Low Sex Drive or Low Libido affects men of all ages but particularly during times of stress. Young couples are not immune to this problem, whether it be just having had their first or second child, juggling a mortgage or working long hours, it all takes it’s toll on energy levels and desire.
Desire and Arousal are linked but the former doesn’t have to kickstart the latter. Meaning just because you don’t desire or feel like it doesn’t mean you can’t be aroused.
DESIRE is a bit of a vague word, isn’t it? How much Sexual Desire should you have? What level of Sexual Desire is normal? Does it change for different ages? Generally as you age there can be a natural decline in how much you want sex, but there is no rule set in stone. We all have different levels of desire. The important thing to focus on is there is no “normal”.
THE BIG MYTH: Men want sex 24/7. This is an unrealistic expectation and social construct, rather than fact. Research findings have looked at Men & their desires and found less than 50% want sex every day. Less than 25% want sex 2-3 times per week. 15 % were happy with once per month. So this is showing about 1 in 6-7 couples are dealing with issues of lower sexual desire from men. Surprising that it’s more common than you would think.
Experts claim Desire Discrepancy between partners is more of a danger to a relationship. If there is a desire discrepancy, expressing your sexual needs within a relationship and being willing to talk about the issues between you is vital to a compromise being reached. This is more constructive than putting your head in the sand and not facing the issue at all. Watch this Video with Sex Expert Elaine George.
Its all about expectation – if you discuss things and can come to an agreement that satisfies both couples needs by compromising, the expectation is set and clear to be met. If there is no discussed expectation – how do you know how often your partner wants to have sex? And how can you meet that invisible expectation? This is the real threat to relationships – unresolved resentment, built up tension and frustration about bedroom matters that are never discussed.
Only 25% of men turn to GP’s about a Low Sex Drive. Unfortunately, GP’s are not asking about Sex Drive & Erectile dysfunction as frequently as they should be. This means a lot of cases go under the radar and aren’t resolved. Testosterone does decline with age, but is not an exclusive indicator of Low Sex Drive.
The secondary causes to a Low Sex Drive in Men include Relationship strain, Partner dissatisfaction and Partner having a physical/mental issues. These I would encourage you to seek counselling support for by a Registered Psychologist or Specialist Sex Psychologist.
What can Traditional Chinese Medicine do to help?
If your partner is open to trying complementary medicine to help the cause Chinese Medicine can be a good modality to consider.
The primary causes of Low Sex Drive is being Tired & Stressed, two things that Traditional Chinese Medicine is really good at helping people with.
Tiredness = Can involve working on the Kidney, Spleen and Lung by tonifying and strengthening using Acupuncture & Chinese Herbs. Creating energy in reserve is the strategy of TCM here. Similarly in Martial Arts such as Kung Fu, Karate, Aikido, Jujitsu, Qi Gong, they talk about harnessing energy or Qi/Ki and utilising it with intention and mindfulness, rather than draining energy reserves with an unhealthy lifestyle or too much hard work. The same goes for how you choose to spend your daily energy – Do you spread yourself too thin? Do you keep some energy in reserve for yourself? Something to consider when booking yourself up with work and tasks.
Stress = TCM examines the unique emotions the man is experiencing as well as other symptoms when making a diagnosis. Diagnosis can involve the Liver (Stress and frustration), Kidney (Fear), Heart (Anxiety) and Spleen (Worry) with Acupuncture & Chinese Herbs. Calming the mind is another general strategy and incorporates the mental aspect of Low sex drive. It’s also a bit of Chicken & Egg – Stress leads to low sex drive and having a low sex drive can be stressful. Chinese Herbal Medicine support can help, but I would also recommend seeking help from a Counsellor or Sex Therapist to tackle the underlying thoughts, beliefs and worries here.
Chinese Herbs such as Nan Bao translated as “Men’s Treasure” is a well known Kidney Yang tonic for men. It also aims to build energy levels and calm nervous tension. (Sun Herbal’s China Med Range- Men’s Formula (Nan Bao), as pictured)
There are additional Chinese Herbal Medicine variations for your partner’s specific diagnosis whether it be Liver, Spleen, Kidney or Heart focused. Seek professional advice from your Registered Acupuncturist or Chinese Herbal Medicine Practitioner.
Other supportive modalities to de-stress and re-energise him are helpful to the big picture. It can bring work-life back in to balance and includes: Martial Arts, Yoga, Remedial Massage, Meditation, Clinical Hypnotherapy, Counselling, Kinesiology and Nutrition.
Seeking your Doctor’s advice as a first port-of-call for a referral to a specialist or Psychologist is highly recommended.