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What Can A Woman Do To Kill Her Sex Drive?

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Q. Wow. After reading dozens of other posts to this website I can't believe so many others know what this is like. My sex drive is slightly above average. My boyfriend's is well below average. Other than the lack of sex my relationship is perfect.

I wish this one thing didn't hurt so much. We're both in our mid 30's and healthy. He just doesn't desire sex. Apparently this has been an issue for him before. On average we have sex once every 6 weeks or so. Its driving me crazy. At this point once a week would sound good to me.

It hurts so much to feel so undesired. Even when we do have sex it's only to please me. The sex is really good when it happens. Every time we do I get my hopes up that it'll be more frequent but my hopes are always crushed. Between rejection and knowing sex does so little for him I want to give up. That's why I'm searching for something to kill my sex drive. Never could I have imagined this would be my life.

A. It has surprised us how many women have experienced the same problem you are going through. It is almost as if there is some environmental exposure that is dampening desire of millions of men. To see what other women are going through, here are two links on our website:

Seeking Ways To Suppress Sex Drive

and

Women Who Want Sex More Than Men

We are always reluctant to suggest strong medications that might dampen desire. Most of the antidepressant medications such as fluoxetine, paroxetine or sertraline will do this, but the side effects are worrisome. And stopping such drugs can cause nightmares, literally and figuratively.

Here is an alternative that might be safer:

Q. I read on your website about women desperate to reduce their libido. I used to suffer from the same unwelcome sexual desires. I think my sex drive was due to excess testosterone.

I fixed this problem by drinking spearmint tea in the morning and the evening for several weeks. Spearmint is available in health food stores or Latino groceries, where it is sold as yerba buena.

A. To our surprise we found that in Turkey, mint tea has a reputation for lowering libido. Animal research suggests that it may have an impact on testosterone.

In one study, researchers treated 21 women who had unwanted facial hair (Phytotherapy Research, May, 2007). A cup of spearmint tea twice a day for five days lowered free testosterone.

A British trial randomized 42 women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and high testosterone levels to take either spearmint tea or placebo tea twice a day for a month. At the end of 30 days testosterone levels were lower in the women who had consumed spearmint tea (Phytotherapy Research, Feb. 2010).

Spearmint tea seems much less likely to have undesirable side effects than certain other remedies people have tried, including licorice, saltpeter or chaste tree berry.

Perhaps a better solution would be to ask your partner to listen to this interview with Dr. Ruth. We talked with her on the radio about exactly this problem. Her suggestion: have the partner satisfy the person with the stronger sex drive. We won't get too graphic here, but Dr. Ruth does not mince words. At her age and with her experience in sexual education, she can be surprisingly candid. In a loving relationship, the partner with the lower sex drive should be happy to help the other achieve sexual satisfaction. Here's a link to the description of the show and a one minute billboard.

And here's a link to the one-hour radio show titled "Sex After 50." It is also relevant for 30-year-olds. If you prefer a CD to an MP3 file, try this link.

What do you do to deal with different levels of libido? We would like to see your story. Post a comment below and share your own experience with this common problem.

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32 Comments

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Hi I can't imagine going six weeks without some sort of sexual activity. A week is long enough for me.

I think that six weeks is probably not healthy for the prostate as it needs to be used. Once or twice a week seems healthy so I would say that your sex drive is healthy and not excessive.

It is not you that has a problem it is your partner. Is there anything you can do that would increase his sex drive. Try Horney Goatweed as an herb.

Your story could be mine. I did marry the man, and while it has been a good marriage for more than 20 years and I love him deeply, I feel like l live with my brother or best friend, not a husband.

Now that I'm older it's not as much of an issue for me, especially since he does show affection in other ways, just not ways that lead to sex.

After spending my 20's single and quite sexually active, I was so happy to find a kind and responsible man without a lot of baggage that I went ahead with the marriage. Our marriage and life are the envy of many of our friends and I am grateful for what I do have. However, and honestly, I'm not certain I would make the same decision again.

