived skewed realities of what sex should be?
  • Do I obsess over comparing my sex life to the lives of others?
  • Am I familiar with how the different stages of my menstrual cycle impact me? (for females)
  • What are some ways that I can relieve stress?
  • Do I have any physical insecurities that I need to address?
  • Have I engaged in self-care recently?

Connecting and conversing with a partner, friend, trusted person, or therapist can be very beneficial in getting your libido to the level you want it to be.

If you continue to struggle with your libido, there could be a medical factor impacting you. If you suspect that this could be the case, don’t hesitate to connect with your healthcare professional.

References

van Anders SM. Testosterone and sexual desire in healthy women and men. Arch Sex Behav. 2012 Dec;41(6):1471-84. doi: 10.1007/s10508-012-9946-2. Epub 2012 May 3. PMID: 22552705. Brown, S.G., Calibuso, M.J. & Roedl, A.L. Women’s Sexuality, Well-Being, and the Menstrual Cycle: Methodological Issues and Their Interrelationships. Arch Sex Behav 40, 755–765 (2011). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10508-010-9630-3

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