Is this what’s affecting your sex drive?

Low libido describes a decreased interest in sexual activity.

It’s common to lose interest in sex from time to time, and libido levels vary through life. It’s also normal for your interest not to match your partner’s at times.

However, low libido for a long period of time may cause concern for some people. It can sometimes be an indicator of an underlying health condition, or may be down to some changeable life habits.

If you want to have sex less often than your partner does, neither one of you is necessarily outside the norm for people at your stage in life – although your differences may cause distress.

Similarly, even if your sex drive is weaker than it once was, your relationship may be stronger than ever. Bottom line: there is no magic number to define low sex drive.

Symptoms of low sex drive include:

  • having no interest in any type of sexual activity, including masturbation
  • never or only seldom having sexual fantasies or thoughts
  • being concerned by your lack of sexual activity or fantasies.


In the past, stress has been overwhelmingly voted the most significant reason for low sex drive, ahead of physical health and mental health issues.

Taking work stress home with you is a particularly common scenario – whether it be difficult bosses, working late, or just a bad day at the office.

Clearly people know how damaging stress and anxiety can be to their sex drives, but even a surfer dude on a sedative can struggle in the sack. Here we take a look at some of the other causes you may not have thought to blame for a slow or static sex life.

1. Alcohol
Drinking 14 or more standard drinks in a week has been linked to a decrease in testosterone production in men. It also may increase the rate at which testosterone is cleared from the bloodstream and increase estrogen levels. All of this can result in a lower testosterone level all round, harming sperm production.

Men who drink four or more alcoholic beverages regularly should consider drinking less. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that more than two alcoholic beverages daily can lead to long-term health deterioration in both men and women.

2. Smoking
In addition to alcohol, the use of tobacco and marijuana has been linked to a decrease in testosterone production, which can result in a lack of sexual desire. Tobacco smoking also has a negative impact on sperm production and sperm movement.

3. Technology
It is well known that the light from phone screens inhibits sleep, but the ability to take the entire internet to bed with you can interrupt the onset of sexual desire.

Employ a no-phones rule between the sheets, and you may see a marked improvement in all your bed-based activities.

4. Dehydration
Being dehydrated can impact your sex life – from headaches and fatigue preventing you from getting in the mood, to erectile issues and vaginal dryness.

Being properly hydrated is closely linked with our stress levels. Our bodies need a certain amount of water to run smoothly and not drinking enough can affect more than you might think.

Of course, drinking more water won’t magically lower your stress levels, but it will help your body to deal with outside stressors easier. And the less stressed you are, the more likely it is that you’ll want to get it on.

According to Healthline, there’s a solid link between dehydration and erectile dysfunction as well. Our bodies need enough oxygen to carry out every micro-task that is necessary for day to day life, they also need that oxygen to help get and maintain an erection. 

The better hydrated we are, the more oxygen we have travelling through our bloodstream, helping things run smoothly all over the body. That includes our sex organs, which need all that oxygen to help us climax more easily.

5. A vitamin deficiency
Even among food groups, high vitamin foods like fish and green vegetables don’t scream ‘sexy’. But vitamin E – reportedly known as ‘the sex vitamin’ – is known to help fire sexual desire, while deficiencies in vitamin A may affect the body’s levels of testosterone.

The effects are mild – eating spinach will not transform you overnight – but a vitamin heavy meal is perfect preparation for some after-dinner entertainment.

6. Snoring
Snoring is a symptom of sleep apnoea – a common breathing condition in which the body fails to properly regulate night-time breathing. First and foremost, this can decrease your oxygen levels, but it can also deplete your testosterone and with it your sex drive.

Further problems may stem from the fact that snoring is really bothersome. The snorer sleeps soundly while ruining their partner’s shut-eye – causing frustration and annoyance.

7. Overthinking it
Even if you get all of this right, you can still inadvertently sabotage your sex life. Large parts of the libido exist entirely in the mind. If you’re still feeling nervous, worried about your levels of desire, or just over-analysing, then it becomes impossible to live in the moment.

If you’re concerned by your low desire for sex, talk to your doctor. The solution could be something as simple as changing a medication.

How do you feel about talking about sex? Do you think the topic needs to be addressed more openly?

– With PA

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YourLifeChoices Writers
YourLifeChoices Writers
YourLifeChoices' team of writers specialise in content that helps Australian over-50s make better decisions about wealth, health, travel and life. It's all in the name. For 22 years, we've been helping older Australians live their best lives.
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