I Have No Sex Drive: What to Do to Save My Relationship?

Intimacy & Sex
23 Jul 2023
13 min read
What to Do If I Have no Sex Drive and It's Ruining My Relationship

So, you came here with a problem that is best summarized in a question, “I have no sex drive and it’s ruining my relationship – what should I do with this?”. Not long ago, you had a great sex life – but out of a sudden, it became nearly impossible to find the desire. And you’re scared – because you don’t want to fake it and don’t know how to handle this problem otherwise. If only you could just bring your healthy sex life back!

We’ve got you. First, please understand that you aren’t alone, and your situation isn’t hopeless. You can get to the bottom of your low sex drive. Don’t you deserve healthy sexual activities that you enjoy? Let’s see what you can do and pay attention to.

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Is a Lack of Sex Drive a Disorder?

Is having low sexual desire really a problem? Not always.

When people say, “I have no sex drive and it’s ruining my relationship,” what do they mean? When there is a severe problem behind that, it’s hypoactive sexual desire disorder. But it’s not always that severe. That said, many people disagree with defining someone’s lack of sex drive as a disorder, particularly when discussing women.

Some of the hypoactive sexual desire disorder symptoms include:

  • No interest in initiating sex
  • Difficulty achieving pleasure during sex or masturbation
  • Lack of a sexual fantasy life
  • Little or no interest in engaging in sex

These symptoms are fairly widespread, with 48% of women between the ages of 21 and 49 reporting that they have experienced lower desire or its complete loss.

However, there is no “correct” sex drive to compare these indicators. We don’t mean that a low sex drive should be ignored. However, we recommend paying attention to the fact that women simply respond differently to sexual stimuli and lose or gain desire based on different factors.

For example, happiness within a relationship and cultural influences can all make a difference in a person’s sex drive. This could explain why women who feel they carry the most emotional labor in a relationship lose interest in sexual activity.

That’s why lack of sexual desire becomes problematic when you decide it’s a problem for you. That’s a difficult concept for many people to understand because, all too often, the sexuality of women is judged according to their ability or willingness to be sexually available to a partner.

I have no sex drive and it's ruining my relationship: Is it a disorder?

How Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder Can Ruin a Relationship

When women and men seek help for lack of sexual desire, it’s usually because they have come to a conclusion that “I have no sex drive and it’s ruining my relationship.” This is because while sex is not an entitlement, it is often an expected part of long-term romantic relationships. When one partner suddenly doesn’t want physical intimacy or their interest in it drops significantly, that may cause problems.

Related reading: Sexual Frustration – It’s Not Fun

As the person experiencing a low sex drive, you may feel guilty. To make up for the lack of sexual desires, you may have sex even when you don’t want it. Some people feel angry, depressed, or withdrawn when they no longer enjoy sex the way they used to – and this can impact how you interact with loved ones.

When you no longer want to have sex, your partner struggles too. Here are the things they might experience:

  • Feeling undesirable or unlovable
  • Helplessness that they can’t fix your issues
  • Alternating feelings of resentment and guilt over that resentment
  • Sadness over a loss of intimacy that they once enjoyed
  • Suspicion that you are cheating or no longer find them attractive

Most couples bond through sexual intimacy. When that is lost, the whole relationship may be at risk.

Related reading: Want Some Spice? Add a Sexual Surprise to Your Sex Life

4 Things You Can Do for a Better Sex Life Before Consulting a Specialist

You deserve to have a sex life that is satisfying for you. These tips and insights are designed to help you get to the bottom of your decreased interest in sex and provide you with actions to boost your sex drive before you gain the courage to visit a doctor.

1. Address Any Clear Issues You See with Your Sexual Health

Let’s talk about health and how that can impact your sex drive. We’ll start with physical concerns and what you might be able to do about them. Our recommendations in this section include observing your direct and indirect factors, checking with the doctor about some severe health conditions, and considering mental health parameters.

Do You Have Conditions That Directly or Indirectly Impact Your Sexual Function?

Some physical issues can have a direct and negative impact on your ability to have sex. For example, certain medications may make it difficult to achieve an erection or climax.

