What Causes Lack of Libido in Men and Women?

Losing or lost your sex drive?

I am often asked what causes a lack of libido in men and women, of which I can provide several interesting insights.. While children, stress and health issues can temporarily affect your sex drive and overall desire for sex, and diet and exercise can play a contributing role in causing a low libido, they are usually not the main cause of an ongoing lack of libido. So what is the main problem?  

In my years of experience in solving sex problems, one of the leading causes of lack of libido in either or both partners are thoughts about unwanted problems. These can be related or unrelated to sex and the resulting mental contamination can lead to relationship breakdown. Let's take a look at how misdirected thoughts and a lack of knowledge around intimacy can negatively affect each other's libido.

lack of libido in women

Whether thinking about a lack of emotional or sexual connection in your relationship or an unwanted sexual technique, your thoughts can switch your libido off in an instant.

Your brain is super efficient, so when it isn't receiving signals relevant to the desire to engage sexually, it will switch off all related hormonal responses until further notice.

Therefore, ongoing thoughts about an unwanted situation can result in a loss of interest in connecting sexually.

Loss of Libido Related to Sexual Problems

Sex is the ultimate expression of love for a partner, to show desire and emotion wrapped into one, the experience of physical closeness and underlying emotion. However, when physical closeness is impeded by a sexual dysfunction problem or unwanted technique, ongoing anxiety affects the quality of the emotional connection.

Instead of feeling close and connected, the underlying fear of performance issues or an unwanted technique causes feelings of separation and disconnection in either or both partners. This can eventually result in a loss of libido for either partner.

From both the male and female perspective sex problems such as premature ejaculation (PE) erectile dysfunction (ED) and being unable to orgasm will eventually affect either or both partner's libido. This is usually due to the ongoing frustration, anxiety, and disruption to intimacy associated with navigating these challenges.

what causes lack of libido in women

What Causes Lack of Libido in Women?

While most women are very talented at multi-tasking, this tendency toward being mentally distracted can also lead to a loss of libido or problems reaching orgasm. A common cause of mental distraction in a relationship is frustration, annoyance or feeling hurt. Being emotionally triggered can be caused by a clashing of ideas, not feeling heard and especially not feeling acknowledged.

When a woman doesn't feel emotionally connected with her partner then she may not feel sexual attraction at that point in time. Ongoing relationship problems can lead to a more permanent loss of libido, especially if she has concerns about her partner's sexual technique.

Many women have confided their concerns to me about their man's sex problems. For example, when a man suffers from erectile dysfunction and loses his hard erection during foreplay, it's common for his woman to over-analyze the cause and think it’s happening because he’s not attracted to her, he’s not turned on by her, or he’s having an affair!

Usually, this is far from the truth. Frequently, his weak erection problem is caused by focusing too much attention on her during foreplay so his brain doesn’t receive enough arousing signals! However, without a clear understanding of what causes these problems, she may lose her confidence and self-esteem as well as her desire to engage sexually with her partner.

In addition to the above issues, the inner vaginal dryness experienced by up to 50% of women causes pain and difficulty at penetration time which can exacerbate other sex problems and a woman's overall desire for sex. Learn my Inner Vaginal Flush Technique here.

PE Can Also Cause a Lack of Libido in Women

Many men who ejaculate early think they can get away with giving their woman lots of foreplay instead of quality intercourse time. Unfortunately, this results in constant disappointment as most partners consider the ultimate sexual connection to include full, penetrative intercourse with a fulfilling emotional connection.

In addition to this, when a woman herself is unable to reach orgasm, sex can become a constant disappointment. Even if she can orgasm during foreplay, it’s just not the same as being able to orgasm during intercourse with her partner. 

Over a period of time, a woman who has problems reaching orgasm will often lose interest in sexual frequency, especially if her partner suffers from premature ejaculation. JUST when she’s starting to feel really turned on and connected, her partner can ejaculate without warning.

One or more of these problems as well as a partner's unfulfilling sexual technique can lead to a lack of libido in women. 

Related: 5 Factors Which Ruin a Woman’s Sex Life

lack of libido and sexual function

What Causes Lack of Libido in Men?

