Doctor’s Note: I’m on vacation until the 12th of January. Until then, Paging Dr. NerdLove is going to be on a limited hiatus. The podcast will return when I’m back in town and meanwhile, I’ll be answering some quick questions for Ask Dr. NerdLove in lieu of the usual schedule. If you’ve got a question you need answered, now’s definitely the time to ask.
Dear Dr. NerdLove
I am a 22 year old (grown-ass) man. Cutting straight to the chase, I haven’t had sex for close to three years. In fact, I’ve only ever had sex with one woman. Being told, almost daily, how it is a natural, integral, vital and you get the picture, part of human life I am starting to worry.
For lack of a better term, I worry that something is wrong. I mean, I’ve read some these ‘use it or lose it’ articles, which tell me that my sexual drive is going to wither and die if left unused for too long. On that note I do feel a dearth in my sex-drive. I don’t even feel a keen need to masturbate very often (If only my 13 year old self could see me now).
So, I guess there are a number of questions implicit in the above. Firstly, should I be worried? Secondly, how do I deal with the confidence issues of a lengthy dry-spell? Lastly, is some casual sex the solution? I am not terribly adept in that department.
There could be a number of issues with your sex drive, SB.
But the first is: quit paying attention to the “use it or lose it” crowd. That’s not how one’s libido works. You don’t have to constantly “prime the pump” as it were (hello new euphemism!) in order to keep the waters flowing… er…
Ashes to ashes, dust to dust, if you don’t take it out and use it, it’s going to rust…
OK I think that metaphor may have gotten away from me. Wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey. Anyway.
It gets easier to ignore your sex drive if you make the conscious decision to remain celibate, avoid masturbation and other forms of sexual stimulation, but this is more akin to trying to the effort to follow a gluten-free diet than urge to screw withering away and dying.
Now the big question is: are you concerned because you feel that your sex-drive SHOULD be higher but isn’t, or are you actually upset by it’s decline?
If it’s the former…
There are people who just have lower sex-drives. It can be somewhat unnerving for some men; after all, we’re told over and over again that to be a man is to be a rampaging horny beast, ready to fuck anything, so if you don’t then clearly you’re less of a man, right? Wrong. A man is far more than just his libido; accepting that this is just your natural level and everything is just fine will make you feel better. It’s just a part of who you are, and it’s completely normal.
I’m sure many people in the comments will also mention the asexual community – people whose sex drives are low to the point of near non-existence. Whether you’re at that extreme or not, it may provide you with some comfort to know you’re not alone.
If it’s the latter, then you should look into potential issues that may be affecting you.
(And I feel obligated once again to point out that Dr. NerdLove is not a doctor of any kind.)
Your low libido could have a number of causes. To start with, you may want to investigate your diet and levels of exercise. A sedentary life tends to correspond to lowered testosterone and sex drive. Similarly if you haven’t been sleeping well, you may find that you feel less vital over time – including a lower libido. Stress levels can also kill your sex-life dead, as can depression. If you’ve been dealing with depression issues – you mention that you’ve got lowered self-confidence due to a lengthy dry spell – you could well be causing your lowered levels of desire. Anti-depressants like Zoloft can also have libido-killing side-effects – not to mention making it difficult to orgasm at all even when you are in the mood to get your swerve on.
You may also have issues with your hormone levels that could be playing merry hell with your sex-drive.
The best thing you can do is start with the least invasive solutions first: cut down on drinking alcohol and any other depressants you may be ingesting, especially weed. Look to your diet and lifestyle first. If you’re drinking nothing but coffee or soda and eating nothing but processed crap, then it’s time to start giving those up as well: more water and natural, whole foods with as little chemical modification should be the order of the day. While we’re at it, you should up your levels of cardiovascular exercise and physical activity. Being physically active and getting the heart pumping and your blood moving for at least 30 minutes per day can also help get other juices flowing if you know what I mean and I think you do.
Being more physically active will also help get your endorphins flowing, which can help with feeling depressed or just that vague “malaise” that can come with being sluggish and eating crap. Eating better and being more active will also make you feel better about yourself – which can help give you that confidence boost you want.
Now if making these changes doesn’t help shock some life back into your libido, you should definitely talk to your doctor. They can run tests to make sure that you don’t have some undiagnosed issue that’s killing your sex-drive and prescribe treatment if it’s actually necessary.
NOTE: Do not try to self-diagnose by using Doctor Google. “Lowered Testosterone” is a popular buzzword condition being marketed at men right now with a metric fuck-ton of cures (including bullshit supplements and “therapies”) looking for a disease to treat. Also: you will convince yourself you have cancer. It’s always cancer when you use Doctor Google.
While I’m a fan of casual sex in general, I don’t recommend going into it looking for a self-esteem boost or as a way of juicing your sex-drive. Trying to use sex as a means of boosting your self-esteem is a form of seeking external validation - you’re defining your self worth by who you can stick your dick in. Not only is this a profoundly unhealthy to act towards yourself - at best, you’re trying to numb yourself, rather than actually treating the underlying issues that are affecting your self-worth, but it’s a shitty way to treat the people you’re sleeping with. You’re treating them like an object whose purpose is to prop up your fragile ego, rather than as a person.
I think you’re having more issues regarding your self-worth being based on how hard your dick gets and how many people you’ve slept with, which is a bullshit measurement for masculinity or an individual’s value. A dry spell of three years isn’t necessarily pleasant, but it’s hardly unusual in the scheme of things, nor is there anything unusual or shameful in having only had a single sex partner.
I would recommend that you work on your self-esteem first - especially if it’s causing your sex-drive issues – before trying to dive head first into some one-night .