Why is my sex drive so high all of a sudden?


6 Conditions That Might Put Your Sex Drive in Overdrive

The exact causes of overactive sex drive are unknown, but research shows there may be links between hypersexuality and other mental and physical health problems. Any of the following conditions could possibly lead to an overactive sex drive:

Bipolar disorder. This treatable mental illness is marked by extreme changes in mood — from the highs of mania to the lows of depression. Hypersexuality can be one of the symptoms of the mania phase. Once bipolar disorder is under control, hypersexuality symptoms should be, too.

Dementia. According to a report in the journal Advances in Psychiatric Treatment, it is quite common for people with dementia to exhibit sexually inappropriate behaviors, such as exposing themselves, using obscenities, masturbating, or propositioning other people. It affects men and women with dementia equally and is more common in people with severe dementia. Medications used to treat hypersexuality in people with dementia have had mixed results. Some therapy may help. Caregivers need to be educated about the disorder and understand that it is a symptom of the greater health issue.

Persistent genital arousal disorder. Women with this condition constantly feel sexually aroused and can’t rid themselves of their intense feelings — not even achieving orgasm helps. The intense feelings of arousal can last for days or weeks. Treatment often involves a combination of antidepressants, hormonal therapy, anaesthetizing gels, and behavioral therapy.

Rabies. A 28-year-old woman went to her doctor at the Sri Gokulam Hospital and Research Institute in Salem, Tamil Nadu, India, complaining of having an overactive sex drive. She died four days later, and an autopsy showed she had rabies. Doctors believe the virus inflamed her brain, which led to the hypersexuality. Seek medical treatment immediately if you are bitten by an animal and don’t know if it was vaccinated against rabies. By the time symptoms of rabies become obvious, it can be too late for successful treatment.

Klüver-Bucy syndrome. This rare neurobehavioral condition, stemming from brain damage, causes a variety of unusual symptoms, including inappropriate sexual behavior as well as putting unusual items in the mouth and not expressing typical responses to anger and fear. There’s no cure for the syndrome, and treatment involves therapy and medication.

Sexual addiction. A person with a sexual addiction has an overactive sex drive and is obsessed with sex. It may start innocently as an addiction to masturbation, pornography, or even a relationship, but it then progresses to increasingly dangerous behaviors, such as prostitution and sex in public places.

“Modern science can show quite conclusively that anything that increases dopamine production, which sex does, is potentially addictive,” says Ethlie Ann Vare, a film and TV writer, producer, and author of Love Addict: Sex, Romance and Other Dangerous Drugs. Dopamine, a brain chemical, helps regulate reward and pleasure, and Vare says that sex can be as addictive as gambling or alcohol.

Vondie Lozano, MFT, PhD, a licensed marriage and family therapist in the greater Los Angeles area, says that “sex becomes a way to deal with feelings, fears, painful emotions — just like alcoholics use alcohol or addicts use substances.”

The American Psychiatric Association is expected to add hypersexual disorder to its Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, the manual that mental health professionals use to classify mental disorders, when the latest revision is published next year.

Treatment for sexual addiction includes 12-step programs such as Sexaholics Anonymous, Sex Addicts Anonymous, and Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous. Talk therapy with a therapist specializing in sexual addictions also may be helpful.

Seeking Treatment for Hypersexuality

Sexual health problems may be more common than people realize or want to admit. If you think you have a sexual health problem, find the strength to seek treatment. With treatment, Vare says, you can modify your behavior and develop a new way of relating to people that isn’t sexual in nature.

Share this

  • Twitter
  • Email

You are free to share this article under the Attribution 4.0 International license.

University University of Texas at Austin

U. TEXAS-AUSTIN (US)—As more women wait until their 30s and 40s to have children, they are more willing to engage in a variety of sexual activities to capitalize on their remaining childbearing years, new research shows.

Such “reproduction expediting” includes one-night stands and adventurous bedroom behavior.

Researchers at the University of Texas at Austin found that women from 27- to 45-years-old have a heightened sex drive in response to their dwindling fertility. They report their findings in the July edition of Personality and Individual Differences.

In the study, the researchers split 827 women into three groups: high fertility (ages 18-26), low fertility (ages 27-45), and menopausal (ages 46 and up). The respondents answered an online questionnaire about their sexual attitudes and behavior.

Compared with the other groups, women with low fertility were more likely to experience:

  • Frequent sexual fantasies
  • Thoughts about sexual activities
  • More intense sexual fantasies than their younger counterparts
  • A more active sex life and willingness to have a one-night stand
  • A willingness to have casual sex

Contrary to their predictions, the researchers found that when comparing low- and high-fertility women who were in relationships, the older, less fertile group did not fantasize more about someone other than their current romantic partners. Instead they fantasized equally about their significant others and other romantic partners.

According to a 2010 report from the Pew Research Center’s Social & Demographic Trends, mothers of newborns in all race and ethnic groups are now older than their counterparts 20 years ago. Fourteen percent of births in 2008 were to women 35 and older, and 10 percent were to teens.