Low blood pressure or circulatory issues can impact you in these areas too. There are also hormonal issues that lower sex drive, or even lead to painful sex. This is particularly common in postmenopausal women using estrogen therapy. Although, this isn’t unheard of in premenopausal women either.

Any other condition that saps your strength or energy can leave you without much of a sex drive. This includes but isn’t limited to migraines, back problems, weight gain, arthritis, cancer and cancer treatment, or chronic illnesses such as diabetes.

Observe all these factors and make sure they don’t interfere with your ability to have a sex drive.

What Can You Do About Your Physical Health Issues?

If your physical health is causing sexual problems, mention this to your medical doctor. If you aren’t under the care of a health provider, it’s time to make an appointment.

Have a frank discussion about your symptoms and ask for treatment options. There may be options you don’t know about. Solving your problem could be as simple as a medication change or adjustment. For example, taking meds at a different time each day. Also, there are medications for both men’s and women’s health that can increase sexual arousal.

Can Your Mental Health Can Impact Your Sex Drive Too?

Depression, anxiety, trauma, and stress are just a few examples of mental health issues that can cause you to lose your sex drive. Worse, it can become a cyclical problem.

Your low sex drive causes you to feel guilt, shame, or frustration. It may even lead to arguments with your partner. In turn, your mental health deteriorates further. Medications you take to treat some mental health problems can also make it difficult to have a satisfying sex life.

When thinking about what can you do about your mental health issues, note that you don’t need to be ashamed. You are not alone in that. Talk to a mental health professional about this issue. They may recommend some strategies to help you. If needed, they might refer you to a sex therapist or medical doctor.

The reasons behind the lack of sex drive can be medical

2. Gain a Greater Understanding of Your Sexual Drive

Do you want a higher sex drive? Remember that knowledge is power. You are more likely to be able to improve your sex drive if you know more you know about your:

  • Attitudes and hang ups relating to sex
  • Impact of your body image on your sexual desire
  • Energy levels throughout the day/week/month
  • Questions or doubts about your sexual orientation or gender identity
  • Sexual fantasies or kinks

For this, try journaling. Track when (1) you do have sexual urges, (2) you have sex and enjoy it, (3) you have sex and don’t enjoy it, (4) you have issues performing despite wanting sex, and (5) you simply aren’t in the mood.

But don’t stop there. The rest of your day matters too! How was work? Did you argue with your partner? Were you struggling with negative feelings such as low self-esteem or body image issues? Write down everything that may matter.

Also, it may be helpful to learn about spoon theory. This is the idea that you start each day with a set of symbolic spoons. On a good day, you have many spoons. On a bad day, you have just a couple. Any activity or interaction that is stressful or energy-sapping takes up at least one spoon.

Bickering with your partner in the morning will take you two spoons. For an introvert, lunch with friends is fun but will take a few spoons too.

If you schedule intimacy at the end of the day, you may simply be “out of spoons”. You have no mental or physical energy to give. The solution to your sex drive issues could be as simple as scheduling sex when your energy levels are at their peak.

3. Take an Honest Look at Your Relationship

It’s important to avoid focusing on blame, but your low libido could have a lot to do with issues in your relationship. In the worst cases, it isn’t that your low desire for sex is ruining your relationship. Instead, your lack of overall relationship satisfaction could cause your low sex drive.

Related reading: How to Be a Better Lover – Inside and Out

If you think that it can be a reason for your low sex drive, the next step is to figure out if this is something that can be fixed. This depends on the cause of your dissatisfaction and your willingness to work on things. Sometimes, you are simply with the wrong person. You may be ready to move on, but holding on to a relationship for some reason. Your partner may be entirely unwilling to work on fixing things as well, even though your lack of desire for sex impacts them.

If you are both committed to improving things, you can regain a great sex life in long-term relationships. Here are some tips to strengthen your relationship:

  • Don’t focus too much on sex – physical affection includes non-sexual touching
  • Make sex a priority – schedule sex as part of your routine
  • Ensure both of you take responsibility for birth control
  • Acknowledge that this impacts both of you

Always remember that sex is considered only to be about 5% physical and 95% mental. A lot of thought goes into it, and it can sometimes become overwhelming. Aspects of your relationship can cause problems to arise when it comes to intimacy, so it is important to make note of things that can cause issues with sexual desire.

