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Low Libido in Women

Low Libido in Women

Low libido in women: Why have I lost my desire?

Generally women have far more blocks to sexual fulfillment than men. That’s not really surprising when you think of all the prohibitions on women enjoying their sexual pleasure over the centuries. So there is some catching up and some freeing up to do for many women. But the great news is that women actually have far greater sexual potential than men have ever dreamed of. For example, the clitoris has twice as many nerve endings as the penis. Women can have orgasms that last longer and have a number of varied different types, as well as multiple orgasms.

A woman needs her brain turned off to get turned on.

If a woman is thinking or worrying about anything: work, kids, schedule meals, or anything else, her Amygdala (the fear and anxiety center of her brain) stops her from allowing any sexual stimulation to arrive at the sexual pleasure center of her brain. The more she multitasks, the harder it is to switch off. She needs down time to relax. If she’s not relaxed, comfortable, warm and cozy, her internal circuitry will make sure that it’s just not going to happen. That is why ensuring she has relax time, taking her away for a weekend (no kids) and vacations are so crucial to a great sex life. Women deeply in love and who feel their partner’s desire and worship for them are more likely to have easy orgasms, too. For some women the security of marriage or a committed relationship can allow their brain to reach orgasms more easily. Most importantly, she has to trust who she is with.

Anger is the most common reason for women’s sexual turnoffs.

Women have been both wired and trained to prioritize relationships over their own needs and wants. Often that leads to feeling resentful about a whole range of things that wouldn’t have occurred to a man, because men tend to go for what they want anyway, relationship or no relationship.

Emotional connection counts

A recent European study found that women use more of their brain than men while sexually aroused, specifically, that part of the brain associated with emotion. So it’s not surprising that for a majority of women the emotional is inseparable from the physical, and that emotional connection always makes the physical better. Women need to feel emotional connection not only during but before and after having sex.

A woman’s desire can grow

Foreplay builds desire in a woman. Many women say they have no desire initially, but they are fine once they get going. Women need to be more warmed up, with more touching and attention to parts other than only breasts and genitals, with plenty of time taken in the foreplay process. The following is a list of all other factors which also might be partly responsible for your lack of desire: Other Inhibitors of Sexual Desire and Arousal – Physical factors:

  • Tiredness
  • Physical discomfort – headache, backache, unwell
  • Poor general health or fitness
  • Excess alcohol or medications, antidepressants
  • Hormonal disturbance, use of pill, HRT, breastfeeding

Psychological factors:

  • Stress
  • Guilt
  • Frustration
  • Worry or anxiety
  • Sadness
  • Depression
  • Poor self esteem or shame

Sexual factors:

  • Poor sexual education (I don’t know how to have a good sex life)
  • Negative sexual attitudes (Sex is not nice)
  • Sexual dysfunction (I feel I’m not capable)
  • Low attraction to partner (He just doesn’t turn me on)
  • Unresponsive or disinterested partner (You can’t have sex on your own)
  • Feeling undesired or undesirable (My partner never seems to want me)
  • Feelings of sexual inadequacy (I’m not a good lover)
  • Sexual disappointment
  • Fear of sexual rejection
  • Sex feels boring.(There’s no variation and excitement).
  • There is no depth (I’d like to make love rather than just have sex)
  • Body image issues (I don’t like my body)
  • My partner is hostile or critical during sex
  • Lack of pleasurably looking forward to sex
  • Previous sexual abuse


  • Tension in relationship and unresolved conflicts
  • Lack of respect
  • Power struggles and inequality
  • Lack of affection, companionship, fun, romance
  • Lack of trust, unresolved jealousy
  • Insecurity, lack of commitment
  • Poor communication and lack of intimacy
  • Intrusions to the boundaries of the relationship eg. In-laws, work, social activities, hobbies


  • Lack of time
  • Lack of privacy
  • Poor atmosphere
  • Distractions eg phones, TV, kids

It’s important to explore what are the factors that are contributing to your lack of desire to be sexual. Often you can be helped by talking this through with a Psychologist or Sex Therapist who can also help with strategies for how to overcome these and support you through the process or rediscovering your sexual desire again.

Author: Julie Hart, Psychologist and Director of The Hart Centre

Julie is a licensed psychologist with extensive training and experience helping more than 1,000 couples improve their relationships, Julie is the founder of The Hart Centre, a network of 70 psychologists across Australia. For more information visit

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