This is a tale of two libidos. Well, two mismatched libidos. Society assumes men have the stronger sex drive. Movies, online and a simple google search show that this is often the case. However, I have a higher sex drive than my husband. And when the opposite applies and a female seeks more action? It’s unnerving. I know this unsettling feeling well. I also know the questions that accompany it.
Having the libido of a twenty year old man seems unnatural with a house full of children and a minivan.
Is it possible to go so long without sex that your virginity comes back?
While scrubbing crayon off the wall recently, I actually took a moment to notice how sexy Mr. Clean is. I don’t know who I am anymore. The good news is that my walls have never been cleaner.
All of this worry about having a higher sex drive than my spouse has me thinking: what is a libido and how is it measured?
What comprises sex drive? How is it quantified? Turns out, there is no numeric measurement for libido. Libido is comprised of many factors, including brain function.
For most people a slow change in sexuality begins in middle age and continues throughout life. In addition, couples often struggle with sex after the birth or a baby. It’s no secret that women in long term relationships lose their sex drive more readily than men (check out this series of posts we did with a local sexuality and relationship coach). However, my personal sex drive is entirely too high for the amount of sex I am not having. Subsequently, as the years pass my libido increases. I seem to be the Benjamin Button of sex. My doctor reports that my hormone levels are medically on par. Yet, I have no idea why I am so inexplicably passionate.
Let’s look at this scientifically.
The outer layer of the human brain, the cerebral cortex, is made of gray matter. This part of the brain controls higher functions like planning and organized thinking. Signals of arousal also originate in the cerebral cortex. Next they interface with nerves and other areas of the brain. The brain’s amygdala is part of the limbic system. Men often experience more activity in the amygdala of their brain when stimulated visually. Yet, this knowledge does nothing to explain why mine seems to be on overdrive.
It’s safe to assume that my cerebral cortex is functioning just fine.
Is it taboo to talk to your mom friends about your sex life?
Some couples are private about their sex life. Others fear being judged for heightened sexual behavior. Well, I didn’t get the memo. I’ve unapologetically asked other women I trust about my plight. Actually, I’ve done this more than once. I take my vagina very seriously. Many agree that their relationship also shoulders uneven sex drives. Unfortunately, the deck is not stacked the same way as mine. Dear Lord, I cannot be the only one!
A thirty-something mom friend suggested a noteworthy solution. She suggested I should “initiate” sex.
My brain briefly imagines her being burdened with another night of missionary position vanilla sex after her husband with the higher sex drive initiates sex.
I scowl. Sure Gail, I’ve never tried that. (Rolls eyes…of course I’ve tried that!!) First, I never fear being rejected if my husband isn’t in the mood. I can gauge his body language and level of interest and know whether to continue being amorous. Sexuality is complex. Those with a lower libido may agree to unexpected sex. Yet they tend to get impatient for it to be over and to that I say, “Ever slid down a water slide that isn’t wet? Foreplay is kinda important.” Ultimately, there is no benefit in pushing your partner if they “have a headache”. Intercourse implies another active participant. Ultimately, their feelings are also relevant.
You may have noticed this to be an anonymous post.
My anonymity is not due to embarrassment or shame. In the hierarchy of challenges to have, I consider this a manageable one. Nonetheless, my kiddos are learning to use google. I’m concerned it might be concerning to them.
If you are wondering if I’m happily married, the answer is yes. Do I flirt with the UPS driver and get side action? Goodness, no. Having a high libido doesn’t make me want to hop in the sack with a random man. While I’ve discussed my sexual self with my husband, it really wasn’t a surprise to him. He knows very well I am more sexualized than he. He consulted his doctor to verify he doesn’t have low testosterone or anything to treat medically. After ordering some tests, he concluded all was normal. Consequently, I simply have the higher libido.
What if we take gender out of the equation and instead looked at sex drive as a spectrum? On this spectrum there would be no “normal” for everyone. The desire for sex would be influenced by many factors, not all of which are related to gender or hormones.
My libido is only a problem if I’m unhappy with it.
Sex is a practice we can become lax about… like a healthy diet or an organized closet. Even though I’m not very enthusiastic about eating kale or hanging my sweaters according to color, I feel better when I carry out good habits. Sexuality is part of who I am. There are some days I am like a corked bottle of champagne. I’m perfectly stable but the bubbles are ready when you are.
Coping with Porn and Vibrators?
I’ve never been a pornography aficionado, as I feel it objectifies women. In addition, I don’t know of any woman who has mind-blowing orgasms from unrealistic penetration and prolonged coitus.
Over half of the population in the United States uses a vibrator. Some women even prefer vibrators to sex with men. Sexual aids are a great way for women (and men) to bridge the sexual gap left by uneven sex drives. While the big “O” offers serious incentive, my sex drive isn’t only about orgasm.
Instead, it is very much about deep connection and sexual energy. A vibrator can offer a fabulous stop gap measure for excess sexual energy. I have a secret stash of adult items in my sock drawer. Lately, I don’t use mine very frequently. Does that mean I’m even weirder? Let’s face it, some look like they are straight outta a science fiction movie and can be very mechanical.
Turning on a partner makes me pause and turn off the toys.
It’s a huge turn on to excite my partner, and that excitement turns ME on. In the end, I manage my sexual energy in a variety of ways. Each day is different.
For strong and innovative women, tapping into sexual thoughts can offer a great source of energy. We are not only on earth to scrub crayon off the walls and nurture little people. Our vibrancy must flow through us via art, a personal mission, creativity, advocacy and also our sexuality. Sex is one of the most inspirational forces on earth and is the means of creation. Creation can be birthing or caring for a child. Yet creation is also conceptualizing self expression through art, connection and productivity. It would seem creation itself is born of libido.