With more women having children past their peak childbearing years, Judith Easton, a psychology graduate student, says she believes the research will have implications on reproductive and sexual health issues, such as fertility, sexual dysfunction, and marital development.

“Our findings suggest that women don’t need to necessarily go ‘baby crazy’ in their 30s or go around thinking they’re supposed to be having a ‘sexual peak,’” says Easton. “Our results suggest there is nothing special about the 30s, but that instead these behaviors manifest in all women with declining fertility. It may be more difficult to conceive past the age of 35, but our research suggests women’s psychology will continue to motivate them to try until menopause.”

The study outlines for the first time the changes in women’s reproductive behavior across the life cycle from an evolutionary standpoint.

The researchers attribute these differences to ingrained psychological mechanisms rooted in each gender’s adaptive responses over millennia of human evolution.

More news from the University of Texas: www.utexas.edu/news/

Sudden drop in sex drive merits trip to doctor

Dear Doctork K: I’m a woman in my 50s. I’ve always had a healthy sex drive, but lately it’s gone bye-bye. What could be wrong?

Dear Reader: There aren’t a lot of people with a take-it-or-leave-it attitude about sex. We are sexual creatures, and for most of our lives, we are well aware of having sexual desire. So when you notice that it’s just not there, it is upsetting.

Many women report a loss of sexual desire. One huge survey of women in different countries found that more than 30 percent of women report this problem, to the point that it causes them distress. Loss of desire is most frequent among women in the 45 to 65 age group, and then tapers off after age 65.

There are many reasons for a decline in a person’s sex drive, some physical and some psychological. A decline in the production of estrogen with menopause is one reason, and most U.S. women enter menopause in their early 50s. The “male” hormones, androgens, are also made by women, in lower amounts. They are important in generating sexual desire.

A substantial fraction of female androgens are made by the ovaries. While female androgen levels remain relatively constant after menopause, removal of the ovaries (surgical menopause) can cause testosterone, the main type of androgen, to drop, and with it, sexual desire.

While sexual desire declines somewhat in women after menopause, a sudden drop for no good reason merits a trip to your doctor. He or she will look for physical causes to explain your diminished sex drive. Many chronic medical conditions can impinge on desire. So, too, can treatments for these conditions. Low libido may also stem from chronic pain that causes discomfort during intercourse. A common cause of such pain is the condition called endometriosis.

If there are no obvious physical causes to address, your doctor will explore your attitudes and feelings about sex. For example, has your relationship with your partner changed recently? Your doctor will also ask about depression, self-image, stress and fatigue.

If there may be a psychological or relationship issue, one option is sex therapy. The therapist may suggest that both you and your significant other participate. You will be encouraged to explore any negative feelings that may surround sex. Relationship-building exercises may be recommended to increase trust, communication and sensual awareness. You may also be taught stress-reduction techniques.

Medical treatments are also available. One option is hormone treatment with testosterone. As testosterone levels decline with age, a woman’s sexual interest and responsiveness may also drop off.

Another medical option is bupropion. This antidepressant may increase sexual desire and arousal even if you don’t have depression. It can also counter the negative sexual side effects of other antidepressant medications.

Finally, an experimental drug called flibanserin appears to boost female sexual desire. However, it has not been FDA-approved to treat low libido in women.

Most of my female patients who have experienced distressing lack of sexual desire have been helped by one of more of these treatments.

Dr. Anthony Komaroff is a physician and professor at Harvard Medical School. To send questions, go to AskDoctorK.com, or write: Ask Doctor K, 10 Shattuck St., Second Floor, Boston, Mass. 02115.

Can’t stop thinking about sex? If your sexual urges are all you think about, it might be quite distracting. From Tinder to Love Island, it can sometimes feel like we live in a society that focuses entirely on sex, so it’s normal to question your libido and wonder if your sex drive is above average, especially if your needs are not being met.

Psychosexual and relationship therapist Sarah Berry looks at when you should be concerned about your libido and offers her expert tips on lowering sex drive:

What is a ‘normal’ sex drive?

Every year scientists, PR reps and journalists concoct numerous surveys purporting to reveal what the average person thinks, feels and does during sex. The medical profession is rightly reluctant to link numbers to the human libidinal range.

In lieu of concrete determiners, we often gauge our personal sex drives by comparing ourselves to those of the people we sleep with, discuss sex with or choose to read about. But sexual desire is on a spectrum, which means there is no ‘normal’ when it comes to your sex drive and how often you might want to have sex.

When is a high sex drive a problem?

A high sex drive usually isn’t a problem if you do not feel ruled by your sexual urges or thoughts. If you have a high sex drive and are having all the satisfying sex you crave, then you might actually be rather pleased with it!

But you may struggle with your high sex drive if you experience any of the following:

✔️ You are not able to achieve satisfaction, no matter how much sex or masturbation you have.

✔️ You are not able to get the amount or type of sex you desire.

✔️ You are troubled or shamed by persistent fantasises.

✔️ You regularly sacrifice work, social or sleep time for your sexual exploits.

