Is your arousal SAD?

Is your libido at an all time low?

photo of man leaning on wooden table

“Sex drive’s decent energy.
Y’ can’t argue about that.
Keep sex drive all bottled up inside and you get dull-witted.
Throws your whole body out of whack.”

Haruki Murakami, author

Just how sad is your arousal?

If you’ve lost your sexual desire and libido recently, don’t worry, you’re not alone! To be clear, you don’t have to have a high libido or sex drive and there’s nothing necessarily wrong with you if you don’t. This article is for you if your arousal is lower than you’d like it to be and you want to work out why and how to address it.

Even without the exhaustion of Covid, lockdown, Christmas, holidays, and relatives, in general, 52% of men experience erection difficulties, with three times the reported rates in man over 40. Women tend to report lower rates of arousal problems, with an average of 20% but going up to 45% in postmenopausal women. These are conservative estimates based on an American study.

But what actually determines arousal levels and how do we know what needs to change?

What determines arousal?

This article explains the 3 main models of sexual arousal, which gives context to the article you’re currently reading. The level of arousal you feel is a combination of 3 things: 

1. Your body’s ability to respond to stimulation

2. The physical stimulation you receive 

3. Your thoughts, feelings, and emotions during sex, including foreplay   

How do I know which of these needs addressing?

Good question and there’s no simple answer. So, here’s some food for thought and some professionals who may be able to help you.

1. Your body’s ability to respond to stimulation

You may already know if you have low sensitivity due to a specific disability, trauma, nerve damage, or childbirth-related scarring. If you have concerns, ask a qualified professional such as a GP or Sex Therapist. 

2. The physical stimulation you’re receiving 

Many people have very little idea what actually turns them on. If you’re not sure, write your own personal and unique Arousal Recipe. (What’s that? you ask, read on…)

Can you write your unique Arousal Recipe?

This includes listing all the raw ingredients, such as sex toys, clean sheets, no children nearby, mood lighting and music etc. Write everything that you need or is more likely to get you in the mood.

Then, write down, step-by-step, what someone needs to take to get you from zero to gushing. This includes which parts of your body to touch in which order, how much stroking and kissing you like, what pressure you enjoy and where.

Put simply, how can someone bring you to the boil?

Now imagine handing that recipe to someone else – will it get you totally aroused? If not, I invite you to tweak your Arousal Recipe until it does.

If this is too difficult, uncomfortable, or you feel too far from your pleasure, you can work with an Intimacy Coach, Sexological Bodyworker, or Sex Therapist to help you. Let me reassure you, there are masses of fun and easy activities to help you feel more at home in your own skin and learn to enjoy your own pleasure. 

What about number 3?

Well remembered…

3. Your thoughts, feelings, and emotions during sex

What’s happening in your head has a huge impact on what’s happening in your genitals. Probably even more than you could imagine! A lot of penis problems such as rapid ejaculation and erectile dysfunction are often linked with anxiety and other mental health challenges, which is also true for pain during penetration. Try a general Counsellor to explore your fears and concerns or a Sex Therapist to better understand your problems with sex and intimacy.

Low arousal levels can be addressed in many ways, not just with therapy or medication like Viagra. Studies have even shown that using the same light used to treat SAD (seasonal affective disorder) can increase testosterone levels and sex drive in cis men.

Exactly how savy are you about your arousal?

We tend to only learn enough about ourselves to scrape a Pass in arousal and pleasure. While there’s nothing inherently wrong with that, when something goes wrong, like an argument or an illness, intimacy can vanish. It’s all the more frustrating as we assume it’s our fault or that our libido is just too inconsistent.

Rather than assuming your arousal will dry up or diminish, why not be proactive and learn what you need to enjoy yourself? Take time to upskill yourself with a professional. Then you’ll have the confidence and the sexual skills to maintain your arousal, regardless of what else is happening in your life or with your partner(s).

You deserve arousal with Distinction!

Change is possible, help is available

You don’t have to feel alone and frustrated with your sex-related problems. There are so many tools and techniques available to help you. I’m always happy to suggest approaches and recommend practitioners in a very wide range of fields.

If you want to resolve your low arousal problems, then why not get in touch and have a more satisfying and satiating sex life? I’m here for you.