Low Sexual Desire

Hypoactive sexual desire disorder

Dearth of Sexual Desire in Men


“ Worry is to human beings … what a condom is to a man with erectile dysfunction.” – Mokokoma Mokhonoana

It is difficult to quantify low sexual desire for sex in healthy men and women. Longing for sex differs from one person to another. HSDD (Hypoactive sexual desire disorder) affects millions of people across the globe. It is probably the most neglected and depressing sexual disorder. Various researches and studies have been conducted on the topic to understand and provide the treatment for HSDD. Unfortunately the treatment of HSDD erroneously ends up in treating erectile dysfunction. It leads to serious challenges in couple’s relationship. This is the reason people continue to suffer and are deprived of healthy sex.


After the success of phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitors, many men have been able to experience firm and hard erection up to the time of satisfying sexual intercourse. However these medicines do not help in increasing libido. This result in no interest in sex and people even after having erection crave for lustful sex full of enjoyment and passion. Viagravation is a term used to describe the frustration caused by low libido and lack of psychological and physiological motivation to perform sex. This causes deep dissatisfaction and frustration for their partners.


So far people have not been able to understand the complicated phenomenon of sexual desire. As per linear theory “sexual thoughts and fantasies and an innate urge to experience sexual tensions and release are markers of desire” They have further emphasized that “the personal experience of lustful desire in both sexual partners should precede any initiation of sexuality”

In real life, we notice difference between partner’s experience of sexual desire in terms of frequency and timing. It is not necessary that partners engage in sexual activity only for pleasure. Many times partners just involve in sex for pleasing the partner, get rid of boredom, material rewards and other personal reasons. This is known as “receptive sexual desire” which is different than “Active sexual desire”


Hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD) is defined as the constant or progressive absence or dearth of sexual fantasies and lust for sexual activity which affects sexual function. It is a difficult task to find out the actual percentage of men and women affecting from this sexual disorder. As per a study it ranges between 0 to 15%. However the figure is underestimated due to the fact that most of the men and women do not disclose the actual fact unless explicitly enquired by their doctors.

The assessment of low libido is done by putting direct and indirect questions by the doctors to the patients. It is also obtained by speaking to their partner and collecting all information required for analysis and conclusion.

HSDD is the result of many biological and psychological factors. This includes growing age, chronic diseases such as AIDS, renal failure and heart failure etc. Few men and bodybuilders with eating disorder also have low libido. Some of the psychiatric conditions which affect libido are depression, anger, anxiety and stress.


It has been long considered that sexual desire of men and women depends upon psychological and hormonal factors. However there is no proof or research ever done to back this theory. A recent study published in Molecular Psychiatry (Ebstein RP 2006) showed that self-reported low libido was the result of the variant in gene known as D4 receptor. It means dearth of sexual desire can be considered as normal biological factor. This study will have to wait till more research is done and is accepted by medical body.

Hormonal Etiologies

Understanding low sexual desire due to hormones is complex. It has been widely accepted that low sexual desire in men is the result of decrease in testosterone level due to old age and other factors. The same happens in postmenopausal women. In males the hormone is produced by luteinizing hormone (LH) which stimulates testicles for secreting testosterone. Mostly testosterone is produced by testicles and in few cases it is produced by adrenal glands.

Testosterone plays vital role in pubertal maturation and pituitary gonadotropin secretion. It also controls cGMP( cyclic guanosine monophosphate) through nitric oxide synthase, a necessity for the firm and strong erection. On average men produces 5gm of testosterone every day. It is relatively low in new born baby but as the age progresses, the body starts producing testosterone hormone more.

Treatment of hypoactive sexual desire disorder

 HSDD can be treated by taking certain food items such as Oysters, Tuna, Low fat milk, Beef, Beans etc. The process is long and the consumption has to be regular over a period of time.

This can also be increased by lifting weight and exercise. One can also go for hormonal injection which is not a natural way to increase testosterone but is effective and is most preferred way.



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