Designed to enhance the sexual experience, sex tech comes in many forms. But what about when you’re struggling with your sexual appetite in the first place? Can sex tech really help get things going?
If you are currently experiencing a low sex drive, just know that you aren’t alone. Low libido is the most common sexual problem for women. Though less prevalent in men, it’s still not uncommon. According to The National Health and Social Life Survey, 32 percent of women and 15 percent of men lacked sexual interest for several months within the last year.
There’s nothing inherently wrong with having a low desire to have sex, unless it is impacting your overall happiness and relationships, and of course, if you want to want to have sex! Everyone’s sex drive is different, and is regularly in flux. If you have no sexual desire, and no desire to have sex, it might be worth looking into asexuality – a totally healthy sexual orientation.
Nevertheless, when it comes to sexual dysfunction, there are many types and many causes. However, these usually boil down to psychological, emotional and physical reasons… But before we get into that, let’s take a look at how our sexual response system actually works.
We tend to think of our sexualities in a linear format. You desire something or someone, you become aroused, build up to orgasm, climax, then resolution or the refractory period, finito. Yet, sex is much more like a cycle, and doesn’t always include an orgasm, or end after one. Moreover, desire (sexual drive, sexual motivation, and sexual wish) and arousal (psychological and/or physiological stimulation) are interchangeable entities.
Now we’ve got that down, we can break down some of the causes of low libido, and therefore some of the ways we can counter it.
Potential causes of a low libido
PsychologicalStress is serious mood killer. Whether it’s worrying about a big presentation coming up, or about the way you look naked, these anxieties take us out of our bodies and into our minds. We overthink, and while a certain amount of stress can be a healthy motivator, too much can flood the body with cortisol – triggering our fight or flight response.
Once your nervous system feels at threat, there is little desire to get sexy. Mental wellbeing and relaxation is key for your libido – which is why people with mental illnesses can find desire and arousal difficult.EmotionalEmotional
Perhaps you’ve been with your partner for a really long time, the desire to have sex is lacking because, well, you’re just not as passionately connected as you once were. That’s not to say all couples are doomed to a sexless relationship – but intimacy takes work. If you aren’t openly communicating with each other that can create barriers for arousal and desire.
Alternatively, you might be feeling emotionally disconnected from yourself, lacking the desire to enjoy some self-pleasure time. PhysicalHealth, exercise, diet, illnesses and age affect our hormone fluctuations. Which, if unbalanced, have a pretty huge impact on our libido.
Going through adolescence, the flood of sexual hormones typically makes teenagers’ sex drive’s high. After 40, most people experience a drop of those hormones, having the opposite effect.
For people taking antidepressants, sexual side-effects are incredibly common due to the change in hormones needed to stimulate arousal. So you can desire to have sex, but find it difficult to feel sexually aroused.
This study on Sexual Desire Disorders explains that “two important biological mediators of sexual desire are dopamine and prolactin”. These are essential for ensuring oxygen via blood flow gets to the nerve endings in the genitals and nipples. Psychological stress, general physical health and our emotional wellbeing all play a part in the functional release of our hormones. So it’s best to check in with those if you are experiencing a low sex drive.
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How can sex tech help with a low libido?
Sexual wellness apps such as Ferly, Emjoy, Do You, etc. offer advice and exercises to help you prioritise your sexuality. With audio guides such as mindful masturbation and intimacy meditations, you can learn to calm the mind and de-stress using your pleasure.
Some Femtech apps have been designed for tracking your menstrual cycle – which you can see it’s relation to your sex drive. Once you’ve gained an understanding of your personal patterns, you can make adjustments to your life that can benefit your libido, such as diet and fitness.
Introducing smart sex toys into your relationship can come with a whole host of benefits.
Firstly it opens up a conversation. In a society that struggles to talk about sex, communicating with a sex toy may make that process a little easier. Remote controlled vibrators can reignite desire into your sex life by taking control of your partner’s pleasure. Or try watching VR porn while your partner stimulates you. Experimenting with sex tech may spark that curiosity you had at the beginning of your relationship.
Riding solo? Prioritise your emotional desire for pleasure and buy a sex toy for yourself! Use app-controlled vibrators, create your own patterns, slow down and relearn your own body. Sometimes rushing into it can leave you frustrated. Try building sensation over your erogenous zones and be happy with the journey.
Physically vibrating toys can stimulate blood flow to areas that are depleted of oxygen. Rumbling vibrations are able to deeply invigorate the genitals.
Vibrating cock rings with added clitoral or perineal stimulators are great for this, along with G-spot and clitoral vibrators. Orgasms also release oxytocin, which combats the stress hormone cortisol.
And there you have a beautiful way to break the cycle of low libido: The more you prioritise your pleasure, the more you orgasm, the less stressed you may be to then do it all over again!