Think carefully before you enter into marriage with this person and be confident that you accept him as he is. My experience is that no matter how much talking, begging, dressing up, staying fit and keeping yourself looking good and being the "ideal" wife you do, nothing will change him. If you can't accept him as he is it's just as unfair to him as it is to you.

On the flip side - any recommendation for increasing a woman's desires for intimacy? My wife and I havve not been intimate for 6 years. She has absolutely no desire. I believe menopause is the reason. She went through it several years ago. We have never had "frequent" times, but at least once a year. Now, it's been 6.

My husband had lost interest in sex. He said he didn't even think about it anymore (and he used to think about it all the time!). I finally convinced him to see a urologist - who wants to talk about this?? The urologist noticed that he had high prolactin levels and sent him to an endocrinologist. He got a RX to reduce prolactin and within two weeks he was back to normal.

Maybe he has low testosterone levels. He needs to get them checked out. You may not have a sex drive above average; his just may be way below average.

Isn't it possible that phytoestrogens and bisphenol A are impacting the endocrine systems of men?

I had a male relative with a low tolerance to soy and it was almost impossible to find foods (except fruit, legumes and vegetables) without it. Even 'grain' fed animals-if you call the rancher/farmer-soy is classified as a 'grain' in the feed of cattle (thus impacting meat and milk), swine and poultry. It is in bread, chips, crackers too.

Just a thought for what might be lowering the male sex drive, via the estrogen.

On the down side, there are many drugs and hormones (including some of the most popular oral contraceptives, in the case of women) that can put the whammy on libido, especially with long-term use. Antidepressants, antihypertensives, and others can affect either gender. I personally think the warnings about this side effect is grossly under-emphasized by the drug companies, doctors, and pharmacists!

HI,
I noticed a big diference in my husbands libido right after our first chld was born. It seems to drop from 2 x a month to almost 1 x every 6 months, and it was a lackluster performance at that.

NOW in my mid fifties, I'm seriously contemplating divorce because i have not seen any interest from my husband in well over 20 years, and when it does seem to show promise, i get shut down or given excuses.

Granted I'm not the 21-year-old slim young person anymore , but neither is he. I'm soo sick and tired of this non-sex life, I realy need to do something. I'm just not happy with this life anymore; kids are grown, so i have no motherly duties to stay.

I have in the past satisfied my sex urges with other men, but that too was a let-down, and i only did this because i was so frustrated. What is wrong with men these days? Are they ALL on meds to make them zombies like this?

Agree that the man is at risk here. Statistically for a male, there is something biological (low T) but there is also always the possibility that there is an emotional issue, most likely stemming from an adult, male authority figure from his past (can we say 'Father Wound'?) If he values the relationship, he needs to find out the problem.

For her, has she expressed her desires and expectations?

This could be dissertation level stuff...

Your desires are not above average. Your drive sounds like a normal and healthy one.

Think long and hard about staying in this relationship. Sexual incompatibility will take its toll.

Your boyfriend's lack of desire may be low testosterone but also consider that he may prefer men. A total lack of desire is a sign something is amiss. Don't be in denial.

Good luck to you.
N

The spearmint tea remedy may not be so far fetched. Spearmint oil has been shown to interfere with the reproductive cycle of the Varroa mite that parasitizes honeybees, and is added to sugar syrup by some beekeepers, and is found in some commercial feeding stimulants and supplements.

A new boyfriend? Being logical, if you continue with the one you have now, you will be less than happy for the term of the relationship.

Let me just say this. I was married to a man who had a very high sex drive and he cheated on me constantly, even though we had sex almost every day. It seems it was the thrill of the chase also. He had at least six affairs and many one-night stands in less than 3 years of marriage.

The man I'm married to now has a much lower sex drive, and while it's sometimes hurtful that he doesn't want me as often as I want him, at least he isn't cheating on me and is a good, solid husband.

