The media create stereotypes that men are more sexually active and needy than women. Yet, where is the evidence?
Yes, testosterone is a key driver for sex. Yes, is typically higher in men than women. But, that does not verify that men are more sexually active or have a higher sex drive than women.
Today, we will share all the facts and knowledge you need and will want to know about sex drive, hormones, loss of libido and myths for both genders:
What is Sex Drive?
Sex drive is a persons libido. In simple terms, libido refers to the desire for a person to want to have sex. Therefore, loss of libido therefore refers to a reduced sex drive. Everyone’s libido is different. It can increase and decrease due to physical, mental and biological factors.
There is not a definition of a normal libido, because that does not exist. One person’s normal state of libido will be different to another. This is due to every individual having a different physical, mental and biological life.
The physical changes in sex drive is often due to stress and current health conditions. Biological impacts can be a change in hormones and is typically out of a person’s control. Mental aspects are often the most common cause of loss of libido and can be due to anything from intimacy issues to depression.
An abnormally high sex drive is also something to discuss here. This is often referred to as sex compulsion. This results in a persons sex drive feeling out of control. Out of control sexual behaviour (OCSB) or sex compulsion is often defined by a person being secretive, dependant and unfulfilled about sex. It leaves them wanting more and this can lead to further complications.
An overactive libido can cause a sense of unfulfillment in a person’s life. This can impact behavioural and mental aspects of a person’s everyday life. Similar to a loss of libido. A dramatic increase or decrease in sex drive can both create a sense of unfulfillment and mental stress.
Sex drive can be up, down or balanced. But, no state of sex drive is considered normal. As everyone’s normal state of libido is different and unique to them. It varies depending on a variety of factors.
It is common to have your own perceptions about sex drive and loss of libido due to myths and sexual stereotypes. Let’s discuss more:
Perceptions about Sex Drive (Men and Women)
Men are often considered as more hypersexual than women. The reason for this being down due media outlets forming stereotypes of men being obsessed with sex. For decades films, magazines and books have stereotyped women as being sexual objects. Then, for the men to be the sexual instigator or dominator.
This stereotyping is based on fiction and not science. There is no physical or scientific evidence to conclude that men are actually sex obsessed. Although there may be numerous perceptions of men being more hypersexual than women due to stereotyping, we do not know if certain genders actually make a difference on sex drive.
Science has revealed that men are in fact more relaxed and willing to partake in casual sex than women. One study found that men were more open to casual sex opportunities in a social environment.
Yet, another study found that women can be equally as open to casual sex in a more privatised environment.
These studies demonstrate that there can be sex drive gender differences, but only due to environmental factors. Thus, the common perceptions are not accurate.
Studies show that if both genders are placed in a comfortable environment, these gender differences can be dismissed. Again, sex drive is different due to many factors, not their gender.
With these perceptions in mind, let’s take a further look into the stereotypes and myths about the male sex drive:
Stereotypes and Myths about the Male Sex Drive
Men are more sexually active
On average, men do engage with more casual sex. This fact might make it seem that they are more sexually active. But, that is not necessarily the case. Put aside casual sex. Relationships consist of both men and women, and both partners are therefore sexually active.
There is not enough evidence to verify which gender is more sexually active. Yet, both genders can be as sexually active as one another. It is down to individual needs and desires rather than stereotyping genders.
Men think about sex all the time
It is a common misconception than men think about sex all day long. If that was the case, the male species would never get anything done.
It is common and normal for both genders to think about sex. Whether that be more often than an average individual, that will depend on the person not their gender.
A report by Ohio State University found that young men think about sex on average around 19 times per day. Where as young women think about sex on average 10 times daily. Whilst the study found that men think about sex more than women, both genders think about sex.
The reason for men thinking about sex more often is considered to be due to the amount of testosterone in their body. A higher testosterone level is linked with an increased libido. Therefore, verifying the mental drive for sex.
→ You may also like: The Best Testosterone Booster Supplements
Men masturbate more than women
Is it normal and common for both sexes to masturabte on a regular basis. Masturbation is lead by hormones and the desire to have sex. If libido is low, the need for masburation will be lower.
As men have higher testosterone levels than women, it can be more common for them to masturabte more often. Studies reveal that both genders do indeed masturbate. Although the numbers are different, they are somewhat closer than what most people would anticipate. With an average of 50% of women admitting to masturbating regularly, and an of 67% of men.
Men take longer to orgasm
Both men and women go through the same phases before reaching orgasm. These phases were founded by Masters and Johnson. They refer to this as the “four-phase model”. First is excitement, which is usually instigated by one or both people via intimacy. This is followed by a plateau where the individual will feel most aroused. Then, the orgasm comes. The final phase is resolution where the individual will feel satisfied and feel released and relaxed due to the orgasm.
Neither gender takes longer to orgasm. It depends on the individual and personal factors from fatigue to comfortability.
