How do you know if you have low libido in males?

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A decreased sex drive is a common issue that can affect men of all ages. Low libido, or a lack of interest in sexual activity, can be frustrating and have an impact on your relationships and quality of life. Recognizing the signs of low libido is the first step in determining potential causes and finding solutions.

How do you know if you have low libido in males?

What is low libido?

Low libido refers to a decrease in sex drive or interest in sexual activity. It is often defined as lack of libido for a period of months or longer. How much sex people want varies greatly, so there is no definitive amount that qualifies as a low libido. It’s more about how your level of desire compares to your typical level or your partner’s desire for intimacy.

Some key signs of low libido in men include:

  • Lack of interest or desire for sex
  • Difficulty getting or maintaining an erection
  • Delayed or inability to orgasm
  • Engaging in sex out of obligation rather than desire

What causes low libido in men?

There are many potential causes of decreased libido in men. Understanding the possible reasons can help you identify the best treatment options. Common causes include:

Physical causes

Low testosterone levels - Testosterone is the main male sex hormone and plays a key role in libido. Low T can result from injury, chronic conditions, or aging.

Prescription medications - Some medications used to treat depression, high blood pressure, and other conditions can negatively impact sex drive as a side effect.

Chronic illness - Chronic pain, diabetes, high blood pressure, and other conditions can contribute to low libido in men.

Obesity - Being overweight or obese often leads to lower testosterone levels that can reduce sexual desire.

Alcohol and drug use - Excessive alcohol intake and recreational drugs can interfere with sexual functioning.

Fatigue - Exhaustion, lack of sleep, and feeling constantly drained can take a toll on your sex drive.

Hormonal changes - Imbalances in estrogen, low testosterone, and hormones changes due to thyroid issues or diabetes can affect libido.

Psychological causes

Stress - High stress levels, burnout, and feeling overwhelmed can all negatively impact your sex drive.

Depression - Depression commonly leads to loss of interest in sex and other activities.

Poor body image - Struggling with confidence, feeling self-conscious, or being dissatisfied with your appearance can decrease sexual desire.

Past sexual trauma - Unresolved trauma from previous negative sexual experiences can contribute to low libido.

Relationship issues - Problems with your partner such as lack of connection, anger, or resentment can lower your interest in sex.

How do you know if your libido is low?

Paying attention to your level of desire and any changes can help you determine if your libido is low. Consider if:

  • You rarely think about sex or engage in sexual fantasies
  • You need a lot more stimulation than before to become aroused
  • You engage in sex out of obligation rather than desire
  • Your partner wants to be intimate much more frequently than you do
  • You never feel “in the mood” and have to force yourself to participate in sexual activity
  • You experience erectile dysfunction more frequently than in the past
  • You lost interest in initiating sex and leave it up to your partner
  • You dread when your partner wants to be intimate

Even a temporary decrease in libido can be frustrating. But if you’ve lost interest in sex for months or experience a noticeable change in desire, it may indicate an underlying issue.

When to see a doctor

Make an appointment with your doctor if:

  • You’ve experienced an abrupt, noticeable change in libido for several months
  • Sex is painful, uncomfortable, or difficult for you
  • Low libido is straining your relationship or causing distress
  • You suspect your medications may be inhibiting your sex drive
  • You have physical symptoms like erectile dysfunction or inability to orgasm
  • You think an underlying health condition may be impacting your libido
  • You want to check your testosterone levels

Your doctor can check for any physical causes, screen for mental health conditions, address relationship concerns, and help devise a treatment plan. It’s nothing to be embarrassed about. Decreased libido is very common and your doctor can help guide you through solutions.

5 ways to boost libido in males

If you've noticed signs of a lagging libido, there are several ways you can aim to naturally increase sex drive and desire.

1. Reduce stress

Chronic stress takes a major toll on the body and mind. Finding ways to manage and relieve stress can help eliminate it as a libido killer. Strategies include exercising, getting a massage, listening to music, spending time outdoors, or practicing mind-body techniques like yoga and meditation. Setting boundaries between work and personal time and being intentional about self-care can also keep stress in check.

2. Exercise and eat a healthy diet

Being physically active and eating a nutritious diet have been associated with improved sexual functioning. Exercise promotes stamina, strengthens the heart, improves body image, and elevates mood - all helping boost libido. Limiting processed foods, sugar, and alcohol while eating more lean protein, healthy fats, and fresh fruits and vegetables can also optimize energy and sexual health.

3. Prioritize sleep

Adequate, quality sleep is imperative for many aspects of health. Not getting 7-9 hours per night can lower testosterone levels that trigger libido. Prioritizing sufficient sleep helps ensure you have the energy and desire for sex. Establish a regular bedtime routine and make your bedroom conducive to sleep.