We've been together almost 30 years now and sex is almost non-existent... less and less every year. I say, know what you're getting into with a man with a high sex drive. Be careful what you wish for!

The problem is the man's, not yours. Also, look for a "secret stash" of porn materials somewhere among his things. If a man has an untreatable physical medical condition where he can't function, that is one thing, but if he is still gratifying himself through masterbation and giving you nothing, that is laziness or a psychological problem such as frigidity, or any number of other psychological reasons.

It amazes me how we let the men off the hook by saying "my sex drive is higher than his," where a woman would be scorned and probably dumped rather quickly if she could not keep up with a man. I stayed with a man for five (more) years after I finally found out about his prediliction for porn that featured transvestite men, but eventually divorced him.

He remarried quickly, and she divoced him within two years. In middle age he has remarried in recent years. When I look at the video of the two of them talking together, I see that he is still quite frigid. I suspect that there is zero sex happening between these two, but if they are happy, I'm glad for them both. He was my best friend until he broke my trust. It was his lie that he didn't want to have sex at all that was what broke my friendship to him. It wasn't a matter of "he didn't want sex at all;" it was a matter of he wanted sex with fantasy porn, which was easier for him to enjoy (there was no work to a relationship in bed to it).

This is the truth in many situations, I suspect, and I hope the web monitors print this comment in its entirety.

I'm glad you had the courage to bring this subject up...it was the first answer that came to my mind. These days, it's not politically/socially correct to blame pornography and so much sex and violence on TV for an adult's behavior, but it most certainly has a residual effect.

Did your comments get printed in entirety?

I could have written your letter. My husband FINALLY realized what effect this was having on my self-esteem, well-being and enjoyment of life, and was motivated to do something about it. I actually insisted we sleep in separate bedrooms because I was soooo tired of feeling rejected and unwanted.

HAVE HIM GET HIS HORMONE LEVELS TESTED! I was convinced that I repulsed him on some level, or that he was possibly gay . . . and what it turned out is that his levels were off. I won't go into details, but I will tell you the horrible irony of my situation. He has discovered this new-found sex drive at the same time I am at the start of menopause, and what was once, for me, been an unflagging, healthy appreciation and desire for sex has now disappeared. Vanished. That's how I came across your post, as I am looking for ways to deal with this new stage of my life. WE BOTH WISH THAT HE HAD DISCUSSED THIS WITH HIS DOCTOR DECADES AGO!

My husband indeed loved me, and wanted to want me all this time, and now he can really appreciate the pleasures of our sex life in a way that he was not able to before. Unfortunately I am the 'odd man out' at this point, but I am vowing to find a 'cure'. Good luck to you! I hope that you can benefit from my experience with this.

This has been a problem for me for years. It is my experience that women are the more sexual of the 2 sexes not men. That men are the more sexual is a myth that needs to be studied and perhaps put to rest. Women should not be advised to subvert the drive. Would that be the recommendation for a man with a lazy sex partner? I don't think so! We would be looking for ways to get her up to his speed. Now that would be a better solution for this problem. As Dr. Ruth suggest he would do well to participate in this activity lovingly. I am over 65 and can not find a man who can keep up with me. That is not bad and does not need to be medicated with antidepressant. That is carzy! Makes me mad to think of such!

I am so relieved to here other are going through this as well. I feel like such a freak for desiring sex the way I do. My relationship is almost perfect except for the lack of sex. I'm starting to build resentment and guilt for forcing him to have sex with me.

I'm so so glad to find this page, I read through some of the posts and cried my eyes out because I can relate to the horrible feeling that he just might not want me anymore, and it is like living with a best friend rather than a long term partner. I love him to pieces but stopped trying to initiate sex after several weeks of him saying he wasn't in the mood. I've even told him why I stopped but he always insists he never said he wasn't interested...
When he got diagnosed with a dvt I held back completely so he could recover fully as his leg was in agony. 14 months after getting the all clear and still no sex! I sometimes get upset thinking I'm unattractive and wondering why the hell I bother even trying.. I've even started avoiding seeing him naked. If he's getting un/dressed, I'll either avert my gaze or walk back out. It hurts like hell but .. I can't be in the same room as him when he's naked and not want him.

