Let me start by saying that yes, it is 100% normal for someone to lose the desire to engage in sex. The reasons people lose interest can be very simple, to incredibly complex and can include things like:
- Stress from daily life or specific events (*cough *cough Global Pandemic)
- Misinformation or lack of adequate education about healthy sexuality
- Dissatisfaction within relationships
- Underlying health conditions
- Changes in medication or medication side effects
- Hormonal changes or fluctuations
- Negative experiences, or messages about sex
- Changes in sexual orientation and preference
- Experiencing sexual pain
- Being overworked or finding that you have less time for yourself
- Parenting young children or acting as an adult caregiver
- Experiencing sexual difficulties, like obtaining and maintaining an erection, or vaginal dryness
More important than finding that you have decreased desire for sex, is the question of whether or not you are bothered by this decrease. Is it something that is concerning you? Or is it simply something that you noticed but aren’t particularly bothered by? If it is the latter, then you can stop reading here! If you aren’t worried about it, you can happily go on with your day. Our sexuality including our level of desire for sex fluctuates for many reasons (including the above list) and you only need to look at it more deeply if you are bothered by the decreased desire.
A number of people tell me that they don’t feel that their desire is as strong as their peers’, but… when they engage in sexy time they are completely into it, and definitely desire it then. It just doesn’t occur to them to desire sex that often, out of the blue. This is also 100% normal, and is known as responsive desire. Many women in particular, experience desire in this way, and is often the cause for society thinking that women have lower sex drives than do men. This is not true.
Responsive desire requires an input in order to spark that desire. Once that desire is sparked, it is a raging fire! Other people who experience instantaneous desire can be minding their own business and suddenly experience a desire for sex, seemingly out of nowhere. Instead of a spark, they get spontaneous combustion! Both desire types are perfectly normal, and you may experience one or both.
What To Do
If you can tick off an item or two (or all) on the list of things that affect desire, and you are not happy with your level of sexual interest, there are things that can be done to improve your situation and help you find more pleasure in life in general.
The first thing to do is be kind to yourself. Remember that sexuality and our sexual responses are on a spectrum, and your needs and desires do change over time. It’s entirely possible to have experienced sexual attraction or levels of sexual response in the past and find that you no longer do, or to have always experienced little or no sexual interest. It’s also entirely possible to only experience sexual desire in certain circumstances.