Why There's Absolutely Nothing Wrong With Not Wanting To Have Sex

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woman sitting on bed with man behind her

When sex stresses someone out or overwhelms them with negative emotions, it’s easy to jump to the conclusion that something is wrong with having no sex drive.

After all, their partner still wants sex, so they should too, right? But, the thing is, if they don't want to have sex and prefer to be celibate, there isn’t necessarily anything wrong with them.

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There's nothing wrong with having no sex drive.

A sex drive isn’t this isolated biological mechanism in your body that works one day and doesn’t the next.

This is why jumping straight to biological causes, such as wondering whether hormones are out of whack, isn’t always helpful.

While biological factors do impact desire, causes of low libido in women and causes of low libido in men far exceed just biological and medical factors. The same goes for those of other gender identities, too.

Desire is both affected by and made up of psychological factors, relationship factors, and cultural factors.

Factors that influence sex drive include:

How they feel about their body.

How happy their relationship is.

How stressed out they are, generally, in life.

If they feel like they're living up to society’s standards when it comes to sex and relationships. 

If sex no longer feels like a fun, pleasure-filled activity, it's time to go back to basics to understand the answer to the question: "Why do I not want to have sex?"

People aren't usually just horny out of the blue.

One needs to be motivated to have sex, whether that motivation is about getting closer to their partner, playing with power dynamics, or releasing stress. 

If the thought of sex with their partner makes them feel worried or anxious, it's important to take a step back and ask why that is. Do this from a stance of nothing being wrong because there likely isn’t. 

Someone may just realize that they have no sex drive because sex has become equated with stress, pressure, and performance.

It’s no longer just about "feeling in the mood" or not, it’s about everything — beliefs about themselves, their partner, and their sex life and relationship. 

It’s about the stressors of everyday life. 

It’s about the level of overwhelm at their job.

It’s about not liking their body anymore.

It’s about not knowing what turns them on.

It’s about not being able to talk about sex with their partner.

In order to desire sex again, to want that intimate connection with a partner, to want to get turned on and raring to go, sex needs to turn from stressful to fun.

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Not wanting sex isn’t always about sex.

As a sex therapist and coach specializing in low libido, I’ve spoken to countless people from all walks of life who experience little or no desire. Sometimes, people have tried a whole host of strategies to get their desire back.

Other times, they’ve done nothing and have tried their best to avoid sex or physical closeness with their partner. Avoidance means not having to say "no," yet again. 

But the thing is, no matter the strategy for getting desire back, it’s not just about what they do. 

Articles often reduce having low desire or no sex drive to a list of symptoms and things to "fix." 

And while there are many ways to do so, if someone doesn't want to have sex, they need to work on more than just a few "fixes."

Low sexual desire is also about:

Whether or not they believe in themselves and their ability to feel desire again. 

It’s about whether or not they truly want help to shift it. 

It’s about whether they believe they deserve great sex.

And it’s about believing there’s nothing wrong with them and coming at desire and sex from a place of compassion and understanding.

If it makes sense why they don’t want sex, then there truly is nothing wrong with them.

If someone doesn't want to have sex or have no sex drive, they're not weird or broken.

When you begin to understand how complex desire is and dig a little deeper, you’ll understand that if someone doesn't want to have sex, it usually makes complete sense why that is. 

Why would anyone want something that stresses them out? Or something that feels boring?

With all my years of experience providing sex therapy and online sex coaching, I feel pretty confident in saying: only the person going through it gets to decide if they want their desire back.

If this is you and you don’t have faith in your ability to do that right now, borrow some of mine. Yours will come along soon.

And If you don’t want your desire back, that’s OK, too.

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Leigh Norén is a sex therapist and writer with a Master of Science in Sexology and author of The Desire Test. She’s been featured in Women's Health, Thrive Global, The Good Men Project, Elephant Journal, Glamour, and more. 

This article was originally published at Reprinted with permission from the author.