✔️ You have sore genitals from excessive sex or masturbation.

✔️ You habitually seek out unsatisfactory or risky sexual exploits.

✔️ You feel bad that your pursuit of sexual satisfaction prevents you from having a relationship.

An out of control sexuality can also be hard for those around you. You may think you are fine, but your boss, your partner or your mates might fear that you are spending too much time in the pursuit or sex. Either these people don’t understand you, or you are in denial about your problematic relationship with sex.

Related Story

What causes a high sex drive?

While increased sexual desire is perfectly normal for young people experiencing hormonal surges, if you are older, a number of other factors can impact your sex drive. A high sex drive can be a symptom of something medical – either a condition or the medication you take. This can include the results of Parkinson’s medication, some brain injuries, mania, hormonal imbalances and an overactive thyroid. If you do experience an unexplained change in your libido, it’s wise to get checked out by your doctor.

Other possible psychological and social causes can include:

  • Grief.
  • Stress, anxiety and depression.
  • Unresolved trauma – sexual or otherwise.
  • Shame surrounding one’s sexual preferences, experiences or body image.
  • A lack of fulfilment and/or control over one’s life.
  • Distorted beliefs around love, sex and intimacy.
  • A lack of self-esteem and/or social anxiety.
  • An all or nothing approach to life which can make downtime or boredom hard to cope with.
  • An inability to properly process one’s emotions.
  • Feeling stuck in relationship with someone who wants to have less sex.

Related Story

How can I lower my high sex drive?

If you are concerned that you have an overly high sex drive, try the following tips:

1. Talk about it

Whatever the cause, if you are not happy with your sex life, talking therapy can help you offload, explore thoughts, feelings, experiences and desires around sex, love, relationships and beyond. Establishing what you want from your life in general and then working out realistic ways to get it can help you feel more in control and less at the mercy of your urges.

2. Interrupt your urges

When I ask sexually compulsive clients if they have ever not acted on a sexual urge – whether it’s masturbating in the office loos or booking an appointment with a sex worker — they often say no. Understanding that sexual urges – much like cravings for cigarettes or cake – do pass if un-fuelled by yearning thoughts or actions, can be a revelation.

If you become aroused and you want to not act on your urges, here are a few things you can do:

✔️ Try mental gymnastics, for example practice your 26 times table.

✔️ Focus on something else; search your surroundings for squares or anything blue.

✔️ Refer to a list you’ve made about how great your partner is, or what you will gain from not acting out.

✔️ Download a CBT help sheet like this and work out what may have exacerbated your urge. Are you bored? Hungover? Hungry? Tired? Stressed? Had a row with someone? This can help you to see patterns and then gain control.

Related Story

3. Channel your energy

Some people derive great relief, pleasure and pride from channelling their sexual energy into other things. This could mean doing something creative, physical, thrilling or spiritual. Popular pursuits include long distance running, dancing, learning the guitar, abseiling, DIY, cooking, yoga and Tantra.

4. Work on finding satisfying sex

High sex drives can be particularly tormenting for those who struggle to find sexual partners. I help such clients explore ways to build confidence, improve how they relate to others (including being open, curious and complimentary without seeming creepy), discover ways to meet possible sexual partners — for example online, on courses, or at MeetUp events — and learn ways to have sex with someone they might care about, which usually involves embracing the wonderful realities of non-pornified human nature.

Hook up sites, sex parties or sex professionals can help some people satisfy their urges but they aren’t always sustainable solutions for people with high sex drives. They don’t always guarantee sex – let alone satisfying sex. They may also go against the person’s moral compass, lead to overspending or preclude intimacy.

5. Work through relationship issues

Some high sex drive people in monogamous relationships frequently beg their partner for sex. This is very bad form. It’s not sexy and, whether or not they give in, can kill off whatever sexual feelings their partner has for them, as even tender affection is viewed as a hopeful route to sex.

When couples with mismatched libidos come to me, I ask them both what they wish their sex life would look like. Sometimes it’s helpful to schedule times to connect and be intimate. During these times they could choose to do things like go on a date, have a top half only make out session, be naked without worrying about being aroused (maybe holding each other or having a bath), or having sex.

I’ve heard clients with higher libidos argue that they be allowed to have sex outside the relationship. While open relationships can work, it’s best when it’s seen as an exciting thing that both partners can participate in.

Related Story

6. Take something to lower your sexual urges

If your sexual urges are occupying your every waking thought and becoming problematic, there are a few things you can take to decrease your sex drive:

Anaphrodisiacs: Just as aphrodisiacs such as oysters or chocolate are said to enhance the libido, anaphrodisiacs are said to dull it. There are a number of food ingredients, herbs and supplements that fall into this category including soy, liquorice, chasteberry, hops and wild lettuce.

Antidepressants: much has been much written about antidepressants, particularly SSRIs, dulling the libido. Antipsychotics can also have this side affect. While they are not specifically designed to lower the sex drive, some doctors do prescribe them for this reason.