4. Make Some Lifestyle Changes

There are times when lifestyle choices cause low libido. Poor physical and mental health management can cause a low sex drive and make sexual activity unappealing or even unenjoyable to take part in.

By making some simple changes to the way you live your life, you can increase your low sex drive and the way it may negatively affect your sexual desire.

Contact Your Doctor

It’s always a good idea to try and start to negate what could reduce sexual desire when it comes to your mental and physical health. Factors such as poor nutrition and deficiencies of essential vitamins can lead to low libido.

There is also the aspect of menstrual health. There are many more examples of women’s health negatively affecting sex drive. But this doesn’t mean that men’s health doesn’t also have a factor. Many women see low sex drive while taking birth control as normal. While there is some normalcy to this, it shouldn’t be such a drastic change that it causes issues with one’s relationship.

Several diseases can also cause a lack of sex drive, for example:

  • Endometriosis
  • Premenstrual syndrome
  • Polycystic ovarian syndrome
  • Other hormone imbalances

There is also the aspect of poor mental health and negative body image. It can be difficult to enjoy sexual expression when your mind and body are not on the same page. Enjoying sex is mostly based on your mental state, and sexual satisfaction can be difficult to reach when you suffer from mental ailments such as depression or anxiety.

Contact your doctor to start gathering information about your body so that you can use the information that you gather to determine if any specific health issues are leading to this. Then use that information to take the best path to increase sexual desire.

Change Your Diet

The foods you eat can directly affect the health of someone’s sex drives. For example, foods high in cholesterol can inhibit blood flow and lower one’s energy. Regarding reproductive health, eating a varied diet with many nutrients is often recommended.

Two particular types of nutrients are often associated with increased sex drive and reproductive health. These nutrients are citrulline and zinc. Both of these are commonly believed to directly affect reproductive health, which means that eating them can also increase one’s sex drive. If you take a sex med, check the label. You may find that these medications are actually supplements for these nutrients.

Foods high in citrulline and zinc are tree nuts, whey from milk products, leafy vegetables, fish, shellfish, and many types of fruit.

With foods that can increase your sexual desire, it should be easy to retrieve the nutrients you may need to increase your sex drive.

Change Your Eating Habits

How you eat is just as important to your reproductive state as the food you eat. Falling into negative habits such as over-eating or even drinking while eating can negatively affect your libido.

Take time out of your day to eat a highly nutritious meal with the person you are going to have sex with to gain more desire for them. Make sure to keep drinks soft or limit the intake of alcohol as well.

While alcohol may make it easier to want sex, it can also cause issues such as erectile dysfunction and make it easy to forget to use protection.

Exercise More

Making your blood flow is an important aspect of sex. If you ask any sex therapist, they will tell you that your sexual and physical health are completely connected.

By exercising, you increase your energy and may even notice the psychological factors you may also experience. Higher energy often leads to a better mood, a release from pressure, and increased confidence.

Make Use of Toys

When you find that a lack of sex drive is ruining your relationship, there is nothing wrong with getting help from outside sources. Sex toys are often used as a tool in sex therapy and can even help with self-esteem and relationship problems.

Scheduled sex with the use of toys and open communication with your partner about this is perfectly normal and can help you until your desire for sex happens to increase again.

Final Thoughts: Communicate With Your Partner to Bring Your Sex Drive Back

There’s so much pressure to have a perfect sex life. It can be demoralizing when you struggle with your desire to have sex.

But you deserve support as you work through this issue. Communicate with your partner and get them to work with you as you find a solution that allows you to enjoy sex again.

With proper dedication and willingness to change things, everything will soon become completely normal again!

Relationships Author
Geoffrey Williams
After taking a required Intro to Psychology course as an undergrad, I have never looked back. Since my doctoral program, I have specialized in adult relationship therapy. Through my studies and clinicals, I wrote several articles for professional journals and currently in the midst of writing a book.

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