Low sex drive

If your partner has a low sex drive, it can be really frustrating. Usually, though, it has nothing to do with you. We look at common reasons why their libido might be lacking.

Couple facing away from each other in bed

Even our feet are repulsed by one another.

They’re exhausted

If a partner’s physically knackered it can quickly sap their sex potential. Being out of shape won’t help either. Even if they’re just overworked, the only thing they’ll want to do in bed is sleep.

They’re depressed

Loss of libido is a symptom in almost three quarters of all depression cases, so if they’ve got the blues then sex is the one thing they won’t have on their mind. Depression is a treatable condition, however, and talking about the issue plays a central role in recovery. If your partner seems depressed, they should be encouraged to see their doctor, who can recommend an appropriate therapy.

They’re medicated

Certain antidepressants and recreational drugs like cannabis are known to reduce sex drive. Excessive amounts of alcohol, heroin and cocaine will also have a marked effect on their libido.

He’s low on testosterone

Low levels of this male hormone can decrease your boyfriend’s passion potential. Hormone replacement therapy will help, but only his GP can diagnose if there’s a problem.

They’re unwell

The slightest sniffle can leave some people switched off sex. Everyone copes with illness differently, of course, just be aware that in some cases a loss of libido can be symptomatic of a more serious condition, from thyroid disease to pituitary gland problems.

They have ‘issues’

If their head’s full of hassles, then sex can easily be squeezed. It’s not just everyday stresses and strains that can take the wind from their sails. Problems stemming from their formative years may still be troubling them, especially if they’re sex related. They may not want to talk about it on request, but if they’re aware that their partner is concerned and keen to help, they’ll know who to turn to when their ready.

They’re complacent

Sex-wise, the early stages of a relationship are often highly charged. The physical attraction, combined with the excitement of being intimate with someone new, can be a potent combination. Over time, however, as the emotional bond begins to strengthen, and lives return to normality, the instinct to get jiggy at every opportunity may well diminish. Still, there’s a fine line between being comfortable with your other half and being complacent, and if a partner is feeling neglected then they should let them know!

How to tackle a low sex drive in your partner

If your partner’s off sex and you’re worried then you have to talk to them about it. Just avoid raising the subject at a difficult time. Our how much sex is normal? and how to talk to your boyfriend/girlfriend article should help you navigate this potentially tricky situation.

Photos of unfriendly feet by Shutterstock

Next Steps

  • Relate is an affordable relationship and sex counselling service. 0300 100 1234
  • Relate offers advice on the most common relationship problems here.
  • Chat about this subject on our Discussion Boards.
  • Need help but confused where to go locally? Download our StepFinder iPhone app to find local support services quickly.


sex drive


Updated on 29-Sep-2015