Reversible chemical castration: hormone drug therapy can often be seen as a last resort. While women can have problematic sex drives, at present these drugs are only being prescribed to men. Cyproterone and Triptorelin both lower the production of testosterone. This treatment is basically a reversible chemical castration.

Change your medication: if your medication is causing you to feel more aroused than usual, it may be possible to change your medication or lower the dosage – enough to take the edge of the urges but still to help what whatever it is you are taking it for. Always seek medical advice before changing your medication.

Related Story

Help and support

If you need further advice or support about anything related to sexuality, try one of the following resources:

  • Association of the treatment of Sexual Compulsivity and Addiction: find resources and therapists UK-wide.
  • Sex Addicts Anonymous (SAA) and Sex And Love Addicts Anonymous (SLAA): support groups based on the 12 steps approaches:
  • StopSo: a charity helping to stop sex offending, with resources and a UK-wide therapist directory.
  • Lucy Faithful: victims and sex offenders can call the Stop It Now helpline on 0808 1000 900 or visit lucyfaithfull.org.uk, a charity devoted to stopping child abuse.
  • Paula Hall: Sex Addiction therapist Paula Hall has written the seminal books Understanding & Treating Sex Addiction and Sex Addiction: The Partner’s Perspective.

Last updated: 13-11-19

Sarah Berry Sex and relationship therapist Sarah Berry is an accredited and experienced sex & relationship therapist, who helps individuals, clients and groups with issues covering all aspects of the gender, sexuality and relational fields.

How normal is your sex drive?

Pleasing the partner

Lastly, it should be pointed out that sex life and sex drive should not be confused: many individuals consent to sex without necessarily wanting it or enjoying it, often to please their partner.

“Yes, but that’s not always negative, or it doesn’t have to be. Often that is seen as a gift, or a demonstration of love, even if they don’t actually feel the drive,” says Murphy. “But I also think there is a lot more couples can do about that than they’re aware, rather than just thinking, for example, oh it’s a Saturday morning, we must do it.

“If they discussed the topic, there is probably a lot more they could do to make sex more desirable and interesting.”

Low sex drive is estimated to affect about 30 per cent of men at some stage during their lives.

The Irish Times sex survey in 2015 shed some fascinating light into the sex lives of more than 12,000 people in Ireland. Here are some of the results:

33 per cent said their sex drives were “about the same” as their partners. However, 45 per cent said their sex drive was higher than their partner’s, while 22 per cent said their partner’s was higher than their own.

44 per cent of all sexually active participants said they have sex at least once a week, including 14 per cent who have sex three times or more each week. For couples who have been together more than one year, the average is once a week.

61 per cent of respondents said they have had fewer than 11 sexual partners in their lifetime.

The most sexually active age group is the 25-34 category.

40 per cent of heterosexual men reported they have had 11 or more partners, compared with 32 per cent of heterosexual women.

Heterosexual men are more likely to have had one-night stands (73%) compared with 66% of heterosexual women.

Carlow-born sex columnist Suzi Godson moved to London aged 18. Author of The Body Bible, Sex Counsel and the award-winning The Sex Book, she has written a weekly sex and relationships column for the Times newspaper in the UK for the past 10 years.

“In reality, if we lived in a world where men and women possessed equal appetites for sex, where would the sexual tension be? Human sexuality seems to be based on the principle of opposing polarities and the male and female coupling appear to be a biological illustration of positive and negative electromagnetic interaction.

“Our differing sexual drives are matched in turn by our differently functioning, but complementary, reproductive systems. If we accept that our biology is not by accident but design, then it makes sense to accept our distinctive libidos as a part of that. Although men might argue to the contrary, if men and women had exactly the same drives, sex would almost certainly lose some of its appeal.”

Godson cites a 1998 research paper by KC Berridge and TE Robinson in the US. The professors determined that dopamine, the neurotransmitter which motivates us to seek sex, is stimulated by unpredictability. As well, functional magnetic resonance imaging scans have demonstrated that the anticipation of a reward generates more neural activity than the actual reward itself.

“As such, as soon as something, anything, that we enjoy becomes both accessible and predictable, we are inclined to lose interest in it,” Godson says. “The gap between male and female libidos means that sex is never inevitable and this creates a variable schedule of reinforcement where reward cannot be presumed.”

Is Your Sex Drive Normal? Probably.

Libido stereotypes

Let’s get one stereotype out of the way: Men don’t want sex at dramatically higher rates than women. In general, men and women tend to think about sex equally as often, though the thought processes of individual people obviously differ.

The true difference is in the way people define sex, Anawalt says. Men tend to define the act by a familiar formula: erection, orgasm and ejaculation. Women’s definitions are broader, in part because most women don’t have the same kinds of visual cues for sexual arousal.

Even then, there isn’t as strong a link between sexual desire and sexual arousal for women, research shows. Women can be sexually aroused without actually wanting to have sex—and vice versa.

Men are also more visual when it comes to sex, says Anawalt. Though research has found that visual sexual stimuli activate the same neural network in both men and women, men’s brains respond more strongly.

