What Affects Levels of Libido

A spreadsheet released by a Reddit user recorded all the excuses his wife used to reject his sexual advances over a 44 day period. He had made a total of 27 sexual advances and only had sex with her 3 times which is an extremely high failure rate. The excuses his wife came up with provide a hilarious personal look into a couple’s sexual lifestyle. Some of the funnier statements include:

“I’m watching the show” (Friends re-run)

“I’m sweaty and gross, and I’m tired.”

“I’m not feeling good, I ate too much”


This spreadsheet may fit into a stereotypical view of the reasons why people do not want to have sex. In this case, a women who is too tired to have sex due to a busy lifestyle. However, in reality there is no real stereotype that men and women should fall under when it comes to the reasons why people have different levels of sexual desire. The truth is, some men and women may want sex all the time whilst others may want it sometimes and some not at all. There are many underlying factors that contribute to a low sexual desire that include mental health issues, medical problems, levels of attraction, performance anxiety and age. Listed below are factors linked in with having low levels of libido.

Mental Health Issues

Often depression, high stress levels of stress and anxiety are the main mental health factors that affect sex drive. Beyondblue claims that 1 million Australian adults have depression whilst 2 million have anxiety. Other problems may include relationship problems, family issues, poor body image and low self-esteem.

Medical Problems

Medical issues like diabetes, high blood pressure, chronic pain, hypertension, sleep problems and high cholesterol impacts levels of sexual arousal. A person’s sex drive can also be affected by medications and drugs. The most common medications that affect sex drive include antidepressants, antihistamines and blood pressure medication.

Some people also experience Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder (HSSD). HSSD is when a person has no sexual desire, fantasies or thoughts about sexual activity. It becomes a disorder when the people who have almost no levels of arousal actually want an active sex life. It is said that this disorder impacts under 15% of women who are between 20 and 60. In hopes to help this medical issue, medical professionals are creating a female Viagra named “Lybrido”. Often the people who have this disorder are labelled as being “reserved” but HSSD is not in their control.


Women’s sex drive can be influenced by social and cultural factors. A women may naturally be ingrained to be aroused to a person who is able to support and protect her.


Reddit Spreadsheet of Sexual Advances Image
Image: What Affects Levels of Libido – Reddit Spreadsheet


Performance Anxiety

A man’s performance anxiety is linked with premature ejaculation, how they perform in the bedroom and society pressure. During penetrative sex, men often feel their partner has to always orgasm. This unrealistic view can be a problem especially when only 26% of women experience an orgasm during sex. Whereas 75% of men orgasm during sex.


Men have their highest sex drive between the ages of 15 to 20. As men age they experience drops in levels of testosterone which will give them a lower sexual libido. Testosterone impacts a man’s development of sex organs, body hair, bone mass and muscles. They may require more physical stimulation and higher levels of mental stimulation to get an erection. This means it will also take men longer to reach ejaculation. A man’s testosterone levels are higher in the morning than they are at night.

Women have their highest sex drive between the ages of 35 to 40. Women also experience Menopause where their estrogen levels drop drastically. The average age a woman experiences menopause is 51 years old. It appears that menopause is genetically linked, so around the age the woman’s nearest relatives have experienced it will be around the same age a women experiences it.

It is important to note that the aging process is normal and the changes do not happen all at the one time. The way people reach orgasm and make love can be slightly different to how they did it when they were teenagers. Although reaching orgasm may take more time, they are able to enjoy the process of sex more thoroughly by engaging in physical and emotional connections.

Seek Professional Help

People who experience low levels of libido can seek professional treatment. For mental health issues, you can talk to trained mental health professionals like a counselor, a psychologist or a psychiatrist. People who are experiencing relationship issues can seek help through sex therapy or relationship counseling. Whilst people who experience medical problems should seek help from their general practitioner for more information.

Some lifestyle changes can be made to help improve sexual desire that include:

  • Eating healthy
  • Getting the right levels of sleep
  • Using stress management techniques
  • Exercise






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