Now that we’ve covered stereotypes and myths about men and their sex drive, here is more about the opposite sex:
Stereotypes and Myths about the Women Sex Drive
Womens sex drive is uncontrollably up and down
For women the menstrual cycle can have a huge impact on loss of libido due to changes in testosterone and estrogen levels. According to research testosterone gradually increases during the menstrual cycle and causes a spike in sex drive. After the menstrual cycle and prime ovulation, a woman may notice a decreased sex drive due to a reduction in testosterone.
Women are more emotionally attached
Oxytocin is a hormone released during sex. It is a hormone more commonly released in women and it is linked to positive social functioning. The oxytocin hormone is linked with emotions such as trust and bonding, which are typical emotions to feel with a sexual partner.
Thus, the intimacy of the experience makes a person feel more emotionally attached rather than the gender. Yet, it is more common for women to release more oxytocin.
Women are more romantic than men
This myth follows the previous one, of women being more emotionally attached. If a person feels a bond or high level of trust with their partner, romanticism is usually an act which follows.
Thus, women are not more romantic than men. There is no evidence to prove this. Romanticism is due to the couples intimacy and trust level. And/or the way an individual feels towards the other person. Feelings are more likely to initiate a sexually romantic arousal than a gender role.
Women need/want less sex than men
Testosterone is a key driver for wanting or needing more sex. It is a hormone which instigates arousal. Men genetically have a higher level of testosterone. Thus, may feel the need for sex more often.
Yet, the need for sex is dependant on the individal not the gender.
Both genders can have an equal emotional attachment to sex. How attached a person becomes to sex with a partner is due to intimacy, environment and preference. This differs from person to person. Yet, what cannot differ or be controlled by each individual is how their brain works with sex drive. Here is more on that:
Sex Drive and the Brain
Sex is as much of a mental activity than it is a physical activity. Similarly, sex drive can increase due to mentality as well as physicality. Thus, there is a lot of interest, studies and facts to know about how the brain works before, during and after sex.
Sex driving hormones can be found in two parts of the brain. These sections of the brain increase libido. They are the cerebral cortex and limbic system. Both enhance sex drive as well as physical performance.
The cerebral cortex refers to the outer layer of the brain, which works for planning and thinking functions. Thus, when a person becomes aroused, planning signals are sent to the cerebral cortex which then sends out signals to other cells and nerves. Generally speaking, this increases heart rate and blood flow, which results in feeling horny. For men, this is what institages an erection.
The second part in discussion here is the limbic system. This is where emotions and motivation for sex come into action. Studies found that when a person views sexual images or interactions, the pleasure that comes out of that results in a high sex drive.
No matter your gender, lifestyle or sexual needs, the brain works in the same way for everyone. Everyone’s cerebral cortex and limbic system are key sexual drivers and work to instigate the need for sex. Similarity, it can affect the act during and after. This varies from person to person.
As well as the brain, hormones are a key for an increased or decreased sex drive. Here is more:
Everything You Need To Know About Testosterone
Testosterone is an androgen hormone. It is most commonly mistaken for being a male only hormone, but it is not. Testosterone is a hormone which is regulated in both men and women. But, men typically have higher levels of testosterone.
It is a hormone which is located in men and women differently. For men it is found in the testes and for women, it is located in the ovaries. Both genital areas are associated with sex and therefore, testosterone is a hormone which occurs in both genders to enhance sex drive.
For both genders, testosterone levels can increase or decrease due to a variety of factors:
- Erectile dysfunction (for males)
- Loss of hair
- Slow development or lack of a deep voice (during puberty for males)
- Low muscle mass
- Gynecomastia (loss of breast tissue in women)
- Slow growth of penis or testes
- High percentage of stomach fat
From these issues, it is clear to see that testosterone levels can fluctuate more in men than it can women. This is due to men having more testosterone than women and therefore more hormones to cause issues.
Testosterone levels change in both sexes due to age. For men it is later on in life. Anywhere from the age of 30 to 40, men will have a small decrease in testosterone level each year. For women, this begins during their 20’s.
Testosterone imbalances in both genders can be treated. Some treatments involve gels, patches or injections to replace testosterone in the body that has decreased. To get the right help, contact your doctor and book a consultation. Not all testosterone imbalances can be treated, yet most can.
To know why a low sex drive or loss of libido can happen, here is more on the causes for both men and women:
Causes of Loss of Libido
Loss of libido is simply a low sex drive. There are numerous causes of loss of libido. It differs from person to person. Some causes are due to personal life whilst others are due to medical conditions and biology. Thus, some causes are uncontrollable for an individual.
Below are a list of the most common causes for loss of libido:
Typical physical causes are due to a person’s lifestyle. If a person has any of the following lifestyle symptoms and notices loss of libido, it could be the cause:
These are common physical causes of temporary low sex drive. If a person feels unwell then this can decrease the desire for sex.
