I am a 23-year-old girl and have absolutely no libido or desire to have sex, and this is causing quite a strain on my relationship. I have had random instances where I have desired to have sex. However, these are not very often. Not only do I never get excited, but I don't feel any pleasure during sexual intercourse or any other sexual activity. My boyfriend keeps saying even if I'm not turned on, just do it and it will feel good. But the problem is it doesn't feel good at all. It either feels like nothing, or I feel like I need to pee, or it is just generally uncomfortable. Is it possible that there is something wrong with me physically, which is why I don't feel anything? I love my boyfriend so much and I want to make it work, but he is getting so frustrated with me, especially because he has a very high libido. I feel like I shouldn't be like this at such a young age. Do you have any advice?
It's not that unusual to have low libido at your age – really, age has little to do with low libido because a low sex drive can be caused by many things.
Sure, being young means your hormones should be at high levels, and many young vibrant people are fit and active and this helps maintain a healthy sex drive too, but many other causes of low libido are not age related.
Often stress is a cause of low sex drive, as are relationship issues. Also, if you’re not feeling pleasure, there’s not a lot of positive motivation to get in the mood for sex because it’s not an activity you relish.
Many people for example don’t rush out to the dentist or to have an uncomfortable procedure, or even do a boring errand. Why would we?
We tend to look forward and build up excitement around activities that feel good or deliver us some reward, whether physical or psychological or both.
If sex feels painful, boring, not pleasurable, not fun, and/or disconnected from your partner and their experience, then your response to not want it is a normal one!
That’s the good news. Your body and brain are reacting normally to the situation, and you’ve also expressed there have been random instances when you have felt sexual desire.
This means that whatever the cause is of your sexual desire, it’s sporadic, or at least not constant, and so once you isolate the cause and treat it, your sex drive should return to what your personal normal level is.
Some initial questions to ask would be: are you on the birth control pill? And if so, have you noticed a negative effect on your libido since taking the pill?
Some pills affect women’s libido negatively and often changing brand after talking with your doctor can improve the situation. Also, are you able to experience sexual pleasure and orgasm on your own, without your partner?
Try experimenting on your own to discover various ways to turn yourself on.
The more familiar you are with your own sexual response, the better able you are to communicate what works to your partner.
Everyone is different and if you two aren’t communicating about what works to pleasure each other, you may find that your response isn’t ‘kicking in’ because the pleasure just simply isn’t occurring.
Women are different from men, and your boyfriend’s approach to just do it and then it will feel good may work for him, but that doesn’t mean it will work for you.
Women more often than not need to feel turned on first, before they can start responding.
And this often means feeling turned on well outside the bedroom – things like romance, attention, affection, bonding and seduction are vital for women and their sexual response.
Unlike men, they often don’t turn on in the minutes (or seconds!) right before getting between the sheets. Make sure you talk to your boyfriend about spending more time investing in your relationship together outside the bedroom and not just in it.
The rewards will pay off in your love life in many ways, including sexually.
Finally, the urge to pee is not unusual and shows that you are experiencing some sexual stimulation and response.
That it’s not coupled with pleasure could indicate that you are not relaxing and letting go to the feelings of pleasure, or that you’re not being stimulated in the right way to get to the wonderful pleasure part.
Try stimulating yourself – alone and with your partner – and seeing what response you get.
If you feel pain or still nothing, visit your GP for a check-up, and get a referral to a sex therapist to work on your response and libido.