I've suggested getting his hormones checked as I'd twigged something can't be right, but it seems to have been ignored in favour of the familiar attitude of "I don't want to see the dr" or "but I don't like needles.." and he's now saying we both need to lose weight (which, granted we do, but that's not an excuse for not wanting sex -we're not even that overweight)...

I find cooking, cleaning or just working longer hours tends to help get rid of some of the frustration. What makes me laugh though is how he wonders why I'm moody "for no reason" and why I get up early in the morning or refuse to go for a lie down when he's feeling a bit tired (because I know it won't lead to anything and I'll get irritated and end up getting back up anyway).

I've even made one hell of a dig at him when he said he'd like us to start a family in the near future.. I simply retorted that sex is a bit of a must for any children to be a possibility. I felt awful after I'd said it.. I want children too but, biology lessons said sex was kinda important when trying to conceive..

This is sooooo me. I feel like I force him into it. He will do it, but it is never initiated by him, and it looks exactly like I am asking him to do a chore. I am tired of this, tired of the way it makes me feel and tired of desiring sex so much when my husband does not. This is the hardest thing in my marriage at this point.

Wow this thread has made me feel sooooo much better. I suffer from a much higher libido than my partner. I totally relate to the feelings of rejection and frustration. I actually was celibate for quite a few years after an unfaithful ex, but now I have a partner and feel more rejected and unfulfilled that way than when celibate! Definitely trying the spearmint tea idea ;)

Don't marry this guy! I have been married for almost 13 years to this situation. It's miserable!! Can't wait to try the tea!

I'm so happy I ran across this now I don’t feel like I'm an abnormal woman. Here's my story, for as long as I remember I've always had a high sex drive but now that I'm 34 its even higher than ever its all I ever think about&I thought id hit the jackpot with the bf I'm now engaged to who is also 34.

Well everything was perfect till about 5 months ago he started having pain when he'd pee or ejaculate so we went 2 the doctor found out even though he's young 4 it he was diagnosed with enlarged prostate none of the meds are working at all&it puts him threw so much pain 2 have sex now we're lucky if we're intimate once a month &even though I know its not his fault I wake up mad go to bed mad I constantly dream about sex, its like I have no control over being mad bc I'm sooo sexually frustrated then I feel like a bad person bc I know he cant help it.

We talk about it often& he says its not that he doesn’t want me he just knows how bad its going 2 hurt, he says it feel like someone is squeezing the head of the penis while the semen is trying to come out& his stomach knots up in pain like its gonna explode!! neither one of us have children& that's something I want only with him but so scared we won't have that opportunity bc of his health problems!!

I'm def going to try the spearmint tea to see if it will help lower my sex drive bc I know I'm stressing him out, I feel like I pressure him 2 be intimate!!I love this man &I'm very much n love with him just want him back 2 normal!!I've tried EVERYTHING, ppl think I'm crazy bc I require so much sex but he never had an issue with it he always loved the way I was before this happened. I know I'm loved by him I'm just sexually frustrated BAD.

Been doing a lot of research on this over the past couple of years. Basically the 3 main culprits - has low testosterone or another physical problem, he is cheating in some way (porn, affairs, etc.), or he's passive aggressive and he’s punishing you. This has been a problem in my life for 20 years now and has had serious impacts on my major depression.

I caution everyone – that old saying you can’t change them is all too true. Yes everyone does change over time and I’ve kept hoping he would but when someone is comfortably in a rut and can’t even talk about the problem because even commenting on it is an assault to their ego…. there are over 7 billion people on this planet. Find someone else.