The sway of hormones…or not

Three hormones are related to interest in sex: Testosterone, estrogen and oxytocin. Contrary to popular belief, testosterone is not only important for men and estrogen only important for women.

Testosterone increases someone’s desire for sex; in men, it actually needs to be converted into estrogen by the body to have its full effect, Anawalt says. Estrogen is also important for women because it helps prevent vaginal dryness, which can make sex painful. Oxytocin is often referred to as the “cuddle hormone” because it makes you want to physically connect with someone after sex, instead of looking for the door.

Interestingly, however, hormones alone are not as powerful in determining libido as we typically think they are.

“Hormones tend to be a tiny component of sex drive,” Anawalt says.

It’s complicated

What does play a big role in affecting libido? Pretty much anything else, actually.

Past experiences (good or bad), availability of a willing sexual partner, physical and mental health, what stage you’re at in your relationship—all of these things, and more, can affect someone’s libido, Anawalt says.

Medications can have a particularly powerful effect, says Anawalt. Antidepressants prevent the brain from reabsorbing serotonin and dopamine, two neurotransmitters that play a role in libido. Conversely, people who are on medication for Parkinson’s disease may be more interested in sex because the dopamine in their brain is being constantly replenished, Anawalt says.

And, though we don’t like to admit it, sex is also a habit we can slack off on—kind of like exercise. Part of what makes us want to exercise more is just going and, for lack of a better phrase, doing it, even when we aren’t completely enthusiastic about it.

“Sex is a physical activity, like taking a shower or going for a walk or stretching, except there are more barriers to it. When you exercise, that’s between you and yourself. With sex, another person is involved—a person who maybe insulted you yesterday, for instance. There are all these variables,” Anawalt says.

And, like any activity, if you aren’t feeling good about it after the fact for whatever reason, that can create a negative feedback loop that prevents you from wanting to participate again, Anawalt says.

Instead of worrying about whether you’re “normal” or not, recognize that sex drive can fluctuate, and that there is a broad spectrum of what’s considered normal to doctors.

After all, as Anawalt says: “Sex is complicated.”

The Struggles Of Being A Woman With A High Sex Drive

Men are expected to have high sex drives, while women are expected to make excuses about headaches to get out of having to sleep with them. While that’s the case in some relationships, it’s not the way it works for every couple. Sometimes women are much more interested in sex than men. Whether that’s a gift or a curse is up to you, but this is what life is like when you’re a woman with a high sex drive:

We get distracted easily.

It’s hard to focus in class because we keep fantasizing about the cute boy across the room. It’s just as difficult to deal with customers at work because we’re wondering what they look like naked. Even using the Internet is hard, because watching sex online is always a click away.

We have to teach the guys we sleep with.

Women with high sex drives aren’t foolish enough to fake an orgasm. If we did, then our sexual desire would never go away. That’s why we won’t pretend that a man is doing a good job in bed when he isn’t. We’ll offer him constructive criticism so that we both get the best experience possible.

Sometimes our sex toys are better than actually getting laid.

Men aren’t the only ones who are skilled in the art of masturbation. Luckily, we don’t need to use our hands in order to orgasm. We can buy dildos and vibrators that do most of the work for us. Sometimes, it beats having a one-night stand.

We’re always initiating.

We’re usually tasked with having to make the first move, because we crave sex more often than our partners do. That’s why we aren’t afraid to touch our man’s thighs, start kissing him, or rip off his clothes. If we want sex, then we’re smart enough to ask for it.

We love having quickies.

Every woman loves foreplay, but when you have a high sex drive, you don’t mind the occasionally quickie. In fact, it can be way more exciting to have sex for five minutes in a bathroom stall than to rub up against each other in bed for an hour.

Some people can’t handle how openly we talk about sex.

Some people cringe when they hear the word “clitoris,” but we aren’t like them. We don’t mind talking to our friends about our favorite positions, our number of partners, and what condom brands we use. After all, it’s healthy to talk openly about sex.

We realize we can’t have sex “whenever we want.”

Men assume that single women can have sex whenever they want, because all they have to do is walk up to a man and ask him back to her place. However, they’re forgetting about the chances of us contracting an STD, getting pregnant, or getting brutally murdered by a stranger. They’re all possibilities when you’re a woman.

There’s nothing left to learn about our own bodies.

We’ve had every type of orgasm there is. In fact, we’ve masturbated enough to know exactly how our bodies respond to certain touches. After all, if we don’t know what makes us tick, how could we expect a man to ever figure it out?

We get upset over rejections.
News flash: Men don’t actually want sex all the time. Occasionally, their stomaches hurt, they’re overstressed, or they’re just not in the mood. Of course, women are told that men are always ready to jump in the sack, which is why the constant rejections can make us wonder if we’re undesirable. That can cause our confidence to plummet.

Sex needs to be steamy.
There’s more to a marriage than sex. However, we know the value of intercourse. If we want to be with someone for the rest of our life, we need to enjoy the feel of the person’s body. If we don’t feel a strong physical connection, then we know the emotional connection will eventually break.

