Yes, that says FUN not “concerning.”
“It’s completely normal for your libido to fluctuate and for there to be points of time — days, weeks, months, years — where your sex drive is higher than usual,” says Dr. Jill McDevitt, resident sexologist at CalExotics.
Usually, a higher sex drive is absolutely nothing to be worried about.
As Dr. Jess O’Reilly, PhD, host of the @SexWithDrJess Podcast says, “Desiring sex more often does not suddenly make you a pervert.”
It makes you human.
There is no metric for measuring libido, says Searah Deysach, longtime sex educator and owner of Early to Bed. So there’s really no universal baseline for what counts as a normal, she says.
Now, can you have your own personal “normal”? Yes, says Deysach.
“But even that’s a range, because there are so many actors that can cause your personal libido norm to shift a little — or a lot — to the left or right.”
- relationship status or interactions
- sleep, diet, and exercise
- mood and mental health
- hormones, medication, and physical health
You can’t — not really.
But there’s no diagnostic test or doctor-approved online quiz you can take to find out if your libido is high.
Feeling sexually insatiable? There are a few common culprits for the climb.
Your stress levels are lower
This is a big one. “If you’re going through a time of low-stress, your libido will likely increase,” says McDevitt.
She says that’s why “vacation sex” is such a Thing.
Your mental health is better than ever
According to clinical sex counselor Eric M. Garrison, author of “Mastering Multiple Position Sex,” being raised in a sexually-repressive household or religion can train folks to “turn off” — or at the very least disconnect from — their libido.
For these folks, going to a sex therapist or mental health professional to work through this shame can result in reconnecting with their sexual urges.
He says this can make folks feel like their sex drive is higher.
You’re having good sex
Thanks to your hormones, the more you have (good) sex, the more your body craves it.
So if you recently started sleeping with someone (or a new sex toy!) that rocks your world, it’s natural to want sex more often, says Dr. McDevitt.
You’ve been exercising more
“Some people find that they want sex more often when they exercise regularly,” says Dr. O’Reilly.
This could be credited to a number of things:
- boosted confidence
- reduced stress
- improved sleep
You swapped or stopped certain meds
Finally adjusting to these medications can also result in a higher libido, says Garrison.
And so can going off these medications. Friendly reminder: *don’t* go off any medication without talking to your healthcare provider first!
You’re at your “horny” spot in your menstrual cycle
Most menstruating humans have a “horny” part of their cycle — usually right before, during, or right after ovulation.
So if you or your partner is ravenous a few days a month, it’s the hormones talking!
“Your high libido is a problem if either you think it’s a problem, or if your high libido is leading you to act in a way that interferes with the rest of your life,” says Garrison.
If, for instance, you’re skipping work, cheating on your partner, blowing your savings on sex gadgets to meet your sexual impulses, or otherwise engaging in ~risky behavior~ as a result of your libido, that’s a problem.
In these instances, working with a mental healthcare professional is a M-U-S-T. They’ll help you come up with a game plan to regain control.
A few things!
Dr. McDevitt recommends doing some self-reflection: Is your libido actually interfering with your life? Are you actually bothered by this libido spike?
Or is your partner or sex-negative upbringing making you feel gross, bad, or guilty about these urges?
“If your high desire for sex is related to the fact that you find sex stress-relieving, finding other ways to relieve this stress such as breathing, visualization, and non-sexual touch exercises might help,” says Dr. O’Reilly.
Don’t pressure your partner… but talk to them
If your libido has increased and your partner’s hasn’t, it’s possible that either A) your partner feels guilty that they aren’t as interested in having sex or B) you’re feeling resentful that your partner doesn’t want to smash.
That’s why Garrison recommends talking to your partner about it. You might say:
- “I’ve been really in the mood to connect with you sexually recently. Would you be open to letting me massage your back and seeing where it goes?”
- “Recently, I’ve been so horny for you. Would you be open to scheduling a date night sometime soon?”
- “I know that I’ve been suggesting we have sex more than usual, lately. I’d love to talk about ways we connect physically and intimately that make us both feel good.”
Your sex drive isn’t strictly tied to a timeline. But there are some natural health and hormonal shifts that typically occur within each decade that can affect your libido.
“Generally speaking, the late teens is when most people’s libidos are the highest,” says Dr. McDevitt. Largely, due to hormones.
But (!), Garrison says, “That doesn’t mean that’s when people are having their most fulfilling, pleasurable sex lives.”
For cisgender women in particular, adolescence can be one of the least sexually gratifying times due to things like shame and lack of information.
Hormonally speaking, this is a time when most folks want to get after it.
But Dr. O’Reilly says due to body image, communication, and relationship issues, for folks not in long-term, loving relationships, this decade may not be one of super-satisfying (or orgasmic!) romps.
Stress is a libido killer. And for many, due to kids, work, household responsibilities, and aging parents, their 30s are a high-stress time.
Oh, and speaking of kids… the 30s are the prime decade for baby-making.
For those who get pregnant, the hormonal fluctuations during and after pregnancy can result in less interest in sex for the time being, says Dr. O’Reilly.
For folks of all genders and sexualities, testosterone levels dip this decade, which can lead to less frisky business.
For vulva-owners this is due to perimenopause, and for penis-havers this is due to the natural aging process.
But, rest assured, Dr. O’Reilly says things that often accompany this decade can lead to a higher interest in sex and more fulfilling sex.
- kids leaving the house
- improved feelings about oneself and one’s body
- increased comfort with a partner
- reduced financial stress
The average age penis-having folks go on Viagra is 53, which suggests many struggle to maintain an erection this decade.
And the average age vulva-owners hit menopause is 51, which can lead to less interest in sex and vaginal dryness.
60s and beyond
Sure, your libido may be a less high than it was 40 years ago.
But there’s no rule that says your sex life is worse in your 60s than it was in your 20s, says Dr. McDevitt.
“Some people get divorced in their 60s and get swept off their feet by an exciting new love and find that their sex drive rockets,” she says.
Others discover new ways of having sex with their long-term partner that are even more pleasurable.
A sex drive spike can be a great excuse to get down with yourself or your hunny and have some fun (read: orgasms)!
Can a high libido get to a point where it’s interfering with your life? Yes.
But so long as you’re not ditching work or other responsibilities to get off, go ahead and enjoy it — no matter your age.
Gabrielle Kassel (she/her) is a queer sex educator and wellness journalist who is committed to helping people feel the best they can in their bodies. In addition to Healthline, her work has appeared in publications such as Shape, Cosmopolitan, Well+Good, Health, Self, Women’s Health, Greatist, and more! In her free time, Gabrielle can be found coaching CrossFit, reviewing pleasure products, hiking with her border collie, or recording episodes of the podcast she co-hosts called Bad In Bed. Follow her on Instagram @Gabriellekassel.