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The Desire too Desire May Be the Real Problem with Your Sex Life

Updated on October 18, 2016

How is desire defined

While desires are often classified as emotions by laypersons, psychologists often describe desires as different from emotions. They believe that desires arise from bodily structures and functions (e.g., the stomach needing food, blood needing oxygen, body needing sexual release). On the other hand, emotions arise from a person's mental state. When talking about desire from a functional state it would appear that having the ability to desire, desire can equate to a possible health issues.

When talking about sexual desire it can manifest itself in two ways, situational lack of desire and overall lack of desire. Situational lack of desire can happen in a long term relationship where a person is no longer desiring that partner that they are with but still feel desire in their life. When this occurs it is not a medical issue but rather a relational issue that needs to be addressed by a relationship expert or sexuality counselor.

Desire at any age is important!
Desire at any age is important!

The story of Joanie and Tim

As a sexuality counselor I work with couples to help them improve their sex lives and any sexual issues they may be experiencing. A couple came in for counseling because the couple was no longer having sex and in fact the wife Joanie was not even interested in fixing the problem. Her husband Tim was at wits end trying to get his wife interested in sex again. The couple had been married for 40 years and now in their early 60 she stated that she was simply done having sex and did not care to have it any more, and that her husband can just take care of himself. As I work with the couple it became very clear to me that Joanie did not even have the desire to desire and this was the main issue. I advised her to get her hormones checked to see if it could be related to a loss of testosterone and lover levels of estrogen. As it turned out Joanie had lower estrogen as well as almost no testosterone. I recommend that she take hormones to at least see if she could get the feeling of desire back. It was also noted that her lack of desire was not just sexual but her creative desire to paint something she loved to do had diminished as well. A few weeks later Joanie began to feel the effect of the hormones and reported that she indeed was feeling more desire but was still not that interested in sex, but was willing to work on it for her husband and their marriage. As we began to work on some intimacy exercises trying new ways to enjoy each other sexually along with the hormones Joanie was taking he interest in sex started to slowly come back. Her and her husband were now having sex on a weekly basis as oppose to no sex for months at a time. She even started to paint again. She said that her relationship with her husband had improved and the intimacy between them was much better. Her husband was very happy to have his wife back and enjoying making love again.

Hormones Affecting Sexual Desire

For women hormones can play a significant role in sexual desire. Estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone are hormones that affect a woman’s sexual desire and functioning. Hormonal changes don’t necessarily indicate that there’s a problem. Menstrual and menopausal changes, for example, are a normal part of development, but when going through those changes if you lose your desire it could indicate a real problem. If this does happen you may want to explore options such as changing your method of birth control or changing/altering your medications. Many women do not realize that birth control can have a negative side effect on levels of desire. If you do feel a sudden drop in desire after taking a new form of birth control, you will want to call your doctor and change to a different pill.

There are many new options for birth control on the market and the pill is not the only option, there are several new IUD's that release no hormones and can effectively work, as well as both male and female condoms.

Menstrual cycle

Hormone levels fluctuate throughout our menstrual cycle. A peak of sexual desire (libido) before and around ovulation, with a second, less intense peak during menstruation, is common. The lowest level of libido is often prior to menstruation or after when a woman may experience less lubrication.

Some women have more desire, while other women experience less desire, orgasm less easily, and/or experience vaginal dryness. The specific effects of these methods vary greatly among individual women


Do you desire your spouse?
Do you desire your spouse?

The driving force of desire

Desire is what drives many people in their lives to do things, along with desire comes passion. Having no desire in a person’s life can leave them feeling alone and even depressed. Lack of desire affect people in different ways. If you are felling lack of desire in your relationship it is important that you address these feeling as there may be a deeper issue at hand. Desire can decrease slowly or rapidly depending on the situation. Loss of rapid desire especially in a relationship is easier to detect because change of behaver is less subtle and usually associate with a stressful event or sudden health issues. A slow loss of desire is less delectable and can appear to other person involved that it is related to them instead of a possible health issue. This can be very painful for the spouse who is no longer feeling desired and damaging to the overall relationship. If you or your spouse seems to have a lack of desire, don’t let it go, be proactive in doing something about it and get help. No one has to live without desire when there is help!

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Origin of Desire

Origin Of the Word

Middle English: from Old French desir (noun), desirer (verb), from Latin desiderare (see desiderate).

Simple Definition of desire

  • : to want or wish for (something) : to feel desire for (something)

  • : to want to have sex with (someone)

  • : to express a wish for (something)

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

desire Synonyms


ache (for), covet, crave, desiderate, die (for), hanker (for or after), hunger (for), itch (for), jones (for) [slang], long (for), lust (for or after), pant (after), pine (for), repine (for), salivate (for), sigh (for), thirst (for), want, wish (for), yearn (for), yen(for), set one's heart on

Related Words

spoil (for); adore, delight (in), dig, enjoy, fancy, groove (on), like, love, relish, revel (in); favor, prefer; admire, appreciate, cherish, prize, treasure, value

When couples show desire for one another it can strengthen the relationship.
When couples show desire for one another it can strengthen the relationship.

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