Sponsored: The best dating/relationships advice on the web. Check out Relationship Hero a site where highly trained relationship coaches get you, get your situation, and help you accomplish what you want. They help you through complicated and difficult love situations like deciphering mixed signals, getting over a breakup, or anything else you’re worried about. You immediately connect with an awesome coach on text or over the phone in minutes. Just click here…

Sexual desire can change from moment to moment. One minute you’re feeling frisky, and the next you just feel like a cup of tea and a nap.

Even though sexual desire is exciting and pretty important in terms of how we ended up here, research on when and why we experience sexual desire is limited.

Our research seeks to shed some light on the nature of sexual desire; how it differs between people and within the same person.

Do men have a stronger sex drive?

Are men hot-blooded, sex-driven creatures that think about sex every seven seconds? Not quite. Men do think about sex more than women (34 times compared to 19 times a day – so about every 1,700 seconds), but men also think about food and sleep more than women. So, men are needs-driven creatures, not sex-driven per se.

It should also be noted women are far from sexless creatures, around 20 separate sexual thoughts per day is well over one per waking hour.

Do we desire sex less as we age?

Age is another thing we might think has a big effect on sexual desire. A study of adults aged 18-59 found as we get older we are more prone to sexual dysfunctions. For example, older men are more likely to experience erectile dysfunction and older women are more likely to experience difficulty lubricating, which can lead to vaginismus (pain during sex).

However, ageing is not necessarily associated with a decrease in sexual desire. Two national surveys of Finnish adults aged 18-74 and 18-81 found once a number of other factors were accounted for, including sexual functioning, attitudes towards sex, and relationship closeness, ageing had no effect on sexual desire.

Ageing was, however, related to having sex less often, even after controlling for these factors. So perhaps older people feel just as frisky as they did when they were in their 20s, but, for whatever reason, they are less likely to engage in sex.

We still have the desire as we age, but don’t have sex as much. from www..com

Does a high sex drive mean better sex?

Sexual desire, unsurprisingly, is important for our relationship and sexual satisfaction. In one study focusing on couples, they found the more people experienced sexual desire throughout the day, the better their sex lives.

The important point here is that we shouldn’t “switch off” sexually during the day – a healthy fantasy life that boosts our desire outside the bedroom could lead to a better time once the bedroom door is closed and the action begins.

Feeling like sex versus feeling like a nap

When it comes to what factors control sexual desire, hormones are important to consider. For men, as levels of testosterone increase, sexual desire is also likely to rise. For women, however, the effect of testosterone and other hormones on desire is less clear.

There is some evidence women’s sexual desire changes at different stages of their ovulatory cycle. One study found that as levels of testosterone increased (mostly during the time around ovulation: days 12-15), women engaged in more sexual activity.

This association was stronger among women not in a relationship compared to women with a partner. Hence, women’s hormones do appear to play some role in controlling sexual desire, and this effect may be especially strong among single women.

A common belief is that the contraceptive pill diminishes women’s libido. However, a review of existing research found no consistent effect of the pill on women’s libido; most women experienced no change in libido as a result of taking the pill, some experienced a slight increase, and others a slight decrease.

But what about psychological and environmental factors? Does desire change depending on who we’re with? Does it change depending on how we feel about our bodies, or stress, or alcohol consumption? These questions are yet to be tested, so at present, the impact of daily life on sexual arousal remains largely a mystery.

If you would like to find out when and why your sexual desire changes, to participate in our study.

11 Signs Your High Sex Drive Might Be Unhealthy & A Sign Of Sex Addiction

There is nothing wrong with having lots of sex. I repeat, there is nothing wrong with having lots of sex. If you want to do it all day long with your partner, or masturbate until the cows come home, then please feel free. But it is important to know that a super high sex drive can be unhealthy, at times, especially for those who have a sex addiction.

When your desire to have sex crosses into this realm, you might notice all sorts of unwanted side effects — problems at work, relationship issues, etc. There’s also the fact sex is often used as a way to deal with uncomfortable emotions, which is of course not a sustainable or healthy way to live.

So, how do you know if your high sex drive has become an issue? “In general, if something is overwhelmingly intrusive in one’s life and prevents from achieving goals or living a healthy lifestyle on an ongoing basis, it can be considered to be a problem,” says Laurel Steinberg, PhD, NYC-based sexologist and relationship therapist, tells Bustle. If you skip work to have sex, use sex to mask negative emotions, or if thoughts of getting laid swirl around in your head to a distracting degree, it may be time to seek help. Below are a few telltale signs to watch out for.

1. You Always Choose Sex Over Seeing Your Friends

If your high sex drive has become a problem, it might start taking precedence over everything else in your life, including going out and seeing friends. As Alexandra Katehakis, PhD, the clinical director of Center for Healthy Sex tells Bustle, you might feel preoccupied, miss out on fun plans,, or keep your calendar open with the hope of hooking up.

While it’s obviously OK to do this occasionally, getting laid shouldn’t be your one and only goal. As with anything in life, it’s all about striking a balance, and being open to many different experiences. So if you find that you only have one goal (having sex) you might find it helpful to reach out to a therapist, and let them know.