A man's lack of libido is usually connected with another sex problem such as premature ejaculation, erectile dysfunction or being unable to ejaculate. While most men usually start with a healthy sexual appetite, these problems constantly undermine his confidence and self-esteem which can eventually kill his libido as he struggles to connect with and fulfill his partner.

A man can also be affected by his partner’s loss of libido. Most men assume that his partner’s lack of interest in sex is hormonal or related to health issues. However, if a partner is suddenly more interested in running the house and looking after children than attending to his sexual needs, he needs to ascertain the reason behind this sudden lack of interest.

While it’s mentally draining looking after children (which most certainly can cause loss of libido) there may be other reasons for their reduced sex drive. There may not be any problems with weak erections or early ejaculation, however, his sexual technique may be based on a porn education and not be at all fulfilling.

It's important to find out what your partner likes and doesn’t like, from kissing, to sexual position, to preferred fantasies (or no fantasies!) Never assume a person's turn-ons - because everyone is different and their wants and desires can change over time.

In addition to this, a man's lack of libido can be related to his partner having challenges reaching an orgasm. Not only does a man have to balance his sexual focus to retain his hard erection, he also has to stay in control of when he ejaculates while at the same time providing a fulfilling emotional connection for his partner. When his partner has problems reaching orgasm, this can become an arduous and stressful task and this is what causes lack of libido.

Uncover what your partner wants.

It's important to find out what your partner likes and doesn’t like, from kissing, to sexual position, to preferred fantasies (or no fantasies!) Never assume a person's turn-ons - because everyone is different and their wants and desires can change over time.

Lack of Libido and Body Odor

"Do you go places when you know it might smell bad?" This is what one client said to me when he admitted that he hadn't given his female partner oral sex for two years because her strong scent put him off going down on her sexually.

Our noses tend to be sensitive, and any strong smells can put a partner off sex or contaminate their ability to focus on and really enjoy the sexual act they are performing.

When we think about body odor, we tend to associate it with bad breath or smelly underarms, which of course are both important to deal with. However, many male clients have reported a strong, pungent smell emanating from their partner's vagina, how it is a constant source of distraction and what causes a lack of libido. Not only can this unwanted distraction result in loss of erection hardness, and the unwillingness to perform oral sex, the cascade of associated problems can negatively effect each other's libido. 

Many women assume strong vaginal odors are simply part of their menstrual cycle, so they ignore the issue and hope it will go away. In addition to this, many health professionals and the media have told women for years to not use soap near the vagina because it can interfere with the natural pH and cause irritation. 

Whether it's due to incorrect washing, soap residue, bacterial overgrowth or a yeast infection, a strong smelling vagina can easily be resolved by a woman when she follows my ACT protocol.

ACT Protocol: the Natural Way to Eliminate Vaginal Smells

As a woman, it’s important to take charge of the state of your vagina so you not only feel vibrant, but continue to maintain attraction and wellbeing in your relationship. The tissues surrounding the vagina contain many folds of skin and pockets which make it susceptible to bacteria, itching and unwanted smells - and the result is what causes lack of libido in either or both partners.

The ACT Protocol is extremely beneficial in resolving strong vaginal smells by naturally restoring the pH balance in the vagina, as well as treating and preventing yeast infections. 

Some experts say it’s important to not wash your vagina with soap. Not only is that misleading but it causes the downfall of many relationships! Never use chemical-based soaps which can irritate the delicate vaginal tissues, and never use soap inside your vagina.

It’s soap residue which tends to cause problems. This is because it can leave a film which stinky bacterial bugs stick to, and therefore interfere with the natural pH of the vagina.

To keep your vagina clean and healthy, thoroughly wash the entire outside area of your vaginal genitalia twice a day with warm water, and once a day using a good natural (chemical-free) soap. Remember to thoroughly rinse the whole area to remove any residue.

