Just as how our mood is better on some days than others, our libido similarly fluctuates with highs and lows. But before you begin to wonder whether the problem is you, you have to recognise that sex drive is affected by several factors, many of which we may not even be aware of. Whether it's a new, demanding job that's burning you out or a lifestyle change, all these things can take a toll on your current state of desire. To get a better understanding of why you might be experiencing a sudden dip, we spoke with Stephanie Buehler, MPW, PsyD, CST-S, a licensed psychologist and AASECT-certified sex therapist at Hoag For Her Centre For Wellness.
- Alcohol: Many women may feel extra frisky after that second glass of wine, but alcohol has an "inverted-U" effect, according to Stephanie. "It can numb a woman's physical and emotional feelings, making her less interested in sex," she told POPSUGAR. Let's not forget that alcohol falls under the category of depressants.
- Marijuana: A Stanford study found that cannabis users enjoy better, more frequent sex, which makes sense considering how weed lowers inhibitions and enhances your senses. "While it can be an aphrodisiac for some women, for many women it can create a decrease in sexual interest, especially with chronic use because it decreases testosterone," Stephanie said.
- Painful intercourse: According to Stephanie, you'd be shocked at how many women continue to have painful sex, thinking that it's supposed to hurt. What they don't realise is that it's a sign that something is wrong. It's no wonder sex becomes something they no longer look forward to.
- Stress: Sex is just as mental as it is physical. And when you're not in the right state of mind, it can hinder sexual arousal.
- Resentment: If you've noticed that you're no longer in the mood to get it on with your partner, think about why. Oftentimes, it's built-up resentment from things that have gone unsaid for too long.
- Medications: Antidepressants in particular are known to lower sex drive. They help improve mood by increasing your serotonin levels but kill your libido in the process. If this is the case for you, discuss alternatives with your doctor.
- Medical conditions: Stephanie shared that diabetes, for example, is associated with depression, which can impact your interest in sex. Additionally, a condition like arthritis "can affect mobility and can cause discomfort, making having sex difficult and leading to decreased frequency," she said.