"Between rejection and knowing sex does so little for him I want to give up." Maybe he isn't rejecting you, he just has a low sex drive or some other issue with his hormones. Or maybe he just dislikes sex. Why don't you tell him how you feel before making assumptions and compromise and accept him for who he is? If you can't trust him or accept him, there's no reason to stay in this relationship.

It is nice to read that i'm not alone!
My story is very similar to many of the other women here. I am 25 and have been with my 31 year old boyfriend for five years. After the honeymoon period ended roughly three months into the relationship, I noticed it big time. It seemed like all of a sudden he had no desire.

Looking back, I realised it was mostly me initiating sex. He must have just done it to keep me happy. So what is wrong with me? Have I done something wrong? Is he cheating? What is it!?

As terrible as it is I am lucky enough to have been told the truth. One that many men never tell. He was sexually abused as a child. This is more common than you may think. Unfortunately not as simple a fix as a few trips to the doctor for some pills. Particularly if professional counseling is for some reason out of the question.

However I am thankful that I at least know and am not still tearing my hair out over why he has no interest in sex. I can't force him to do something he is not ready for- change (counseling).

It is now my problem because I want sex, not him. I have the power to change only myself. Or do I?

Every couple of months I get fed up with the feelings of hurtful blunt rejection, loneliness, anger and think of the possible fixes- operations, pills, hypnotherapy ect. to make myself not want sex. For me sex has become more often a bad thing than good because of the problems it has caused with it's power.

Having sex organs are useless to me and just a great source of pain. To add to the situation, I do NOT want and will Not have children (my partner and I have mutual feelings about this), and yet I still have to endure monthly periods. Overall 'It' is $#!t!

I know exactly how you feel... he gives excuses from I am too lubricated and he is not used to it to he is too tired to do it. I too have been looking for pleasure elsewhere but I am so tired of it. I also want to walk out!

Oh my God!!! Thank you for your post I can relate to it so well. He is a wonderful man but our sex life SUCKS. I stay busy to avoid being in bed with him and when we finally encounter sex he gets upset because I am "too wet"...lol

Once again thank you because I honestly thought he was no longer interested in me!

I feel exactly the same way. My boyfriend is even 8 years younger than I am... I always expected that someone his age would have a much higher sex drive. He does please me often... but I always feel like he's only doing it because I want him to. Everything else in our relationship is practically perfect. As someone said in earlier comments, at least I know he's not cheating on me. I would like to see if perhaps it's just a problem with his hormones, but I fear he will reject my suggestions to do so. He used to turn me down more often, and after many many fights and tears about the subject, he's come to the conclusion that it's easier to just do what I want. It's not like he has a problem getting an erection or anything. He has no trouble reaching orgasm either (sometimes reaches it far too quickly even) but when I suggest we have sex it's always "um, sure I guess so" or something to that note... still hurts even though the answer is 'yes', its a reluctant one. We are supposed to get married someday, and while I think he would make a wonderful partner in every other way, I fear this could really put a major damper on it and is my one and only reservation. If we don't get married... this will be why.

Even if everything else is perfect this one area is nonnegotiable! Take it from me, don't put yourself through the long-term heartache. It will never change unless you're one of the lucky ones who will try to get help for himself.

I'm so happy I ran across this. I do have pcos. These stories so sound like me. Thank you I will try the tea.

I wanted to know if there is a reason for a woman who has a sexual appetite whenever she is or has been kissed or touched by her gentleman friend. She has been without a sexual partner other than being a caregiver for 13 years to a husband of 42 years. Would medication cause this reaction or could this just be a normal reaction after being celibate for so long?

She takes antidepressants and pain medicine as well as being a diabetic. Her friend who is 64 and she being 63 thinks its not normal to want sex all the time.

Is there some side effects to medicine that makes you sexual all the time? This really is a problem because her friend has medical problems that make it so hard to keep up with her and they argue about it.

I hope someone out there has heard her problem and can advise her what to do, besides finding a younger man. She has only had sex with one man her late husband and her new friend has really awoken her desires like never before.

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