When using a soap bar, always make sure it is clean before using on the sensitive areas of your vagina. If you are sensitive to one brand of natural soap, instead of giving up try a different one. Also make sure that you're not in a hurry to step out of the shower without properly rinsing, as any soap residue from your upper torso is naturally going to head south!

fix strong smell vagina

ACT Mixture: Apple cider vinegar, Coconut oil, Tea tree oil (plus filtered water)

Recipe for the ACT Mixture

In a small bottle (I recommend using a 100ml glass bottle - about 3oz), mix one part coconut oil with two parts apple cider vinegar and fill it up with filtered water (ratio about 15:30:55). Then add 3-4 drops of tea tree essential oil.

Always shake before use. Using a small cotton pad or tissue, apply the ACT mixture around your vaginal area. Start from the front of the vagina and work your way back, covering the whole genital area. It's also beneficial to wipe the area around your anus, just make sure you do that last.

Use more than one cotton pad if you need to for hygienic reasons (no double-dipping).

Apple cider vinegar contains antibacterial and antiseptic properties which fight the toxins and bacteria that cause vaginal odor and also helps to rebalance and restore vaginal flora.

Coconut oil has antifungal, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties and is effective in killing strains of the candida fungus, whose overgrowth causes yeast infections. It's smooth texture provides a soothing application of ACT as well as softening and rejuvenating the skin surrounding the genital area. 

Tea tree oil contains antifungal and antiseptic properties which naturally help your body get rid of unpleasant odors caused by bacteria.

Two Steps to Following the ACT Protocol:

  1. Thoroughly clean your vagina twice daily
    2. Restoring the pH balance of your vagina once or twice a week

ACT Protocol Instructions: Thoroughly clean your vagina twice a day (and after sex) and apply the ACT mixture once or twice a week to help prevent strong smells, genital itching, and other unwanted infections.

Using your hand or a cloth, clean around and between all those delicate folds. Then THOROUGHLY rinse the whole area with warm water. Any residue can cause itching, so make sure you rinse thoroughly.

Always use the ACT mixture to restore your vagina’s pH after using soap near your vagina.

The ACT Protocol will help prevent strong smells, genital itching, and other unwanted distractions. This will go a long way to restoring ease and desire for sex in both partners.

intimacy and desire

In Summary

Whether you are experiencing emotional or sexual challenges in your relationship, ongoing disappointment will often result in a lack of libido. Resolving sex problems and other emotional connection issues is vitally important because it's what causes a lack of libido in either partner. 

While spontaneous sex is fun, strong BO or unwanted smells are not. Male or female, before you have sex, ask your partner to give you a minute to freshen yourself. Wash your genitals with warm water. Thoroughly wash under your armpits with soap and water, rinse, and dry yourself equally thoroughly. Clean your teeth, or spray some breath freshener in your mouth. It only takes two minutes and your partner will appreciate your effort.

Now that you know what causes a lack of libido, it's time to take action!

Being at ease in your relationship and how you engage sexually enables you to feel the ultimate connection where you can both enjoy intimacy, each knowing what to expect of each other. If you are suffering from early ejaculation, erectile dysfunction, or being unable to orgasm, then get those issues sorted as well, so both partners can feel happy and satisfied.


Developer of the Psychosexual Alignment method and published author, Jacqui Olliver has helped thousands of men, women and couples restore emotional and sexual satisfaction in their lives. Click here to check out her programs or to book a complimentary strategy session so you can save time, stride forward with confidence, and enjoy a happy and fulfilling life.

Display comments

  • I am 36 and have lost interest in sex. Although, I maintain a healthy lifestyle still I don’t understand why I am facing this problem.

    • Hi Jeff, sometimes a lack of libido is initiated by other sex problems such as premature ejaculation, erectile dysfunction, or a partner’s lack of interest in sex. Do any of these apply to you?

    • No, lack of libido is not a cause of your early ejaculation, however, premature ejaculation can itself contribute to a lack of libido. This is due to the constant stress of ejaculating early. Some men avoid sex to prevent the PE problem from occurring, which can then result in a low libido.

  • I am 43 with an unhappy sex life as my wife has lost interest in sex… is it because of me or it is lack of libido? Please help me.

    • Hi Andy, women can lose interest in sex for many reasons. If your sexual technique is not fulfilling for her (or if you suffer from ED or PE) then it is natural for her desire for sex to decline. It’s imperative to resolve these issues before you try to re-engage her interest.

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