When is a lack of sexual desire a problem?

Although it is a taboo subject, the truth is that sexual dissatisfaction is far from something that only concerns single people. There are many couples who come to our consultation explaining that they have been dragging on for months apparent incompatibilities in sex, or even a lack of desire to have sex, something that many people experience as a big deal both personally and for the love affair that they formed.

But… When does lack of sexual desire become a problem? Is it always a bad thing, something to work on from psychotherapy and/or sex therapy with sexologists? Let’s see.

    What is sexual desire?

    Sexual desire is the psychological predisposition that leads us to deal with sexual urges, that is, the urge to have sex in some way. It is a phenomenon that is largely determined by genetic inheritance, but is not entirely determined by our DNA (as we will see later).

    Its existence is the product of millions of years of biological evolution, because our species (like most vertebrate animals) reproduces sexually, which is why our nervous system is “hard-wired” in a way that, therefore, in general, it makes us prone to want to have sex from a certain age.

    In other words, if the lineage of living beings that evolved into the human species had not evolved to experience sexual desirewould not exist, because they would have no incentives to mate and give birth to the next generation.

    On the other hand, it is important not to confuse sexual desire with sexual attraction. While sexual desire is a predisposition that makes us want to have sex in general, sexual attraction is always directed towards someone, one or more people with whom we want to have sex (in the strongest sense). broad of the term).

    So we can feel sexual desire but not sexual attractionand it can also happen that even if we have developed a sexual attraction towards a person, at some point we do not feel sexual desire (and the latter is very important to understand the importance of consent).

      In what situations is the lack of sexual desire problematic?

      Now that we’ve explained the concepts of sexual desire and sexual attraction in general, it’s time to ask the key question: Is lack of sexual desire inherently bad? The answer is no, but with nuances.

      First, the lack of sexual desire it shouldn’t be a problem because today we know that there are people who have a predisposition to feel a very low or even zero sexual desire, and that they are not unhappy about it. They are asexual people, or rather a part of them. Because there are also cases of people who have asexuality despite a significant degree of sexual desire; What happens is that they feel sexual desire towards hardly anyone. And again, that would mean you have to spend on those processes.

      In fact, the two types of asexual individuals they can develop relationships, since such bonds do not necessarily have to be based on the pillar of frequent sex. And by the way, it should be noted that asexuality is very different from sex phobia; in fact, it can lead to a desire to have an intimate relationship in a non-sexual way.

      On the other hand, keep in mind that At the end of the youthful phase, most people’s sexual desire decreases; it decreases how often you want to have sex, as well as the interest in having sex for a relatively long period of time. It is a completely natural process that should not scare anyone, but should be taken into account.

      So when is a lack of sexual desire a problem? This is when it gives rise to strong asymmetries in the relationship. If a person feels very dissatisfied that they cannot have sex as often and for as long as they would like, that is as legitimate an experience as lack of interest in having sex. Of course, this is no justification for falling into the dynamic of infidelity, but it is a kind of misunderstanding that is important to talk about openly, without treating it as a taboo subject.

      The good news is that while sexual desire is heavily influenced by genes, so is it. it is affected by experience and socio-cultural. Therefore, in psychotherapy and sex therapy, couples can be helped to reconnect in the realm of sex, by establishing games and habits that encourage the desire to maintain relationships and by preventing the desire from being overwhelmed by the fear, prejudice and misconceptions about sexuality.

        Are you looking for psychotherapy or sexology services?

        If you are interested in starting couples therapy or a sexual intervention process, contact our team of professionals.

        In UPAD Psychology and Coaching We work to care for individual patients and couples in marital and romantic crisis, and we work to help them face and overcome problems of management and expression of emotions, lack of communication, lack of satisfaction sexual, etc. You can count on us in person and online via video call.

        Bibliographic references

        • Beck, JG; Bozman, AW; OnlineQualtrough, T. (1991). “The Experience of Sexual Desire: Psychological Correlates in a College Sample.” The Journal of Sex Research. 28 (3): 443–456.
        • Carreno, M. (1991). Psychosocial aspects of romantic relationships. Faculty of Psychology. University of Santiago de Compostela.

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