A little-known aspect of our society is that sexual desire in humans can vary drastically depending on our gender. This means that men and women can experience very different levels of sexual desire and preferences, as well as different reactions to particular types of stimulation. While much has been written about whether men or women experience greater changes in their sexual appetite, the current evidence seems to suggest that women may have a greater propensity for fluctuation in sexual desire than men do.
When we talk about sexual desire fluctuations, we’re referring to changes in how aroused a person feels, the preferences for different sexual activities, and the intensity of these feelings or reactions. Several factors can influence sexual desire, including biological, psychological, and lifestyle forces.
When talking about why men and women may experience more or less desire than the other, it’s necessary to consider biology as a possible factor. For women, hormones can play a massive role in sexual desire. During the menstrual cycle, levels of libido-influencing hormones like estrogen and progesterone can vary, which can lead to a cycling of desire and disinterest. Interestingly, hormonal fluctuations in men are much less drastic, so changes in libido in men might be caused by different factors.
Mental and emotional factors are major causes of sexual desire in both men and women. For women, it is often argued that emotional closeness with a partner is more important for desire than it is for men. This means that if a woman perceives that their emotions aren’t being heard or recognised in a relationship, it could lead to an overall decline in sexual desire for her. Other mental factors like anxiety, depression, and stress can also play a major role in determining how much or how little a person desires sex.
Finally, lifestyle factors can be major determinants of sexual desire fluctuations. For women, changes in family or work commitments can cause major changes in libido. If a woman is particularly busy and feels like she doesn’t have the energy to put into her relationships, this can drastically alter her level of sexual arousal. Similarly, if men experience a significant change in their relationships, such as the ending of a long-term relationship or marriage, this can also cause huge shifts in their level of sexual desire.
Is There a Scientific Basis For a Difference Between Men and Women?
Most studies on the subject of sexual desire (or libido) point to some similarities between men and women in terms of fluctuations. However, it has also been noted that the causes of sexual desire fluctuations can be different based on gender. For example, men might find that work or social pressures play a much bigger role than women in defining libido while, for women, environmental or even social pressures might be more influential.
There have been some studies that suggest that women tend to have more difficulty maintaining a consistent level of sexual desire over a period of time than men do. One study indicated that more than twice as many women reported significant fluctuations in sexual desire over a 3-month period than men did. This could suggest that there are indeed frequent and considerable shifts in female sexual desire that men do not typically experience.
Can We Increase or Decrease Our Sexual Desire?
Whether a person experiences fluctuations in sexual desire because of biological, psychological, or lifestyle factors, it is possible to work on changing or modifying the level of libido. For women, some possible strategies include tending to relationships to ensure that meaningful communication is taking place, using lifestyle tweaks to make sure that she’s getting enough rest and not overextending her commitments, or even using herbs like maca or chasteberry to help balance hormone levels.
It’s also important to emphasize that contraception and certain medication can create shifts in sexual desire as well, so if a woman has experienced a sudden drop in libido, it would be a good idea to speak with your doctor about any possible connections.
For men, some strategies that could be used to increase or decrease sexual desire might include activities like exercise, meditation, dietary changes, or specific supplements. Since men’s libido is largely based on levels of testosterone, supplementing with things such as zinc or ashwagandha could help to restore balance if their levels are low.
Overall, the evidence suggests that there could be a gendered aspect of sexual desire fluctuations. While men and women may experience changes in their libido due to different factors, it appears that women may be more prone to varying levels of sexual desire than men. It is possible to counteract these fluctuations, though, and there are a variety of strategies that could be employed to do so. Ultimately, increasing communication and understanding is key to making any form of change in sexual desire.