4. Consider supplements

For some men, certain supplements can help provide an extra libido lift. Options like zinc, fenugreek, ashwagandha, maca root, DHEA, L-arginine, and horny goat weed are associated with improved sexual functioning. However, research is limited, so discuss trying supplements with your doctor first.

5. Communicate with your partner

Having open, honest conversations with your partner is key to getting your sex life back on track. Discuss how you’ve been feeling, changes you’ve noticed, challenges in your relationship, and solutions you want to try. You may need to spend more quality time together, engage in more foreplay, try different positions, or set the mood differently. Keep communicating to get on the same page about your needs and desires.

Focusing on your physical and emotional health, reducing stress, and communicating with your partner can all help reignite your libido. But if simple lifestyle changes aren’t providing improvement, make sure to see your doctor.

Medical treatments for improving low libido

If self-help strategies aren’t getting your mojo back, consult a doctor about potential medical treatments. Options may include:

Testosterone Replacement Therapy - If low T is causing your low libido, testosterone pills, patches, gels or injections can help restore optimal levels. However, the risks and benefits should be carefully considered.

Prescription erectile dysfunction drugs - Medications like Viagra, Levitra or Cialis improve erections and allow for more successful sexual experiences to help get your sex drive back on track.

Treating underlying health conditions - Managing illnesses, depression, obesity and other health conditions may alleviate associated decreases in libido.

Medication adjustments - Switching antidepressants, blood pressure drugs or other meds contributing to low libido may provide improvement.

Sex therapy or couples counseling - Therapy helps address relationship issues, stress, trauma, communication problems, and cognitive barriers to desiring sex.

Lifestyle changes - Improving sleep, exercise, diet, intimacy levels, and stress can optimize natural libido boosters like testosterone.

The right solutions are highly personalized and depend on the causes at play. Work with your doctor to identify the best options. There are both behavioral and medical solutions that can get your sex drive back on track.

Dealing with a partner who has a higher sex drive

Mismatched libidos are common in many relationships. If your partner wants sex significantly more often than you, it can negatively impact your connection and self-esteem. There are constructive ways to navigate libido differences, including:

  • Communicate openly and honestly - Share your feelings and changes you’ve noticed in a calm discussion focused on understanding.
  • Seek medical advice - Ensure there are no underlying health issues inhibiting your libido that need treatment.
  • Try scheduling intimacy - Plan so both partners can prepare mentally and physically. Spontaneity may decrease but anticipation builds.
  • Discuss new approaches - Explore compromise through changes like more foreplay, different positions, toys, role playing and fantasy.
  • Masturbate - Solo sexual release allows the partner with higher desire an outlet when mismatched.
  • Focus on non-sexual intimacy - Increase physical and emotional intimacy through cuddling, kissing, massages and quality time together.
  • Consider relationship counseling - Therapy provides strategies and perspective on navigating libido differences.
  • Prioritize overall health - Diet, exercise, sleep, stress management and good mental health help naturally optimize libido.

With understanding, patience and commitment to adaptation by both partners, relationships with mismatched libidos can still thrive. The key is open communication about needs, feelings and solutions.

The impact of low libido on relationships and self-esteem

Low libido often creates relationship friction and self-confidence challenges that impact quality of life. Potential effects include:

  • Resentment and frustration - Mismatched libidos can breed resentment, rejection, frustration and arguments.
  • Intimacy deterioration - Less sex often leads to decreased intimacy and connection within the relationship.
  • Infidelity risk - One partner may seek sexual satisfaction outside the relationship if desires aren’t met.
  • Strain and divorce - Over time, physical and emotional detachment could threaten the relationship.
  • Guilt and shame - Low desire is often internalized as a personal failure, creating guilt and embarrassment.
  • Diminished self-confidence - Men with low libido may question their masculinity, attractiveness and self-worth.
  • Depression and anxiety - Loss of sexual desire can contribute to developing mental health issues or exacerbate existing ones.
  • Isolation and loneliness - Low libido can prevent single men from pursuing relationships and casual intimacy.

If low libido is significantly impacting personal happiness and relationships, it warrants a professional evaluation. The consequences of long-term low libido extend far beyond the bedroom. There are thankfully many solutions that can help men reclaim confidence and an enjoyable sex life.

When to see a sex therapist

A sex therapist can provide tremendous help to both individuals and couples struggling with low libido. Seeing a sex therapist is advisable if:

  • Underlying health issues have been addressed but low libido persists.
  • You experience ongoing conflict in your relationship due to mismatched libidos.
  • You have trouble communicating about sex with your partner.
  • Previous sexual trauma or erectile dysfunction is contributing to low desire.
  • You have concerns about sexual orientation, gender identity, or sexual shame.
  • You have feelings of depression, isolation, anger, or frustration about low libido.
  • Self-help strategies have not improved your libido.

