Loss of libido can have a variety of causes – some psychological, some not. One of the leading causes of lost sexual desire is stress and fatigue. In this case the condition is temporary and desire returns when the stressful period ends, or when you’re able to get enough rest.
Sex can arouse a lot of anxiety in people who are unsure of themselves or fear humiliation. For someone who has never had sex – or has had a bad experience with sex – the anxiety level can be overwhelming. People may fear that they will not be able to become aroused or excited, and fail their partner. Alternatively, they may fear the consequences of sexual activity (pregnancy or sexually transmitted infections). Fear of sex – or even intimacy – is not uncommon, and most people experience it at some time in their lives.
Estrangement from partner
Someone who feels hurt by, or angry with, their partner may express their emotions through a lack of sexual desire. Women, particularly, find it difficult to have sex when their feelings have been hurt or they feel “unsafe” in the relationship. Negative feelings toward your partner may be incompatible with the prospect of sexual intimacy, which decreases your level of arousal.
Misdirected sexual desire
This phenomenon often occurs in the case of “closeted” gay men and women. While actual sexual desire may be high with members of their appropriate sexual orientation, many people ashamed or insecure about their sexuality will still force themselves to desire the wrong sex. Often “closeted” individuals marry and have children while still suffering from lack of sexual desire for their spouses. Others may be disturbed by their fantasies or fetishes and may try to ignore them by repressing their sexual desire.
Not all the causes of low sexual desire are psychological in nature – in older men, it can be caused by a low level of the hormone androgen. Women may experience “interruptions” in sexual desire through different stages in their lives. Hormonal deficiency can sometimes be treated with hormone injections. Anything that adversely affects your metabolism will undoubtedly cause some lack of sexual desire. This may include an accident, trauma or illness. Depression, and the medication used to treat it, may adversely affect libido, as will anything that causes pain. You should speak to your doctor if you have problems created by medication, or if sex has become painful in any way.
I really want to want sex…
A short period of loss of desire may correct itself. Reducing stress or anxiety will help, too. If it is caused by problems with your partner, physical wellbeing or fears, see your doctor, a counsellor or even a sex therapist. Work out your fears or expectations. If you have a loving partner, talk to her or him and spend time together finding things that you enjoy, that are exciting or that make you feel closer to each other. Wanting to want you partner is a good start.