READER SAYS: My Sex Drive’s Out of Gear

First things: Here’s where I remind you people that I’m not a doctor. I have no degrees in any medical or scientific discipline. I’m schooled in common sense and street smarts, and that’s it. In more blunt terms? Take my words for what they’re worth – an interested party offering an opinion, nothing more. In other words? I’m not liable.

All right, so, a reader emailed me. When she hooked up with this guy, it was all sex, all the time. Playtime was gold, and she couldn’t get enough. And then? Nothing.

Suddenly, she’s got zero sex drive. As she says, I am 100% uninterested. It is absolutely uncanny. I have no desire – not towards him, or ANYONE, male or female. If I even wanted to cheat right now, I wouldn’t be able. I used to be this voracious sex creature, all my life – and now, I’m just a sexless zombie. I was on The Pill for a while but I was certain it was fucking up my natural “sexy” hormones, so I stopped about 2 months ago in favor of condoms, basal thermometers, herbs, and moon cycles, which has in fact made me feel a lot better— just NOT SEXY!!!

So, then her question is, What I need to know is, how can I transform myself back into the hormonal sex-on-the-brain tigress I used to be?

Oh, here. Let me just wave my magic wand. POOF. There, that should do it! Oh, it didn’t work? Damn.

The thing about feeling sexy is, it tends to be an indicator of all the other things going on in your life. More on that in a minute. The problem with having that “I’m too sexy for this shirt” feeling dissipating on you is, we’re surrounded by sexuality all the time. The media tells us we have to be beautiful. Society tells us constantly that they judge our books by our covers. Our relationships are supposed to be value-rated by how hot the sex is. The pharmaceutical companies have gotten in on the act with Viagra and Cialis and all those other fun little drugs so we can be sex gods for all the wrong reasons.

The little dark secret that no one wants to talk about is that feeling sexual can go up in smoke pretty fucking fast. There isn’t one thing that could be causing your problems, it’s many.

  • Fatigue (overwork, lack of sleep)
  • Depression (seasonal moods, moodiness)
  • Diet (lack of iron, lack of protein, etc)
  • Underlying relationship problems
  • Worries (money, school, future, life)
  • Fitness (not enough cardio, etc)

And more. Let’s look at your specifics then.

Your relationship has changed for a number of reasons. Your guy’s in a new job that leaves him being less of the guy you used to know – a guy who was creative and passionate and now is a guy in front of a computer, doing a draining and uninspired job.

You were on birth control, something that is well known for affecting sexual sensitivity as well as sex drive. But you fucked up, honey. You went all knee-jerk and stopped taking the pill smack-dab in the middle of your cycle, and you had NO medical consultation before doing so. For anyone else thinking of this: Don’t. Stopping the pill in the middle of your cycle is borderline dumb, because it’ll fuck up your cycle, but worse, it’ll really mess with your hormones. Unfortunately, many chicks don’t know this because the medical information that comes with pills is written in fucking medical/legal-ese.

Pills really do a number on us. Guys will never, ever understand how much pills can fuck us up until we decide to be cruel and shoot them up with estrogen overloads. Here’s an example from my own life, all right?

I started my cycle a day late back in January. It’s five months later and my period has still not returned to normal. I changed it by a SINGLE DAY, and I’m still paying the price. The medical professionals say, “Oh, it takes three months for your system to get back on track.” Know what that’s called? The lowest common denominator. They take all the data from all the chicks who’ve gone awry on their cycle, and they find average length of recovery, and that’s the magic number. Trouble is, every number has exceptions. Hi, I’m Steff, and I’ll be your exception.

No matter what else you talk to your doctor about, you need to tell him/her you did this. Go and ask what it may have done to you. The trouble is, doctors don’t tend to believe too much in pills causing depression and things like that. My doctor was sort of disbelieving when I said I was depressed by way of my pills last fall. Gradually, he came to understand it had to be the case. Since then, I’ve been trying different pills, but I’m still less sexually sensitive than I was, and my sex drive is lower.

You say you don’t eat a lot of meat, and you’re really healthy diet-wise, and maybe you don’t spend enough time with yourself, and perhaps you’re antsy about your future, and all of that. Hell, you even say your relationship has changed because your guy’s not the same. That could do it right there.

Well, sexy comes from caring for ourselves and putting ourselves first – not relying on others’ perceptions of us. We need to exercise, take the time to make ourselves look nice, spend quality time alone, and show ourselves the respect we deserve. Somebody wanting us seems like it should make us feel sexy, but it just doesn’t work that way. We can’t rely on outward situations to provide us with our sexuality. It comes from within.

You’re obsessing about it because it’s something you can’t understand and can’t get to the bottom of. That’s not helping. That’s like guys who worry about whether they’re going to get hard and be able to perform – it exacerbates the problem. But how do you get out of your head?

Talk to someone, and by “someone,” I don’t mean some faceless chick half-way across the country, on the internet. I mean a doctor or therapist and see where it’s going.

The trouble is, not all doctors will see “not feeling sexy” as a medical issue. I think it is. I think you’ve got things going on in the background that are figuring into the equation. Worse, I think quitting the pills cold turkey has probably done quite the number on your hormones, the fall-out of which might take a little while longer to reset itself because you’re so young and hormones aren’t exactly on your side these days anyhow.

The long and the short of it is, this isn’t something you should be fucking around with on your own to solve. Talk to someone and see if there’s possibly something underlying that’s causing it. Spend some more time alone doing things you love, and make fitness a priority. Get sexy for you, not for him, and value how it feels for yourself, not because it’s rejuvenating your relationship.

As women, we tend to forget ourselves in relationships, and the effects of that (especially combined with estrogen upheavals like pill neglect) can be pretty profound on our self-images.

The thing is, we’re lied to. We’re told that getting into relationships is how to feel complete, how to become whole. A lot of the time, though, the relationships we choose are wrong for us, and the result is, the relationships make us less whole.

Sometimes it’s just life doing a number on us, and we want to blame our relationship so we don’t have to face life.

It’s complicated. Herbs and supplements and all that shit are likely not going to solve your conundrum. The IMPORTANT THING to remember is, it’ll work out. You’ll come back to yourself, you’re just taking the long way of doing so. And when things do come back to normalcy, remember, the best sex is still to come, ‘cos sex improves like all hell when you hit your late 20s and 30s, girlie.

Good luck with that. Anyone able to offer personal insight in this situation? Thanks.