More serious causes of loss of libido include medical conditions and/or lifestyle changes. These include:
- Taking certain medications (for heart, diabetes, depression, cancers)
- Anemia (more common for women)
- Erectile dysfunction
- Pregnancy and breastfeeding
- Heart disease
Other physical causes of loss of libido and lifestyle choices as opposed to changes. This includes the lack of desire to orgasm due to low interest in sex. This can be a temporary issue. If lack of sexual desire persists, this may be due to sexual preference confusion. For example, if a person is unsure of their sexuality, their libido can be low.
Other reasons can include painful sex. If a person experiences occasional painful sex, it can stop them from enjoying sex. Thus, they have no wish to pursue it. Help can be provided for painful sex, so it is recommended to seek medical help and advice.
If a person consumes regular alcohol and/or drugs, this can cause a decrease in sex drive.
A loss of libido or interest for sex can be heavily down to mental state. If a person’s mental health or condition is low, their sex drive may be to. There are many mental causes for loss of libido, which includes:
These are all common causes of loss libido and are often temporary. If you suffer with these issues for a long period of time or wish to seek help when it begins, do so. Seeking medical advice is key for overcoming mental health issues. Getting the right help is the best answer to inhibit mental health declining further.
Whilst a person’s mental state can affect their sex drive, so can personal relationship issues. If a person experiences a loss of sexual attraction for their partner, then this can result in a low sex drive. It is human nature to need to feel sexually attracted to a person to reach maximum sex drive.
Also, if there are relationship issues, this can cause a low sex drive. Typically, an unresolved conflict or lack of trust can cause a person to lack desire for sexual activity.
Physical and mental causes are more often than not controllable. Yet, those that are out of a person’s control are hard for a person to deal with.
Biological causes for loss of libido are commonly unpreventable and out of a person’s control. This includes:
- Menopause (for women)
- Neurotransmitters/hormone issues
Whilst age and menopause are self explanatory issues for loss of libido, neurotransmitters may confuse some. So, here is an explanation in simple terms. Neurotransmitters are the sex hormones which are what can reduce sex drive. The most common hormones that will affect a loss of libido are low testosterone and estrogen.
Whilst it is frustrating that there are so many causes for loss of libido, it is common and often only temporary. If you have further concern for loss of libido and your personal sex drive, it is advised to discuss matters with a doctor.
For more concerns, here are some answers to the most frequently asked questions on sex drive and loss of libido:
How do I increase my sex drive?
Regular exercise can help increase sex drive. Not only will it make you feel physically good, exercise is also good for releasing serotonin. This release of hormones will decrease stress and other mental factors that can slow down sex drive. Inhibiting those negative factors will positively effect your sex drive.
How long should sex last?
There is not really a simple or correct answer to this. Sex can be considered as too short or too long depending on the individual or partner group. Yet, scientists and public surveys believe 7 to 13 minutes are an ideal and pleasurable sexual activity time.
How often do men need sex?
The is no set amount of sex a man needs. Again, it depends on the individual, their lifestyle, libido and preference. On average it is a few times a week, for any gender.
How often do couples have sex?
According to the Archives of Sexual Behaviour, couples have sex on average once a week. This can vary from couple to couple. Again, there is no right or wrong answer here. Research suggests that couples that have sex more often are often happier due to the imtimate and physical connection.
Why do I not want sex?
Loss of libido is a common issue for both genders. Not wanting sex means your libido has declined. This can be due to a variety of factors from mental stress to physical and/or biological issues.
What foods make you horny?
There are numerous foods that are believed to be able to awaken your sexual desires and increase libido. These include avocados, asparagus, ginger, chocolate, bananas, olive oil and maca.
Certain foods can make you feel sexual or horny due to the amino acid and vitamin content that help increase hormone production.
Is having sex everyday bad?
There is no right or wrong amount of times per week a person should have sex. Having sex daily is not bad for anyone. It keeps your brain, hormones and heart in top condition due to regular release of hormones.
What vitamins can I take to increase my libido?
Like foods, there are certain vitamins people can take that have said to increase libido. These include maca, tribulus, saffron, red ginseng and iron.
These are often known as natural viagras and work to stimulate sexual hormones that excel libido. Especially if it is low or declining.
What fruit is called a natural viagra?
Foods are certainly up there with medications for increasing sex drive. Watermelon is considered to be a natural viagra. This is it due to being packed with amino acids, especially cillutrine. Cillutrine relaxes and expands blood vessels. This amino acid works in the same way viagras do.
With all of that in mind, let us share our thoughts with you:
Both men and women can experience loss of libido. The same goes for having a high sex drive. Gender does not determine a person’s sex drive. More so, lifestyle choices, physical and mental causes are the most common cause of loss of libido. It can be as simple at fatigue or as serious as medical conditions.
Everyone needs to recognise that loss of libido is normal and common for both genders. Mostly, it is temporary. If symptoms and a low sex drive persists, a person can seek medical advice.
There is an answer for every cause for sex drive. It is easy to self diagnose. Yet, if you worry about long term low sex drive and are unsure what is causing it, seek professional help for the right independent guidance.
If you have any further questions and/or concerns, please leave your feedback with us.