Sex therapy focuses on getting to the root of sexual problems and providing both behavioral and psychological tools to help regain sexual desire and satisfaction. It can successfully treat low libido even when health factors or medications are not the sole cause.


A noticeable, prolonged decrease in interest in sex may signal an issue with low libido. There are a array of possible causes, ranging from physical problems to emotional roadblocks. The first step is identifying signs of low libido so you can then explore potential reasons and solutions.

There are many effective strategies to help boost libido, from improving health habits and reducing stress, to relationship adjustments and medical solutions. Dealing with low libido often requires patience and a willingness to try various approaches. But it is very possible to regain a satisfying sex life by addressing the root causes.

If low libido persists and continues impacting your happiness, relationship and self-image, do not hesitate to seek professional medical and psychological guidance. Between natural lifestyle changes, medical treatments, counseling, and maintaining an open dialogue with your partner, solutions are available.

Frequently Asked Questions About Low Libido in Males

What is low libido?

Low libido refers to a decrease in sex drive or interest in sexual activity. There is no definitive threshold that indicates low libido, but it involves a noticeable and persistent drop in desire for sex.

What are the symptoms of low libido?

  • Lack of interest in sex
  • Difficulty getting or maintaining erections
  • Taking longer to reach orgasm or inability to orgasm
  • Engaging in sex out of obligation rather than desire
  • Rarely initiating sex or leaving it up to partner to initiate
  • Feeling stressed or disinterested when a partner wants to have sex

What causes low libido?

There are a variety of potential causes including:

  • Low testosterone
  • Prescription medications (antidepressants, blood pressure meds, etc)
  • Mental health problems (depression, stress, poor body image)
  • Chronic health conditions (diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol)
  • Hormonal imbalances
  • Obesity
  • Alcohol or drug use
  • Fatigue or lack of sleep
  • Relationship problems

How do I know if I have low libido?

Signs that your libido may be low include:

  • You rarely think about sex or engage in sexual fantasies
  • You need a lot more stimulation than before to become aroused
  • You engage in sex mostly out of obligation rather than desire
  • Your partner wants sex way more often than you
  • You never feel “in the mood” and have to force yourself to have sex
  • You experience erectile dysfunction more frequently
  • You have lost interest in initiating sex
  • You feel stressed or annoyed when your partner wants to have sex

What lifestyle changes can help boost libido?

  • Managing stress through exercise, meditation, getting a massage, or setting boundaries
  • Eating a healthy diet low in sugar and high in lean protein, fruits and vegetables
  • Getting 7-9 hours of quality sleep per night
  • Reducing alcohol intake
  • Making time for physical and emotional intimacy in your relationship
  • Taking supplements like zinc, maca root powder, DHEA, or fenugreek
  • Exercising regularly to increase energy and promote self-confidence

When should I see a doctor?

You should make an appointment with your doctor if:

  • Your low libido is straining your relationship
  • You've had symptoms for several months with no improvement
  • You suspect medications may be lowering your sex drive
  • You have symptoms like ED, difficulty orgasming, or pain with sex
  • You want to get your testosterone levels checked
  • You want to discuss supplementing with testosterone therapy

What medical treatments are available?

Some medical options for increasing low libido include:

  • Testosterone replacement therapy
  • Switching medications that lower libido
  • Prescription erectile dysfunction medications
  • Treating underlying health conditions
  • Adjusting dosage of antidepressants or other meds
  • Sex therapy or couples counseling

How can I talk to my partner about mismatched libidos?

To have a productive conversation:

  • Pick a neutral time when you are both calm to initiate the discussion
  • Avoid blaming, shaming, or guilting your partner
  • Use "I" statements to describe how you feel rather than accusing
  • Emphasize how much they and the relationship mean to you
  • Explain the changes you’ve noticed in your libido and interest in sex
  • Ask your partner to share their perspective and experience
  • Brainstorm compromises and solutions you both feel good about
  • Agree to revisit the topic to check-in on progress

When should I consider seeing a sex therapist?

Seeing a sex therapist can be helpful if:

  • You have untreated health issues but still have low desire
  • Your relationship is suffering due to mismatched libidos
  • Previous sexual trauma is linked to your low libido
  • You struggle to communicate with your partner about sex
  • You have guilt, shame, or questions about your sexual identity
  • Self-help approaches have not improved your libido

A sex therapist can help address psychological barriers, relationship challenges, and provide counseling on techniques to help rekindle sexual desire.

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