Your sex drive (libido) is how much you think about and want to have sex. It’s a natural part of being human, which comes from the fact that we need to have sex to have children. Physical touch and sex even have some positive health benefits.
Everyone’s sex drive is diffferent and scientists still don’t fully understand why this is. But 3 of the main things thought to affect your sex drive are:
- Biology – the amount of sex hormones, such as testosterone and oestrogen, you have in your body. Other hormone changes and physical health problems might also affect this.
- Psychology – how you think, feel and deal with things, such as stress. Both mental and physical health problems can also play a role here.
- Social factors – your relationships with other people, such as your partner.
Read on to discover what it means to have a high sex drive, what can affect your sex drive and if it’s possible for your sex drive to be too high.
What does it mean to have a high sex drive?
When it comes to sex drive, there’s no such thing as ‘normal’. How much you think about and want sex varies enormously from person to person. And your own sex drive goes up and down over time, too.
Scientists reckon that the majority of people think about sex on most days. This may be just a single passing thought, or hundreds of thoughts in a day. On the other hand, some people won’t think about sex for long periods.
So it’s hard to define a ‘high’ (or ‘low’) sex drive – eveyone’s different.
Why is my sex drive so high lately?
Rest assured that it’s OK to have a higher sex drive. And there are a number of reasons why you may want to have sex more often than usual, from biological changes to your lifestyle.
Your hormones play a big part in your sex drive, and changes can make it go up or down. The sex hormone testosterone can increase sex drive in both men and women, so your testosterone levels may have gone up – they’re usually highest in the morning, for example.
Pregnancy can also have an effect on your sex drive – many women have a higher sex drive in the first 2 trimesters of pregnany, for example.
Stress caused by day-to-day life and difficult events can lower your sex drive. So if you’re wanting sex more, it may be that you’re not under stress at the moment.
Getting enough sleep and feeling well-rested can give your sex drive a boost and you’ll also have more energy for sex.
Or perhaps you’re drinking less alcohol? Too much can have a negative effect on your sex drive.
Finally, being in a positive, loving relationship can make you want sex more often. You’ll often find your sex drive goes up when you start a new relationship and everything feels exciting, too.
Should I be worried about my high sex drive?
As mentioned above, a high sex drive in itself isn’t usually anything to be concerned about.
However, how you behave sexually can occasionally become a problem. If you feel that your sexual activity is constantly ‘out of control’, you may have a sexual addiction – and this can have a negative effect on other areas of your life.
It’s possible that your sexual behaviour is getting out of control if:
- you can’t focus on your normal activities and responsibilities
- you’re neglecting your health and personal care
- you’ve tried to get your urges under control and failed
- you’re never really satisfied by your sexual activities
- it’s affecting your personal relationships
Having a high sex drive may also mean you're at higher risk of contracting a sexually transmitted infection (STI), or getting pregnant, so remember to take precautions.
When should I get help?
Remember, wanting a lot of sex doesn’t make you an ‘addict’. But if you feel that your sexual desires are getting out of control, you may benefit from help.
It could be that you’re using sex as a way to deal with psychological problems, or as a way of coping with other things in your life.
Talking about sexual problems may seem embarrassing. But, as with any addiction, there are therapies that can help, so it’s worth having a chat to your doctor in confidence.
A high sex drive can also be a symptom of some mood disorders such as bipolar disorder. It might be a good idea to discuss with a doctor if you also have some of these symptoms:
- feel very happy
- have lots of energy, ambitious plans and ideas
- spend large amounts of money on things you can't afford and wouldn't normally want
- don’t feel like eating or sleeping
- talk quickly
- become annoyed easily
- everyone’s sex drive is different and there’s no such thing as ‘normal’
- your sex drive will vary over time and is affected by various things, including biology and lifestyle factors
- having a high sex drive isn’t always a cause for concern
- if you feel like your sexual behaviour is getting out of control, it might be a good idea to speak to your doctor