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 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. 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’tfulfilling or nourishing, or if you feel disconnected from your body, considerresearching 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, weighlifting, dancing, or other ways to channel your sexual energy so you have more control.
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.