Originally written for Almost writers.
Throughout one’s teens and early adulthood, the pressure is piled on you to delve into the wonders of sex. If my memory serves me right, this is all expected to happen between the ages of 15-18.
My young friends would often ask me, ‘have you done it yet?’ and I’d laugh every time I was questioned about my pre-teen sexual activity. I was a sixteen-year-old kid with terrible acne, who genuinely thought that a cheesy pick up line was the best way to woo a boy; of course I hadn’t had sex yet.
The pressure doesn’t stop there oh no, it continues on relationship after relationship. They’re all wanting something different and so are you. Tastes change and before you know it it’s, ‘Yeah, but have you tried this…’ or ‘Have you ever experimented with food?’ But what if experimenting with food was merely a pipe dream? To me, sex has always been either a way of having fun or showing someone that you care for them… like, really care for them. I’ve never felt as though I owe someone my body and I always aim to enjoy myself. So it was as much a surprise to me as it was to my partner when it all came to a halt one day.
So often I’d feel really irritable immediately after intercourse and in general, I just didn’t feel like having sex. Nobody warns you what that’s like. I began to feel really guilty and even felt the need to apologise every so often. I mean, what twenty-year-old doesn’t have a sex drive?
Well, fear not my lust-less friends! There are actually many reasons one loses their libido and it can happen at any stage in your life. Scary, but true. It can be caused by a number of different factors, such as stress or simply an imbalance of hormones. More recently, studies suggest that nearly half of all women experience post-coital dysphoria. Which, for those who don’t know, is a condition that can affect all genders and involves feelings of sadness, anxiety or aggression, immediately after intercourse. Sex therapist and counsellor at relationships charity Relate, Denise Knowles told The Independent: “Having sex is a hugely intimate act and an orgasm releases lots of wonderful feel-good bonding hormones. Those hormones drop following the peak of an orgasm, and as you separate from the closeness that brought it about, a sense of sadness can follow.”
Essentially, it’s caused by an explosion of hormones in the body after sex – including endorphins, oxytocin and prolactin – what the!? These hormones drop after orgasm and so you’re left feeling like you want to cry a little bit. It’s basically an extreme come down for sex.
It seems to make perfect sense, yet no one is quite sure on how to tackle it. If you happen to be dealing with post-coital dysphoria, you are not alone and please rest assured that it doesn’t last forever. Consistent sex doesn’t necessarily make for a healthy relationship. If you are suffering from a low sex drive, try new things, use your imagination.
But whether sex is bringing you down, or you’ve just lost your drive, talk to your partner because having sex on your own isn’t as fun.