2. You Feel The Need To Justify Your Sex Drive

When things get out of control in the sex department, you might start comforting yourself with thoughts like “I’m not hurting anyone” or “I’m just having fun!” And both of those things are true.

But keep an eye out for signs you need to constantly convince yourself that these thoughts are OK. While you never have to make excuses for yourself, constantly justifying your actions may be a sign your sex drive is too high, Katehakis says, and it means it’s taking up just a little too much of your brain space.

3. Your Responsibilities Are Falling By The Wayside

Have you gotten fired because you left work to hook up? Or did you forget to walk your dog because you were too busy scrolling through Tinder? As Steinberg says, “Signs that a high drive for may not be healthy are if it prevents from fulfilling all of various roles and responsibilities.”

Everyone drops the ball on occasion, so it’s not a sign of a problem if you leave dirty dishes in the sink one night, because you decided you’d rather masturbate. It may be a warning sign, however, if things like this keep happening, of it’s having a large, negative impact on your life.

4. You Use Sex To Deal With Tough Emotions

If you use sex as a way to numb your pain, or as a way to feel validated and loved, it may be worth a close look. As Katehakis says, sex can make you feel better in the moment, but it isn’t a healthy way to deal with your problems in the long run.

Sure, it’s one thing to go out looking for a fun hookup, as a way to spice up your life or perk up your mood. But if this is happening in place of other healthy habits, such as seeing friends, going to therapy, exercising, etc., it may mean it’s time to make a few adjustments.

5. You Use It To Cope With Anxiety

Dusan Petkovic/

Speaking of tough emotions, if you think you’re having tons of sex as a way to cope with anxiety, take note. As Katehakis says, “The end game can also be about numbing out completely for life,” so if it feels like that’s your one and only emotion for having sex, it could be a sign it’s no longer healthy.

While sex is fun, it’s not always the best way to deal with unwanted or painful feelings. It can be a part of your life, but it’ll be important to seek other outlets, too.

6. You Don’t Let Feelings Get Involved

Sex doesn’t always have to be about love and/or feelings. If you enjoy going out and hooking up with cute strangers, then keep doing your thing. (As long as you’re safe.)

It may be time to rethink your ways, however, if that’s the only kind of sex you ever have, or if you take great pains to keep feelings at bay. For example, as Katehakis says, it can be a sign of sex addiction if you have lots of sex without concern for whether or not the other people care about you.

7. It’s Causing Stress In Your Relationship

While you can hope for a partner with an equally high sex drive, it’s not guaranteed your desires will match up perfectly. When they don’t, Steinberg says it can cause stress and arguments in your relationship, as one of you is never getting what they want.

Keep in mind, however, that the mismatch might also have to do with your partner’s lower libido and not necessarily a sex addiction, so you won’t want to jump to conclusions. If you’re always the one pushing for more sex, though, it may be something to think about.

8. It’s All You Can Think About

If you zone out at work with steamy fantasies playing through your mind, or if you constantly need to sneak off to the bathroom for some “alone time,” it may be a sign you’ve crossed the line into addiction zone.

If you’re addicted to sex, it’ll always be on your mind, Steinberg says. Daydreams and fantasies are one thing, but you should be able to think about others things, too. If it’s becoming difficult, check in with yourself to figure out whether or not it seems like a problem. There’s a chance it isn’t holding you back, and you just like to think about sex. And that’s that.

But if you feel distracted, or keep leaving work unattended, you may want to let a therapist know.

9. It’s All You Ever Talk About

While every group needs that one saucy friend, take note if everything you say is about sex, sex, sex. Maybe you have nothing else to share, except your recent exploits. Or just assume that’s what everyone else wants to talk about, too, even though they keep trying to change the subject.

It can be a sign of sex addiction if you catch yourself talking about it “incessantly,” Steinberg says. Of course, you should feel free to be sexual and have fun, be honest with friends, and chat about hookups. But it’s not considered typical to be positively obsessed.

10. You’re Constantly Scheming About Your Next Hook Up

It’s certainly fun to plan hooks up and get excited for a hot date. But it may be cause for concern if that’s the only thing you do with your spare time, or if you can’t put your phone down lest you miss a Tinder connection.

If you have a sex addiction, you “may be overly-focused on scheming to achieve it, all the time, every day — and this often includes intercourse with several partners,” Steinberg says. If it’s negatively impacting your or if you want to stop but can’t, consider it officially unhealthy.

11. You’re Always Caught Up In A Web Of Lies

If you are going out of your way to lie to yourself and others in order to fulfill a need for sex, or if you sped so much time on it that it interferes with other aspects of your life, then there may be an addiction, Dr. Cristina Bosch and Dr. John Robinson, of The Hormone Zone tell Bustle, When that happens, it’s a sign you subconsciously know your sex drive is a bit out of balance, and yet you’re trying to make it seem OK.

