What Is Libido? Definition, Psychology, And Application For Your Relationship

Updated March 09, 2020

Reviewer Aaron Horn

When you hear the word 'libido' what comes to your mind? Many people have heard the term before, but we don't necessarily know what it means. We think we do and maybe even use it in conversation, but well, we're not sure what we should know about it. Well, libido is important for your relationship, and it refers to the sexual drive that you have. Note that your sexual energy and drive is going to be different from anyone else, and what that means is different for everyone.

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What Is Libido?

Let's start at the top. Libido, to put it, is your sexual drive or the amount to which you want sexual activity. For some people libido is high, meaning that they want sexual contact or interaction more frequently. For others, libido could be low, meaning that they want sexual contact or interaction as little as possible. Some people consider themselves asexual, which means that they may have no libido or no interest in sexual activity with anyone. But everyone falls somewhere on this scale.

Now, for some people, their libido is not a problem. Wherever they fall on the scale, they are perfectly happy with it, and they don't worry about making any changes in their life. For others, their libido is a problem for them or their relationship. This can happen whether you have a high libido or a low one, and generally, it happens when one partner has a higher libido than the other partner. If one partner wants to have sex more frequently than the other it can cause tension and frustration for both of them. That's where psychology comes in.

Where Does Libido Come From?

Your libido is more complex than you might think. That's because it has to do with your psychology, your biology, and your socialization. These three things will interact differently in each person, and that's going to make it completely specific to you what happens in your life. And even if you go through the same situations and the same upbringing as someone they won't have the same libido as you necessarily. Having a twin sibling who is exactly like you biologically, who grows up in the same situation and more will still not mean you are the same in any psychological way.

The biological aspect of your libido is things like the way that your body itself regulates. It's about neurotransmitters and the way that they interact with testosterone and dopamine. These are the chemical that your body physically has control over, and if those things aren't happening at an 'average' rate then you may have high or low libido.

Social factors that contribute to libido are things like your work, your family, and the things going on in your life. This isn't the same as stress that you feel, which can be considered a psychological factor. Rather, these are the things that are happening around you that could cause you to feel more or less in this way.

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Psychological factors like your personality and your stress levels are also going to make a big impact on your libido. You may be a more introverted person who could mean you have a lower libido (you could also be an introvert and have high libido, the two are not necessarily connected). Maybe a lot of things are happening in your life right now, and you feel stressed, which could cause our libido to increase or decrease dramatically.

If you have different medical conditions or you start taking or stop taking medications, you could also see changes to your libido. Some medications cause changes in your body chemistry and some cause changes in your brain chemistry, either of which could affect the way that you feel in regards to your libido.

Overall, several different things can impact how much of a sex drive you have and whether you decide to act on that sex drive or not. After all, just because you have a desire for sex does not mean you're going to have sex with someone. It will depend on the opportunities that are available to you and the situation you find yourself in.

The Affect Of Libido On Your Relationship

If you are in a relationship with someone or you're just starting a relationship that hasn't gotten to a sexual stage yet you might be wondering just what is going to happen going forward. For those who have a low libido it might seem strange to talk about it with someone, even if you've been in a relationship with them for a long time, let along if you're starting. Talking to them, however, is a good way to get things out in the open and to make sure that both of you understand where the other is coming from.

Talking to your partner about your libido and what sex means to you is an important part of any relationship. If you have a high libido, this is also something to talk about with your partner. You may find that your partner agrees with you in terms of the frequency with which you want sex. But you may find that you have entirely different ideas about what is 'normal' or what is 'acceptable.' The best thing you can do is be open and honest so that the two of you can decide on what works for your relationship.

It's also entirely possible that you don't know if your libido is considered high, low or average. Talking to your partner will allow the two of you to compare what you're looking for or what you want. From there, you can decide what works best for you or figure out how you're going to approach sex and libido going forward. Remember, it's entirely up to the two of you as individuals and as a couple to decide what is going to work best in your lives and your overall relationship.

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Treating Low Libido

You've likely heard of several different medications that are used to treat low libido or to help those who experience the libido but have trouble otherwise. But that's not always going to actually solve the problem. Rather, that takes care of the physical aspects of low libido and completely ignores any other aspects that might be going on. If someone has a lowered sex drive there is likely something happening in their life that is causing this.

If you've never had a high sex drive or an 'average' sex drive, you may want to talk with your doctor to find out if there is a reason for this. You may have a medical condition that results in your having no or low libido. If you are interested, there may be medications that your doctor can give you to help you with this. On the other hand, there could be a psychological reason behind your low libido, in which case you may be referred to a mental health professional to get to the bottom of things.

Treating High Libido

While many people think that high libido is not a problem, it actually can be for many people. If your libido is much higher than your partner, for example, you may want to look into ways that you can also change this. If your libido seems to be excessively high there may also be different conditions that are the cause of this as well. Different medications that you are taking could also be a cause and should be looked at by a mental health professional.

On the other side of things, someone who has a very high sex drive may also have mental causes that are the basis for this. It could be a result of something that has happened within your life or something happening in your brain (which does not mean anything wrong). Talking with a mental health professional could help you to understand your high libido better and might be able to bring it down to a more average level if this is what you are looking for.

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When you're ready to get help with your libido or with anything else you're experiencing you should check out ReGain. You'll be able to find out more about yourself and what you're going through, but you're also going to have no problem talking with a mental health professional about anything. What's even better about ReGain is that you'll be able to talk to someone entirely online, and you don't have to set foot in a psychiatrist's office. You also get access to any psychiatrist on the team, and they're located all over the country. You're never going to be limited by proximity anymore So why wouldn't you want to talk with someone and get the help you're looking for?

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