Remember, your sexuality isn’t anything to be ashamed of. You can have sex all day long. You can hook up and have multiple partners. And you can spend hours fantasizing and checking dating apps. It’s only time to worry when it feels like an obsession, or if it starts to negatively impact your life. If that feels like the case, don’t be afraid to talk with a therapist, and get some advice.

High Sex Drive: Explanation, Causes, and Management

While many people would consider a high sex drive anything but a problem, if you’re single, or with a partner who is less driven by sex than you, an overactive libido can cause friction of the decidedly unsexy variety. If you suspect your sex drive is too high for comfort, here are some things you can consider.

What is a high sex drive?

A high sex drive or “overactive libido” can look like a lot of things. On the extreme end of the spectrum, a person may obsess about sex, compulsively pursue sexual experiences, or take great risks with sex, including choices that may cause emotional or physical harm to themselves or others. Some people may put themselves in financial jeopardy by compulsively spending money on sex workers or pornography. Other people may just find that they desire sex more than comfortably fits into their life. For instance, new parents or people with demanding jobs may find that desiring sex is frustrating because it pulls their attention away from other activities they consider more important. Rarely, physical disorders can cause “hyperarousal” where even neutral touch can cause a wave of intense pleasure or even orgasm in people.

Should I be worried?

If you suspect you have an abnormally high libido, it’s a good idea to examine your expectations of “normal.” Ask yourself these questions:

  • What does a “normal” sex drive look like? How many times a week do I think I should want sex? What is normal amount to masturbate? How different are my desires from my expectations?
  • Where does this metric come from? Did I read it somewhere? Did someone tell me? Have I been shamed or humiliated by my desires? Have I been told I’m “abnormal” by someone other than my doctor or therapist?
  • Is my pursuit of sex or sexual materials (like pornography or sexting) interfering with my life? Am I spending more than I can afford on sex? Am I putting my job, family, or relationship at risk by my interest in sex?
  • Is my high sex drive a new development? Did something change in my life that may have contributed to this change?
  • Am I putting extraordinary pressure on my partner to have sex, even when they aren’t interested? Am I making unreasonable demands? Is my sexual desire putting a strain on my relationship?
  • Do I abuse alcohol or drugs when engaging in sex?
  • Do I engage in risky sex that puts my emotional or physical health in peril?
  • How do I feel after sex or masturbation? Am I ashamed of myself? Do I feel like a bad person?

The fact is, everyone’s version of a “normal” sex drive is different. What matters is how your sex drive or interest in sex affects the rest of your life. If you feel unbalanced or out of control, you may want to seek out treatments.

Causes of high sex drive

Some high sex drive can be traced to health disorders. For instance, high sex drive is often a symptom of disorders including hyperadrenalism, hormonal imbalances, bipolar disorder or various impulse control disorders. An increased libido is usually just one of many symptoms that are part of these health concerns. If your high libido is accompanied by other physical or mental symptoms, it’s a good idea to discuss this with your doctor.

Other causes of a high sex drive many not be as easy to pin down with a blood test. Child sexual abuse, for instance, sometimes manifests later in life as hypersexuality or compulsive sexual behavior. A high libido is also sometimes caused by life changes. Many women, at various times during pregnancy, report a markedly increased interest in sex. Often after the pregnancy is over, the woman’s sex drive will return to normal. Other women report an increased sex drive during menopause, when the ovaries stop producing estrogen, and testosterone becomes more dominant. This can cause frustration because while a woman’s interest in sex increases, her ability to enjoy it can be decreased by other menopausal changes including decreased vaginal lubrication. These concomitant issues are often easily mitigated with medication.

How to Manage Your High Sex Drive

Remember, a high sex drive isn’t a problem to be solved unless it’s causing emotional ormental strife. If you have a partner with an equally high libido, or if you enjoy casual sex, there’s no reason to worry. However, if your desire or interest is interfering with the rest of your life, it’s a good idea to seek treatment.

  • Talk to your doctor. Your doctor may do a blood test to rule out hormonal oradrenaline issues. They may be able to prescribe medication or treatments.
  • Consider seeing a therapist or coach. If you suspect your sex drive is influenced by mental health disorders, abuse history, or compulsivity, a therapist may be able to help.
  • Seek out mindful sex practices. If you feel like you pursue sex even when it isn’t fulfilling or nourishing, or if you feel disconnected from your body, consider researching different mindfulness techniques. Tantra, sexological bodywork, yoga, and even meditation can all help you develop a fulfilling relationship between your mind and body, helping you make better choices regarding your sex life.
  • Exercise or highly physical hobbies can help “burn off” sexual energy. Consider picking up running, hiking, weight lifting, dancing, or other ways to channel your sexual energy so you have more control.
  • Explore your sexuality in healthy ways that don’t make you feel bad about your self.

Sexual health is an essential component to overall health. As with all things, balance is key. Sexuality is best when it fits comfortably into your life, neither suppressed nor overwhelming. By investigating medical, emotional, and physical resources, you may be able to find the perfect balance of sex in your life.

Next read How to Fix a Sexless Relationship and Learn to Talk Dirty.

About the author

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *